Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Some Pigs More Equal Than Others

Arianna Huffington wrote this post yesterday, under the headline "We Live in a Country of Laws"?: I just listened to Mayor Bloomberg on CNN International discussing the New York transit strike. "We live in a country of laws," he said, "where there can be severe consequences for those who break them." Here is my question for the mayor: is it just the mass transit workers who live in a country of laws, or does the president of the United States reside there as well?”

Here’s my comment in response: “Arianna, maybe that tropical air is getting to you. You see there's been a change in the law. It's true that all pigs are equal, some pigs are just more equal than others. Taking an oath to preserve the Constitution means you don't have to follow it! Just ask Bill Kristol, who wrote this (describing a good "24" plot line in the process) in the Post yesterday. He even had the audacity to imply that this is what the founders had in mind, a king-like president who gets to use "secrecy" to keep the people safe. Let's face it. We elected Ollie North. Lying is o.k. if it's done in the name of patriotism and security. The audacity of these Neo-cons is truly frightening and yet NPR keeps giving us two competing perspectives, as if the law's application to an elected official was debatable. Expect both doublespeak and "wartime" to continue indefinitely. It's what these people thrive on.”

Don't worry your pretty little heads about domestic Spying!

At Spences’ Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming this summer, it was fascinating to hear him tell stories about the Brandon Mayfield case. Mayfield is the Oregon lawyer, a converted Muslim and former Army officer, who was arrested and held for two weeks before the F.B.I. apologized and released him. The F.B.I., it seems, made the mistake of concluding that Mayfield’s fingerprint was on material found after the Madrid bombings. Only after Spanish authorities alerted the Bureau did the F.B.I. release Mayfield, whom they had been holding as a “material witness.”

As the Washington Post described it, “Under a provision of the U.S. Patriot Act, they entered his home without his knowledge — but aroused the family’s suspicion by bolting the wrong lock on their way out and leaving a footprint on the rug that didn’t match any family members. During a later raid, FBI agents took Mayfield’s computers, modem, safe deposit key, assorted papers, as well as copies of the Quran and what they classified as “Spanish documents” — apparently Spanish homework by one of Mayfield’s sons.
Spence even left the ranch to attend a hearing and told us how the Mayfield’s young son knew agents had been in their house. The F.B.I., it seems, shut off the electricity during the day when the family was gone, but didn’t take the time to reset the clock radios. The young boy saw his clock radio blinking and could thus pinpoint when the agents had been in the family’s home. Toothbrushes were even taken, ostensibly to retrieve DNA samples.

As the Post described “[t]he FBI apologizes to Mr. Mayfield and his family for the hardships that this matter has caused,” (and) … also said it would review its practices on fingerprint analyses.”

Here are a couple other examples of F.B.I. mistakes:

“Report: FBI faked terror probe documents”:

“FBI admits to wiretapping wrong
numbers” :

Something to keep in mind when you hear Bush say “when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution.”

Value, my ass. Bush recently said the Constitution “is just a goddamned piece of paper.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?