Guantanamo Prisoner Case Dismissed

Today, a US military judge dismissed charges against a 20-year-old prisoner. This decision was widely, but not competently, reported around the world. The Associated Press story in US papers was close to accurate.Canadian detainee, Omar Khadr, was accused of throwing a grenade in Afghanistan which killed U.S. Army Sgt. Christopher Speer. Many of the foreign reports focused on the fact that Khadr was 15 at the time, which had nothing to do with the decision.The judge, Army Col. Peter Brownback, dismissed the charges because Khadr was classified as an "enemy combatant," whereas the law enabling the trials applied to "alien unlawful enemy combatants." The same defect applies [...]

By |2007-06-04T20:49:46-04:00June 4th, 2007|

The Justice Department Gets One Right

There is considerable complaining these days from the usual source — Congress — that the Justice Department is “broken” and simply cannot function under Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. This is the same source that tells us just about everything else is “broken,” from our strongest-on-earth military to health care to the world’s climate. Saying these things are “broken” is a way of proposing that a cure is needed, a proposal inevitably made without telling us, in specifics, what’s wrong, what Congress would do to improve it, or, most importantly, how much the fix would cost and who will foot the bill. Perhaps “broken” has become such a [...]

By |2007-05-31T08:31:36-04:00May 31st, 2007|

Who Really Wants the "Blank Check?"

Much has been made of President Bush's supposedly wanting a "blank check" to conduct the war in Iraq. One need not be overly enthusiastic about how the war has gone in order to observe that, for whatever else might be said of it, a "blank check" is not and has never been what the President has sought. Instead, he repeatedly (and perhaps unwisely) went to the United Nations to ask for escalating sanctions on Iraq. He got them, usually by unanimous or nearly unanimous votes of the Security Council. When all-too-predictably they failed to stop either Saddam's aggressiveness or his innumerable violations of the agreement that ended [...]

By |2007-05-30T19:12:19-04:00May 30th, 2007|

Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out

MSNBC is carrying an Associated Press story that Cindy Sheehan has "resigned" as an anti-war protest leader. The first three paragraphs read thusly:"FORT WORTH, Texas - Cindy Sheehan, the soldier's mother who galvanized an anti-war movement with her month-long protest outside President Bush's ranch, says she's done being the public face of the movement."'I've been wondering why I'm killing myself and wondering why the Democrats caved in to George Bush,' Sheehan told The Associated Press by phone Tuesday while driving from her property in Crawford to the airport, where she planned to return to her native California."I''m going home for awhile to try and be normal.'"Well good [...]

By |2007-05-29T12:31:23-04:00May 29th, 2007|

Respect for Our Fallen Braves, M.I.A.

While the American Civil Rights Union chose to honor our fallen heroes on Memorial Day, certain others in the state of Washington thought it better to desecrate the gravesites of America's war veterans. (HT: Flynn Files) Their chosen mode of "protest" was both predictable (burning flags) and telling (replaced with scribbled swastikas). Telling of themselves, that is. Especially considering that our servicemen died trying to free the world of the Nazi vermin, and to protect the rights of the scum of the earth to then turn and desecrate the ground where these brave men lay, apparently.Some will defend the actions of these clandestine protestors in Washington, and [...]

By |2007-05-29T07:16:41-04:00May 29th, 2007|

Arlington: A Salute to the Fallen Brave

Just down the road from my office is Arlington National Cemetery. More than four million people visit the cemetery annually, many coming to pay final respects at graveside services, of which nearly 100 are conducted each week. Brave soldiers from every war in which America has fought - from the Revolutionary War to the current War on Terror, are buried here, in recognition of their profound bravery and sacrifice to protect the lives of their loved ones and freedom for their fellow Americans. More than 250,000 grave sites adorn the rolling hills of Arlington, joining hundreds of thousands more across America, in Europe, and across the Pacific.In [...]

By |2007-05-28T00:00:01-04:00May 28th, 2007|

And the Winner is: Nobody

There have been five national polls over the last few weeks asking respondents whether they approve or disapprove of the President's and Congress's performance. The polls have been taken by CBS/New York Times; Hotline; Fox; Gallup; and Rasmussen. What with his support for the very controversial immigration bill, gas prices climbing every week, the Attorney General on the hot seat, and continuing atrocities in Iraq, you would think the President's approval rating would be in the tank. And you would be right. The average of the President's approval in the five polls is 33%. His disapproval averages 61%.But that's not the whole story. Congress, which we are [...]

By |2007-05-26T08:27:05-04:00May 26th, 2007|

Double Standards — A Correction

In the blog I posted on double standards being used to assess the job-worthiness of Alberto Gonzales, on the one hand, and Janet Reno, on the other, I said that the assault on the Branch Davidian compound during Ms. Reno's tenure resulted in 58 deaths. That is incorrect. According to Wikpedia and other sources, it resulted in 82 deaths. At least 17 of those killed were children.I apologize for the error. I am relieved, however, that the correct figure does not muddle, but instead re-inforces, the point of the story.

By |2007-05-24T12:50:58-04:00May 24th, 2007|

This Could Give Double Standards a Bad Name

Congress is preparing to take a vote of "no confidence" in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. I have previously written about the all but complete disconnect between this sort of political theater and the Constitution, which provides for nothing of the kind. In France, sure. Here......But I digress. The principal "charges" against the Attorney General are that he has given incomplete, inconsistent and misleading information about the reasons for firing eight United States Attorneys. Let's assume for the moment (without concluding) that this is true. Let's also concede that the Attorney General has not sparked what could be called enthusiasm among either conservatives or liberals even before this [...]

By |2007-05-24T11:34:44-04:00May 24th, 2007|

There Is No Such Thing As A "National ID Card"

Below is a description of the provisions of what is inaccurately being called the National ID Act. These are minimum standards which all states are required to follow, as a matter of national security and illegal immigration. All states are free to have whatever requirements they choose, above and beyond these minimums.The "Real ID Act of 2005" was actually passed as Section B of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005. It repealed a prior law that sought consultation between federal agencies and the states, to set standards for issuance of Drivers Licenses and IDs (subsequently referred to [...]

By |2007-05-22T10:12:47-04:00May 22nd, 2007|

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