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POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber

GUEST,Greg F. 15 Nov 01 - 09:10 AM
GUEST 15 Nov 01 - 09:17 AM
kendall 15 Nov 01 - 09:17 AM
JedMarum 15 Nov 01 - 09:31 AM
GUEST 15 Nov 01 - 10:23 AM
Whistle Stop 15 Nov 01 - 11:33 AM
CarolC 15 Nov 01 - 12:06 PM
Whistle Stop 15 Nov 01 - 12:42 PM
Irish sergeant 15 Nov 01 - 12:48 PM
CarolC 15 Nov 01 - 12:51 PM
Charlie Baum 15 Nov 01 - 12:55 PM
InOBU 15 Nov 01 - 01:19 PM
Bennet Zurofsky 15 Nov 01 - 01:26 PM
mousethief 15 Nov 01 - 01:33 PM
InOBU 15 Nov 01 - 02:11 PM
DougR 15 Nov 01 - 02:34 PM
Charlie Baum 15 Nov 01 - 02:43 PM
Whistle Stop 15 Nov 01 - 02:55 PM
CarolC 15 Nov 01 - 03:28 PM
Bennet Zurofsky 15 Nov 01 - 03:54 PM
SharonA 15 Nov 01 - 05:19 PM
InOBU 15 Nov 01 - 06:04 PM
InOBU 15 Nov 01 - 06:09 PM
InOBU 15 Nov 01 - 06:12 PM
BH 15 Nov 01 - 06:17 PM
DougR 15 Nov 01 - 06:20 PM
Greg F. 15 Nov 01 - 06:20 PM
InOBU 15 Nov 01 - 06:24 PM
SharonA 15 Nov 01 - 06:25 PM
CarolC 15 Nov 01 - 06:32 PM
DougR 15 Nov 01 - 06:42 PM
CarolC 15 Nov 01 - 06:49 PM
InOBU 15 Nov 01 - 06:51 PM
DougR 15 Nov 01 - 06:54 PM
CarolC 15 Nov 01 - 07:01 PM
InOBU 15 Nov 01 - 07:12 PM
DougR 15 Nov 01 - 07:12 PM
InOBU 15 Nov 01 - 09:33 PM
DougR 16 Nov 01 - 01:31 AM
katlaughing 16 Nov 01 - 02:38 AM
English Jon 16 Nov 01 - 07:54 AM
Whistle Stop 16 Nov 01 - 08:07 AM
CarolC 16 Nov 01 - 09:53 AM
JedMarum 16 Nov 01 - 09:56 AM
Whistle Stop 16 Nov 01 - 10:26 AM
InOBU 16 Nov 01 - 10:29 AM
SharonA 16 Nov 01 - 10:42 AM
CarolC 16 Nov 01 - 10:45 AM
Whistle Stop 16 Nov 01 - 11:08 AM
Bennet Zurofsky 16 Nov 01 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,InOBU Who lost his cookie... 17 Nov 01 - 07:43 AM
DougR 17 Nov 01 - 02:04 PM
CarolC 17 Nov 01 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,Leprechaun 17 Nov 01 - 09:01 PM
CarolC 17 Nov 01 - 09:07 PM
Charlie Baum 18 Nov 01 - 12:14 AM
GUEST,Larry of the lost cookie 18 Nov 01 - 07:29 AM
kendall 18 Nov 01 - 08:41 AM
DougR 18 Nov 01 - 02:40 PM
kendall 18 Nov 01 - 02:59 PM
kendall 18 Nov 01 - 04:09 PM
DougR 18 Nov 01 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,InOBU without Cookie:-( 18 Nov 01 - 05:19 PM
Jeri 18 Nov 01 - 06:07 PM
DougR 18 Nov 01 - 09:14 PM
GUEST 19 Nov 01 - 06:08 AM
SharonA 19 Nov 01 - 09:38 AM
LoopySanchez 19 Nov 01 - 10:48 AM
SharonA 19 Nov 01 - 03:24 PM
SharonA 19 Nov 01 - 03:40 PM
DougR 19 Nov 01 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,InOBU who needs a cookie 19 Nov 01 - 04:04 PM
SharonA 19 Nov 01 - 04:07 PM
GUEST 19 Nov 01 - 05:04 PM
DougR 19 Nov 01 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,InOBU sans Cookie 19 Nov 01 - 07:28 PM
leprechaun 19 Nov 01 - 10:07 PM
DougR 19 Nov 01 - 11:09 PM
InOBU 20 Nov 01 - 07:34 AM
SharonA 20 Nov 01 - 12:51 PM
DougR 20 Nov 01 - 03:21 PM
leprechaun 21 Nov 01 - 02:53 AM
SeanM 21 Nov 01 - 02:24 PM
Whistle Stop 21 Nov 01 - 03:00 PM
LoopySanchez 21 Nov 01 - 03:35 PM
DougR 21 Nov 01 - 06:33 PM
leprechaun 21 Nov 01 - 11:34 PM
CarolC 22 Nov 01 - 11:21 AM
leprechaun 27 Nov 01 - 03:21 AM
DougR 27 Nov 01 - 10:15 PM
leprechaun 28 Nov 01 - 07:54 AM
InOBU 28 Nov 01 - 11:34 AM
DougR 28 Nov 01 - 11:54 AM
InOBU 28 Nov 01 - 01:25 PM
CarolC 28 Nov 01 - 01:44 PM
mousethief 28 Nov 01 - 01:50 PM
CarolC 28 Nov 01 - 01:54 PM
mousethief 28 Nov 01 - 03:00 PM
CarolC 28 Nov 01 - 04:50 PM
mousethief 28 Nov 01 - 06:05 PM
CarolC 28 Nov 01 - 06:11 PM
DougR 28 Nov 01 - 08:10 PM
leprechaun 29 Nov 01 - 08:34 AM
InOBU 29 Nov 01 - 10:34 AM
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Subject: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: GUEST,Greg F.
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 09:10 AM

Don't worry- we're only going to ignore the rights of
"Non Americans"---for now. Emphasis mine.

Best, Greg

-------------------

WHITE HOUSE DEFENDS PLANS FOR SECRET TRIALS
By STEWART M. POWELL, Washington Bureau
First published: Thursday, November 15, 2001

CRAWFORD, Texas -- Senior Bush administration officials on Wednesday
staunchly defended preparations for secret military tribunals to try, convict
and speedily execute foreigners who prepare or carry out terrorist attacks
against Americans.

Vice President Dick Cheney, Attorney General John Ashcroft and White
House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer commented hours after President
Bush issued an emergency executive order approving the tribunals, which
were used to try, convict and execute Nazi saboteurs during World War II
and conspirators in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.

Bush issued the order permitting military tribunals with little fanfare late
Tuesday. "The President thought it was appropriate to provide
this as an option '' Fleischer said.

Cheney, addressing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, said
the only individuals who would be subjected to the trial by military tribunal
in the United States or overseas would be non-American citizens "believed
to have engaged in or believed to be participating in
terrorist attacks designed to kill Americans , or have provided
sanctuary to those who are conducting terrorist operations against Americans .''
[ Its apparently OK if they're killing non-Americans- so much for the 'global
coalition rhetoric]

Laura W. Murphy, director of the American Civil Liberties Union in
Washington, condemned the President's decision. "The move to
establish a military tribunal when Congress has not declared war is
unprecedented,'' she said.

Murphy said the order could result in "secret trials without a jury
and without the requirement of a unanimous verdict.''

Bush's five-page order permits admission of any evidence that
may have "probative value to a reasonable person.''
It said it was "not practicable'' to rely upon the "the principles
of law and the rules of evidence generally recognized in the trial of
criminal cases in the United States district courts.''


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 09:17 AM

After handing our civil liberties over to the White House terrorists, Congress is apparently having some second thoughts (civil liberties, pick one?):

Congress bristles at military trials

Click for complete story Wednesday, 14 November 2001 18:15 (ET) Congress bristles at military trials By MARK BENJAMIN

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Some lawmakers Wednesday bristled at President George W. Bush's announcement that terrorist suspects might face military tribunals, building momentum in Congress to investigate a possible erosion of civil liberties during the administration's war on terrorism.

"I'm concerned about the potential breadth of the plan to use military trials for suspected terrorists," Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said in a statement released Wednesday evening.

Kennedy noted a wartime precedent for such tribunals, "But we need to proceed very carefully before using such procedures for trials in this country. Fundamental constitutional rights are at the heart of our democracy and our liberty, and they deserve to be respected and protected."

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, D-Mich., said the tribunals -- along with other recent government moves in the war on terrorism -- raise "serious questions" about civil liberties that require congressional oversight.

"Indeed, the very purpose of the directive appears to be to skirt the usual constitutional and criminal justice rules that are the hallmark of our democratic form of government," Conyers wrote in a letter Wednesday to Committee Chairman Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.

Conyers calls for hearings that would include an investigation of a new administration plan to monitor communication between some defendants and their attorneys. Conyers said Congress should also look into the mysterious status of 1,000 suspects detained in the government's probe of the Sept. 11 attacks, some of which have reportedly been released.

On Tuesday, Bush signed an order that would allow the government to try foreigners accused of terrorism in special military tribunals set up by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that would not be subject to judicial review.

Conyers' request comes one day after United Press International reported that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., might soon hold hearings on the new government policy on monitoring communication between defense attorneys and their clients, and the status of the detainees.

Leahy twice sent letters to Ashcroft on Oct. 31 and Nov. 9, containing pointed questions about the government detainees and the policy to monitor lawyer-client relations, but has received no response.

Sensenbrenner did not return calls seeking comment and has not scheduled any hearings, but congressional sources said he has asked for a private briefing on the detainees, but has not received one.

Democrats said on condition of anonymity that lawmakers are increasingly uncomfortable with the possible erosion of civil liberties stemming from the government's activities, but have also kept their powder dry out of concern over impeding that war -- or facing untoward political consequences for questioning the government's motives during such a sensitive period. That could be changing.

"World public opinion can go south on this [war] really fast. I'm not sure how long it might take for American public opinion to go the same way," one staffer following the investigation said.

"We also have received no cooperation from the Justice Department in our effort to obtain information regarding the 1,000 plus immigrants who have been detained in connection with the terrorism investigation, as reflected in a letter that several Democratic Members transmitted to the Attorney General on October 31, 2001," Conyers wrote to Sensenbrenner Wednesday. "We would be remiss in our duties, however, if we did not also oversee the extent to which the Department may be abusing its authority and wrongfully targeting innocent Americans."

-- Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved. --


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: kendall
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 09:17 AM

A high approval rating still doesn't make him any smarter.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: JedMarum
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 09:31 AM

Since when do we extend "fundamental constitutional rights" to non-citizens?


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 10:23 AM

Jed, I believe the phrase in the U.S. Constitution is "that all men are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights"- it doesn't say only AMERICAN men- unless Dumbya's changed it in secret.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 11:33 AM

Greg, I believe that line is from the Declaration of Independence -- a very different document, written for a very different purpose. Moreover, the generally articulated rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" do not necessarily speak directly to what form of trial a defendant may be entitled to under specific circumstances.

I agree that we have to watch this carefully, but I also feel that we ARE in a war, and ought to act like it. There are reasons why a military tribunal may make sense in the context of a military conflict, where lengthy public trials (and appeals) involving the discussion of sensitive information may in fact be contrary to the overall war aims. We need to balance a number of cometing considerations on this issue, but I don't think the option of using military tribunals to try non-US citizens for war crimes should be taken off the table.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 12:06 PM

Democrats said on condition of anonymity that lawmakers are increasingly uncomfortable with the possible erosion of civil liberties stemming from the government's activities

I find it particurly chilling that these people felt the need for anonymity in order to be able to express their concerns.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 12:42 PM

Carol, to the extent that is true, I think it's more likely they are remaining anonymous because they are scared of the political implications of speaking their minds. In other words, they don't say what they think because they're afraid of losing public support, and possibly losing the next election. I don't think they are worried that they'll be killed or hauled off to jail for dissenting; they just want to make sure they don't suffer in the public opinion polls.

If I'm right, shame on them -- it's their duty to speak out, whatever the consequences. As I indicated before, I'm not all that worried about the supposed erosion of our liberties; I just don't see that happening. But if a Senator or Congressman is worried about it, but doesn't speak up because he/she doesn't want to be unpopular -- well, that's a person who has no business being in Congress in the first place.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 12:48 PM

If we are to keep ourselves above reproach in what I consider a just fight, I don't believe secret military tribunals are the answer. Isn't this just what the terrorists want? An erosion however slight of American liberties is a victory for them. SHould the government have the option to try Osama and the boys? Yes. SHould it be by military tribunal, I don't know but it should be open for the American people and the world to see that our cause is just and that we are the aggrieved party. Kindest regards, Neil


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 12:51 PM

Whistle Stop, I suspect that if it were just an issue of losing the support of their constituents, they wouldn't have spoken up at all, anonymously or otherwise.

Being killed or hauled off to jail aren't the only ways that people can be punished for speaking their mind in the US. I know this from personal experience.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 12:55 PM

When a Commander-in-Thief who takes power through a judicial coup (elected by the Supreme Court 5-4) arrogates power to himself to round up and jail even long-term resident aliens (lthe Canadian whose been married to a US friend for a couple of decades now and living in America without changing her citizenship qualifies as a "non-citizen"!) and give them secret military kangaroo trials and even sentence them to death (as Gov. Bush so often liked to do!), I worry about dictatorship. So does William Safire. This in a country where we currnetly have more than a thousand desaparecidos.

If any other country, like Peru or China, grabbed an American and gave them a secret trial, we'd be complaining. Are we now to say "go ahead and try them in secret and give themthe death penalty--we do that in America, too."?

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 01:19 PM

Well said Irish Sargent. Jeb! Beyond Constitutional rights, there are basic HUMAN RIGHTS! Now, my concern is that the secret courts are to be conviend to cover up Americas involvement in things we may never know about. One can't have democracy in the dark of night. How can we judge the report in Le Figaro that the CIA station cheif for the region met with Bin Ladin two weeks before the WTC event, if we don't have public trials. When assaination, as in the case of Oswald, or secret trials rob us of open justice, than we are left living in fear of our government, it ain't democracy . Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 01:26 PM

The relevant Constitutional language is from the Fourteenth Amendment, which expands upon similar language in the Fifth Amendment and which, among other things, extends the Fifth Amendment rights to the States as well the Federal Government. In both instances the Constitution makes reference to "persons," a category that has been held to include even those who enter the country illegally. Here is the relevant guarantee as it appears in the Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1:

". . . nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

It is interesting to note that the phrase "pursuit of happiness" which appears in the Declaration of Independence does not appear anywhere in the Constitution, where it has been replaced with the single word "property."

The administration's creation of these "Star Chamber" proceedings, as well as a number of other assaults on Due Process recently announced by Ashcroft and others, such as the taping of otherwise-privileged attorney-client conferences, are grave assaults upon the American values that we are theoretically bombing Afghanistan to protect. We should all fight them vigorously.

Among other things, these assaults upon our liberties are being justified on the basis that "terrorists don't deserve anything better." This, however, assumes what should be the result of the proceedings, i.e., the conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is in fact a terrorist. Thus, the accused is assumed to be a terrorist from the outset of the proceedings and is therefore denied the ordinary right to a public trial, properly admissible evidence, confrontation of the witnesses against him or her, and the other attributes of Due Process in the very proceeding that is supposed to determine whether he or she is in fact guilty of the crime charged.

Ordinary Due Process requires the hearing before the rights are denied. Denying the rights before the hearing means that there never will be a fair hearing as our laws have come to define it. We should be outraged, and we should let our leaders know we are outraged.

The precedents cited by the administratrion, such as certain military tribunals established in connection with the Civil War and World War II, have all been long discredited among reputable Due Process scholars. Our nation has engaged in many acts which were held to be Constitutional by the then-sitting Supreme Court (e.g., slavery, state-sponsored segregation of the races, violation of Indian treaties, internment of Japanese residents, police coersion of confessions). Most of us who care about the law, however, expect the maturity of our nation's approach to Due Process and the rights of persons to recognize and learn from our past errors rather than multiply them.

I urge all to air their concerns beyond The Mudcat.

-Bennet D. Zurofsky, Esq. A Member of the New Jersey Bar


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 01:33 PM

Prove they're terrorists in a fair and open trial and THEN throw the book at them. Taking away the rights of innocent people (you can't tell me that all 900-odd people we have locked up right now without habeas corpus are guilty) serves no-one except the wagging tongues of our enemies.

Alex


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 02:11 PM

Dear Bennet D. Zurofsky, Esq.
!!!!!!!!!!!! Jew Jersey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am impressed. I have spent many years looking for progressive lawyers in NJ, there are some, I must admitt, but when one is in the need of one, well, it is not for nothing that the few Guild members from NJ meet in NY!
A number of us are activists beyond Mudcat. It is good to hear a sane voice in the dark void of the present day US.
Larry Otway - (JD from NYU and retired Political Scientist)


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 02:34 PM

Bennett D. Zurofsky, Esq.: your comment about military tribunals being discredited by reputable Due Process scholars interests me. Which of the two scholars quoted in USA Today (today's edition) is reputable?

Catholic University law dean, Douglas Kmiec, who supports the notion of military tribunals. "They are violating the laws of civility and the laws of war. The president's order is not extraordinary when one places it in the context of historic military campaigns."

Or:

Harvard (surprise!) law Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter, who counters: "President Bush has said this is a war to bring terrorists to justice. So the real question is: What is justice? That requires a fair trial and proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and that is not the aim of a military tribunal."

I know which one you and Larry agree with, but I want to know which of the two is not credible?

DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 02:43 PM

Doug-- Are you confusing accreditation by disreputable scholars with discreditation by reputable scholars? Logical confusion... --Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 02:55 PM

Bennet, I appreciate the intelligence of your post. Not sure I agree with it entirely, but you make some compelling points. I think that this will not play out too badly in practice; we have a lot of checks and balances in place in our government, and a lot of people watching very closely to see that our government does not abuse its authority. I suspect that the option to try non-citizens before a military tribunal will be used sparingly, and only when there is a compelling reason to do so. this does not mean that I am complacent about this, or unaware that our government has gone too far in the past. But I recognize the reasons why this approach may be necessary, and I'm not all that uncomfortable with it at present.

Carol, I understand that there are other ways of punishing people for speaking their minds. I haven't heard of any Congressmen actually being disciplined in these "other ways" for raising concerns about current administration policy, but for the sake of discussion I will accept your suggestion that it could happen.

Still, we are placing a lot of trust in our elected representatives, and they should be prepared to rise to the occasion as so many others have. We have people putting their lives on the line in Afghanistan, and in responding to attacks here at home. If our Congressmen aren't willing to take the slight risk that people will be unhappy with them for speaking out on an important issue, they are unworthy of the trust we have placed in them, and should resign.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 03:28 PM

Whistle Stop, the kinds of ways I'm talking about, you wouldn't necessarily hear about even if they did happen. Or if you did hear about them, you probably wouldn't know that there was any connection.

Of course, in congress, it can be as simple as a negative form of quid pro quo.

Here's just a small example of how these things can work... I was involved in a matter in family court (custody battle) several years ago. My attorney made it clear to me that he couldn't advocate for me to the extent that he thought I deserved, because it would probably hurt his ability to function in the legal environment of the community in which he practiced.

He told me that since I was a woman without any powerful connections, and the case was being heard in an area where the "old boys' network" was very much a reality, I was going to just have to live with the fact that I didn't have access to the same amount of justice as a man or someone with connections would have. He knew that to challenge the prevailing culture would put his ability to get good results in future cases in jeopardy.

This man was a good lawyer. It wasn't a lack of skill as an attorney or lack of backbone led him to advise me the way he did. He just knew what all of the probable consequences were, and he was doing the best he could within that reality. This is not an unusual scenario. It happens at all levels of our society and in all kinds of contexts. And sometimes the consequences can be much more extreme.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 03:54 PM

I did not mean that the reputable Constitutional scholars are unanimous. Lawyers are trained to assert contrary positions and many certainly say some silly things while remaining reputable. However, most of the matters that I specifically referred to have been rejected as legitimate exercises of governmental power, and the Constitutional doctrines upon which they were premised have been overruled by more recent Supreme Court decisions. The notion of an open public hearing before one is deprived of significant rights established by pre-existing law is pretty basic to any view of Due Process.

The Catholic Church, or a Law School that is part of a Catholic University, however reputable it may be, does not strike me as the place to go for explanantions of Due Process that are sympathetic to the accused. It was the Catholic Church, after all, which refined and developed the secret trial through its inquisition. Its official position on the United States Constitution, as exemplified by its view of abortion, is that it is subordinate to the Church's view of God's law and the Church therefore rejects much well-established doctrine. An institution built upon the declared infallibility of its leader is not likely to be very high on the notion of due process (except where its infallible leader says its due).

With regard to Dean Kmiec's comment as quoted by DougR above (which is all I know about what he said since I have not seen the USA Today article), it really does not differ with anything that I have said, and I do not disagree with it. All that he says is that the President's order is not extraordinary when placed in the context of military campaigns. Many things, such as burning villages, killing women, children and even male non-combatants, the destruction of hospitals and other civilian facilities is not unusual in the context of military campaigns. That does not mean that those are good things. Neither does it mean that it is proper and right for such things to occur even in the context of military campaigns.

We are not living under martial law here at home and war has not even been formally declared abroad. Add to these facts some of the definitions of terrorist that have been thrown around by the Administration and those close to it, which would label as a terrorist just about anyone who has attended a demonstration and not immediately followed a police officer's direction to move or keep quiet, and the fact that most of those detained seem to have been picked up more on the basis of a racial profile than anything else, and you have a recipe for tyranny.

Our Courts function quite well in trying matters of great importance without sacrificing the ordinary requirements of Due Process. Our present situation does not cry out for an abandonment of such process. To the contrary, when I see the flag I think of our freedoms and our system of due process as among the most important things that it symbolizes. Take protection of those things away from the definition of what the flag symbolizes and the Country is about and we do not have a flag or a Country worth feeling patriotic about.

In thinking about these issues one can only achieve clarity of thought by considering the innocent person falsely accused and placing one's self in those shoes. What is fair? What is just? What process is due? If one takes the opposite approach and assumes that only guilty people are charged by our system, then one can justify almost anything. Those who applaud the administration's military tribunals for terrorists are those who cannot imagine themselves, or anyone who is not in fact a terrorist, ever being accused of such a dastardly status by our government. History, however, is replete with examples of the government persecuting and prosecuting the wrong person(s), even here in the U.S.A.

-Bennet D. Zurofsky, Esq.

P.S. I am from New Jersey and a Jew and I do not care for the anti-semitic pun on my State's name made above, however humorously it may have been intended.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: SharonA
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 05:19 PM

Scary stuff in troubling times. I can appreciate not wanting public trials for terrorists; the proceedings against those involved in the 1993 bombing of the WTC allowed anti-terror tactics of the government to be made public, and they also allowed the terrorists to abuse due process. It's the broad definition of "terrorist" in this executive order, and the broad powers to convict and condemn, without the declaration of war by Congress that's bothering me greatly.

Perhaps someone could explain the process of issuing an executive order. Does it need to have Congressional approval; can Congress strike it down; does it override the legislative and judicial branches of government? Can a President simply give an executive order and "make it so"?


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 06:04 PM

BROTHER ZEROFSKY!!! I JUST LOOKED UP THE PAGE TO SEE WHAT YOU MEANT! AS YOU CAN SEE BY ALL MY POSTS MY SPELLING IS A RESULT OF A LEARNING DYSABLITY!!! I HIT THE WRONG KEY AND DID NOT CATCH IT!!! IN POINT OF FACT, ON ME MUM"S SIDE, I'M HALF JEWISH AND HALF ROM (GYPSY). FORGIVE THE MISSPELLING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
mORTIFIED
lARRY


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 06:09 PM

PS In point of fact, I would guess that the majority of Guild members have been Jewish traditionaly, and where would the state of civil rights law be without the heroic fight of Jewish American lawyers. Check my past several years of posts, and you will see that this was an error in typing, not in manners or mens rea. Chears and angain sorry for the typo. Larry


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 06:12 PM

PPS... please note that the J and N keys on the key board are both hit by the same finger. Cheers. Larry


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: BH
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 06:17 PM

All points covered I will be brief.

There must be something to re-incarnation---looks like Old Joe McCarthy arises as a Phoenix in the guise of a not very bright---but surrounded (as Joe) by "advisors"---Geo. II

Bill H


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 06:20 PM

Bennett: the article (reprinted in the Arizona Republic from USA Today) makes it quite clear that Dean Kmiec favors the military tribunal to deal with the terrorists. You evidently missed that in my post.

As you point out, there obviously will be a great deal of division within the legal community as to which method of dealing with the terrorists is most appropriate.

As Sharon points out, and as pointed out in the USA article, "Several analysts noted that military tribunals could be a way for U. S. authorities to conduct trials of terrorists without having to disclose state secrets. administration officials want to avoid a repetition of the federal court trials of those involved in the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, when rules of evidence required the U. S. government to reveal details about how it collects intelligence on terrorist activities." DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: Greg F.
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 06:20 PM

Constitution, Declaration, schmeclaration, whatever. Sorry about that ridiculous error- was in a hurry this AM on a strange computer. My misquote doesn't make it any less of abrogation of human rights. And thanks, Bennett, for posting the correct quote.

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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 06:24 PM

OOOOOOOOohhhhhhhhhhhh, then I go and spell your name wrong Zurofsky Zurofsky Zurofsky Zurofsky... me writing it 100 times on the black board after school. I think I am going to go take an asprin and a nap. Ooooooooooooohhhhhhh...... Larry


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: SharonA
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 06:25 PM

Bennet Z: Larry ("InOBU") really is a fine man and an avid crusader for many ethnic groups (and a good Quaker!). And he's right; he can't type for beans! :^) If you go to the top of this page, to the "Quick Links" pop-up, scroll down to "Member Photos & Info" and then click on "Profiles"; you'll find out a lot about all the good works this man does.

(yes, Larry, I peeked!)

So for what it's worth, I'm absolutely certain, beyond doubt, that Larry simply made a coincidentally embarrassing typo!

Sharon


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 06:32 PM

I'll vouch for Larry (InOBU) also. My automatic assumption, based on my experience of Larry in the forum, was that it was just a mistake.

DougR, I saw a legal expert on television last night who said that there are provisions within US law that permit withholding the type of sensitive information that you're talking about. So that appears to be a non-issue.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 06:42 PM

Well, Carol, I doubt the opinion of a "legal expert" on TV will settle the question because it probably would be no problem at all to dig up another "legal expert" who will disagree with that legal expert.

It evidently is well documented that the government was required to reveal information related to how terrorist activities are investigated at the 1993 trials. This is information that should not be made public as the war on terrorism continues and as terrorists are captured and tried.

DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 06:49 PM

I guess what I would want to know is if there have been any changes in the laws since the 1993 trials. If there have been, that could be why the person last night said what she did.

Any of our legal eagles in the Mudcat know the answer to this question?


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 06:51 PM

Thanks Carol and Sharon... the noise you hear off in the distance is me still banging my head against the wall.... Ooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Larry


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 06:54 PM

I have no idea, Carol, and I'm certainly not a "legal eagle" but if there has been, there would be no argument, over it, right?

DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 07:01 PM

ten-four, DougR. If there have been any changes that would allow the government to withhold sensitive information in the trials of suspected terrorists, then that particular argument for military trials holds no water ;-)

Larry, I really feel for you. But I think you can probably stop banging your head against the wall now. Have you tried sending Mr. Zurofsky a PM? That might make you feel better.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 07:12 PM

I did send a PM.... but actually, I am begining to enjoy banging my head against the wall, it is kind of musical!
Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 07:12 PM

I choose to believe Mr. Zurofsky hasn't read Larry's post yet. If he has, and is still miffed, well ...

Cheer up Larry, all of us know you wouldn't intentionally insult BZ,Esq., his religion, or his state.

DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 09:33 PM

NO! DougR I would insult his state! I do every weekend, becasue all the kids who come through the tunnels get drunk here on St. marks Place... because we don't proof in the bars here.... My wife is from Pompton Lakes NJ... But, I would pick on New Jersey's lack of a Lawyer's Guild branch of its own! I'd pick on the smell of Elizabeth NJ... and after Genie wacked me, I'd point out how lovely Southern Jersey is, and how we see so little of it, and don't get enough time to appreciate the Pine Barrons.... but then I'd go off again on ragging on its corrupt republican politics, and Genie would remind me about our corrupt democratic machine.... but I would have to have my head examined if I intentionally made an anti semetic remark, as I'd kick my own butt... Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 01:31 AM

Ok, Larry, so you don't like New Jersey! I've only driven through the state, and I found it rather pretty. That was many years ago though and, oh well ...

DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 02:38 AM

I expect that the good Lawyer from NJ will be back. A quick check on google show's he has had a hand in celebrating the music of Paul Robeson through some pretty major sounding events, so how could he stay away fomr the Mudcat, now that he's found it?

FWIW, I heard the news of the thread's subject with an instant chill in my heart. The average American is so self-center, I don't think they realise the erosion which continues. BDZurofsky, thank you very much for your postings and please do forgive our InOBU, he's always had trouble with typos due to a disability which he in no way tries to hide. I know it was just an unfortunate finger-mixup and not intended as slur.

Welcome to the Mudcat,

kat


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: English Jon
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 07:54 AM

I had to read Larry's post six times before I noticed the typo... That sort of thing is not Larry's style of humour, Bennet. Genuine Typo. Hope you'll be back.

EJ


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 08:07 AM

Well, I think our Mr. Zurofsky could have done what I did upon seeing that post -- look at the keyboard, note that the J and N keys are adjacent to one another, and assume this was a typo. I always wonder about people who leap to the conclusion they are being insulted, when there is another fairly obvious explanation close at hand. [I also wonder about lawyers who write "Esq." after their own names -- this is very bad form. "Esquire" is a form of address, not a title one applies to oneself.] But I hope that InOBU's many mea culpas have been satisfactory, and we can move beyond this.

As for Executive Orders, Carol, my understanding is that an EO is intended to direct Executive branch members in matters that are within the purview of the Executive branch. They cannot legitimately be used to make new laws, or overrule either the Legislative or Judicial branches in matters that are within their purview. I don't doubt that this point has probably been "stretched" by the Executive from time to time, but that's my understanding of how these things are supposed to function.

Also Carol, I don't wish to belabor the point, but our society only really works if people in positions of authority have a backbone and a willingness to stand by their principles, even if they are concerned about some vague potential "consequences" down the road. This goes for Congressmen who may disagree with a popular President, and it also goes for lawyers who are expected to be zealous advocates for their clients. If your attorney told you that he was effectively willing to sacrifice your case so that he could avoid making the "old boy network" less hospitable in the future, you probably should have sought representation elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: CarolC
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 09:53 AM

He didn't sacrifice my case, Whistle Stop, but he (and I) had to go along with some provisions that were very problematic in the long run. Things worked out well in the end despite the way the deck was stacked, but it was a lot more difficult for me than it would have been for a man or someone with good connections, and I had to rely on my own resourcefullness a lot.

About your philosophy on leadership, I think in an ideal world, that is the way I would prefer to see things be done. But it sounds to me like you haven't spent very much of your life with your back up against the wall. That position gives one a whole different perspective.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: JedMarum
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 09:56 AM

Well let's just hope that justice finds these bastards on the battlefield. Then we don't have to worry about how they 'tried' by our legal processes.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 10:26 AM

Thanks for the explanation, Carol, but your assumptions about me are wrong. I have spent a good portion of my life with my "back up against the wall," so to speak, and a substantial amount of time in courtrooms -- including time spent as a defendant in juvenile court, civil and criminal courts, in a variety of situations where I did not have the upper hand. I also went through a divorce, custody proceedings, etc., and I know how difficult it is for both sides to obtain what they feel is justice. I spent eight years in the US military, never in combat but in some difficult and dangerous situations nonetheless. And I am now a government official, who has seen both bravery and cowardice in the public arena.

Elected officials have an important job to do, and if they aren't willing to do it, even at some risk to their careers, they should get the hell out. However, I also know that it is easy, and often tempting, to excuse one's failure to speak out by pointing to some vague and unseen threat or conspiracy that will target you for doing so. I personally do not believe that any Senator or Congressman in the country today has a great deal to fear from speaking out for what they believe is right concerning the Justice Department's current initiatives. They may find that they lose votes, and perhaps lose office, by expressing opinions that are at odds with the opinions of a majority of their constituents. But that's a price they should be willing to pay, don't you think?


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: InOBU
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 10:29 AM

THere was an excellent coment on the news this morning, actually two good observations, forget by whom, but that the Executive branch, the president directly has the power to bring someone before this tribunal, and the judges are beholden to the Pres. as the comander in chief, bad carreer move to find other than guilty. Also, as to our most sacred traditions, the British solders who fired on unarmed civilians at the Boston Massacre were defended by John Addams. They were aquitted. Again we should remember the words of Franklyn who said those who trade liberty for security deserve niether.
Let's be Americans again. It has been awhile.
Larry


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: SharonA
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 10:42 AM

Jed: It's not the bastards on the battlefield I'm worried about (by all means, they should be tried!). It's the average American citizen who happens to say the wrong thing at the wrong time, and winds up in front of a tribunal being condemned to death! I just don't want to see a return to the McCarthy era, with "terrorists" being substituted for "communist". I don't want a witch hunt.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: CarolC
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 10:45 AM

I guess you and I are not in substantial disagreement, Whistle Stop. Where we differ, I think, is that while I am willing, and I think people in positions of authority should be willing to stand up for what we/they believe under any circumstances, I also believe that we and they need to have the wisedom to know when the greater good will not be achieved if this is done.

For instance, had my attorney fought more vigorously in my case, he might have made my fight easier. But in so doing, he might have created a situation in which he would not be able to do the same thing for future clients.

About the politicians speaking on condition of anonymity, I'm not really in a position to know whether or not it was fear of losing votes or fear of reprisals that caused them to do this. But from my own experiences, of which the example I gave before is but one, I consider it a distinct possibility that they did it out of a fear of reprisals. I have worked for the government also. So I have some experience in that area as well.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 11:08 AM

I can't really speak to your case, Carol, since I know nothing about it except what little you have told me. I still suspect, based on your description of the events, that if your attorney truly felt you had a good case, he should have argued it case vigorously, regardless of any concern about how this would make his life more difficult in future cases. I have heard attorneys use this line of reasoning before, often insincerely ("well gee, I'd really like to do a better job for you, but it's the system, you know; I'll be persecuted for doing the right thing, and then I won't be able to help all those other poor unfortunates like yourself"). More often than not, in my opinion, that's a line of crap. If he didn't feel able to provide you with the representation you deserved, he should have said so, and resigned. If he felt that what you were seeking was inappropriate -- that your position maybe wasn't as sound or unambiguous as you felt it was -- he should have said that, too, rather than telling you that you're right but the "system" would retaliate against him for arguing your case vigorously. But again, all this is speculation, since I really don't know the particulars.

As for the reprisals that elected officials say they fear for voting their consciences, I would need to hear a more compelling argument about that to believe it. Just saying it anonymously to some reporter is not enough. We have a lot of people working for our government who are called upon to show real courage in the face of real danger -- our military, police, firefighters, and others. I think we should expect at least a minimal level of courage from our elected officials as well.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 08:19 PM

I have accepted InOBU's apology in an off-Mudcat e-mail. I only visit this site once a day, sometimes not as often, so I did not see it until about 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

Whistle Stop's explanation of executive orders, set forth above, was pretty accurate. To directly answer the question asked, however, it should be noted that Executive Orders may be issued by the President at any time without approval or review from any other authority. They stand either until the same or another President issues an order "repealing" the old order or until a Court declares that the particular order is unconstitutional because it exceeds the power of the Executive or for some other reason (and the President's people either decide not to take an appeal or exhaust their appeals).

I use the Esq. after my name because that has become the traditional designation of attorney status in this country. I only use it on Mudcat when I am posting on a legal subject so that readers will know that I am licensed in the field. I really do not care much for it, but it is a helpful shorthand.

Government concerns over secrecy are usually over-valued. An attorney who shares my office suite recently litigated a major "secret evidence" case involving a Palestinian immigrant. As is often the case, the "secret evidence" turned out to be nothing of any worth, simply a set of unsubstantiated and uncorroborated allegations made by his former wife. Once the "secret evidence" lost its secrecy cachet, it quickly became apparent that it proved nothing. The Government claimed that it wanted to protect its informants, when in fact it was covering up its unfair prosecution of a racially profiled immigrant. It was all a bit like the Emperor's New Clothes, except my colleague's client had to spend a long time sitting in jail.

Our government manages to prosecute all sorts of bad people and still permit those defendants to confront the witnesses against them. Consider prosecutions of organized crime including, in New Jersey, several mobs accused of running murderous operations. In the present emergency the government's veil of secrecy seems to be more designed to prevent us all from realizing how little they have been able to learn and how shallow their work has been in identifying the truly dangerous than it is to protect secret methods of investigation that work. The government should be more concerned about hiring good investigators who speak arabic or pashtun and who know something about international culture and worry less about covering up its failures. If a particular prosecution is so important that a hitherto secret agent needs to be revealed than that spy should be brought in from the cold and replaced with someone else. If it is not important enough to do that, then perhaps we just have to accept that some criminals will go free. It will hardly be the first time that the government has forgiven some crimes because in its view some other governmental purpose is more important than that particular conviction. Think of criminal informants, some of whom have been murderers. Think of Werner von Braun and other nazis that our government protected from prosecution.

Call me old fashioned, but I prefer to let a few guilty people get away with their crimes over ensnaring thousands of people that the authorities in their wisdom view as suspicious in a web of secrecy that is only tested in a secret trial. Due Process and Jury Trials are worth the cost of taking some because they beat the alternative.

I believe Winston Churchill once commented that anglo-american law and government created a terrible system in every way, except when compared to the various alternatives.

-Bennet D. Zurofsky, Esq.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: GUEST,InOBU Who lost his cookie...
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 07:43 AM

The other thing we should keep in mind is the concept of checks and ballences. Much of the concern over "terrorist" trials came after the US changed the rules of the game when trying IRA men in the US. The problem was that as a matter of policy, the executive branch of government concidered the IRA to be a terrorist organisation. The problem was, that in trials with jurries or with judges as the finders of fact, that alligation could not stand the scruteny and light of day that open trials brought to the issue.
I worked for many years in the firm with defended Joe Doherty. In numerous hearings, all before judges and panels of judges, the issue of the identification of the IRA and Joe in terms of terrorism where defeted, and as such, the executive branch chnaged the rules of the game and deported him to a nation to which the court ruled he could not be extradicted, under a standard of national interest which could not be challenged by a court.
Now, to those of you who believe, "I know what I know and don't bother me with the facts..." or "I don't believe there are any facts beyond those I get from the Times or the Daily News" and as such you are uncomfortable with the fact that exastive trials uncover truths which shake your comfidence in government, well in stead of changing your government, maybe you wish to have trials in the press by the press and save us all those judicial saleries.
Well, I am away to find my cookie, with thanks for the gracious understanding of my brother Bennet and best to all.
Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 02:04 PM

It appears that the congress is a bit upset over the Executive Order too. Even Congressman Bob Barr is objecting to it, and when he a Patrick Leahy agree on something, it would be well for the Bush administration to take a second look.

DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: CarolC
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 03:42 PM

I have said as much about it in this open forum as I care to, Whistle Stop, so I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: GUEST,Leprechaun
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 09:01 PM

Sounds to me like we got a lot of flag-burning anarchists out there who automatically assume a military court will be unfair. Did you know the military equivalent of Miranda warnings are more extensive than in civilian interrogations?

Leprechaun - arm of the oppressor


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: CarolC
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 09:07 PM

Do you consider Bob Barr a flag-burning anarchist, Leprechaun?


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 12:14 AM

Military justice is to justice what military music is to music.

--title of book by Robert Sherrill; quote attributed to Groucho Marx


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: GUEST,Larry of the lost cookie
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 07:29 AM

No my dear Leprichan, I think we have a number of American patriots on both sides of the issue, who feel that one should not neglect one's government when it is in error the same as one should not neglect one's children, to set both straight is an act of love.
Larry who someone has eaten his cookie...


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: kendall
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 08:41 AM

The idea of a gutless congress being afraid to go up against a popular president is something that scares me too. Remember how congress did nothing while Reagan ran up a 3 trillion dollar debt? When he got caught lying about Iran-Contre? and Arms for Hostages? How about when he invaded Grenada to get our minds of his recession? He was too popular with the voters, because they liked his "wit" and one liners. There are still those who want to build shrines to him. The Emperors new clothes.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 02:40 PM

Kendall: Ho Hum. :>) Reagan ain't president anymore.

Will somebody up there in NY send Larry a cookie? When you get it, Larry, try to hang on to it, okay?

DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: kendall
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 02:59 PM

neither is Clinton, but he still gets heat.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: kendall
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 04:09 PM

You missed the point Doug. On purpose?


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 04:14 PM

Si!

DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: GUEST,InOBU without Cookie:-(
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 05:19 PM

Trouble is DougR: I've been on a wee diet, and I get so hungery I keep eating my cookie... Larry the cookieless


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 06:07 PM

Larry, I assume you've tried clicking on "Membership" at the top, and selecting "Reset Cookie" ??? If you need help with the cookie reset, click here to e-mail me.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 09:14 PM

Aw shucks, Jeri! Larry SAID he's on a diet! :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 06:08 AM

THanks Jeri, email on the way... need more cookie! Larry


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: SharonA
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 09:38 AM

Kendall and DougR (re: popular Presidents): Kendall, when you refer to "the idea of a gutless congress being afraid to go up against a popular president", I take it that you assume that Dubya is a popular President??? Not!!! Let's not forget that he lost the popular vote, and he would have lost the electoral vote as well if the state of Florida had done a recount (as I think they should have!). Then we'd be discussing the popularity of Al Gore – what a concept!

IMO, the illusion of Dubya's popularity is due solely to the desire of the nation for solidarity in wartime and for the presentation of a united front to the rest of the world. I have no doubt that we will live to regret standing behind him unless we clearly draw the lines we won't let him cross.

Larry: I'm glad to read that Bennet was so understanding!
Bennet: Thanks for forgiving Larry (maybe now he'll RELAX?!?!?!?!). Also, thank you for directly answering my questions about executive orders!


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: LoopySanchez
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 10:48 AM

Sharon, where have you been? Every study since the election has shown that Bush would have won every recount that Gore attempted, unconstitutional as they were. I notice you don't mention what the recount results would have been if Gore had been successful in his attempts to throw out about 9,000 more military ballots. (He'd have won by a bunch...why didn't you point that out?) No mention either of the ten thousand or so voters in Florida's more conservative central time zone who turned around and went home en route to the polls, because the major media outlets called the election with an hour of voting still remaining. If that's not disenfrancisement, I don't know what is! I also notice there's no mention of the claim that black voters were prevented from voting...perhaps because Jesse "the candle-moth" Jackson could never find ONE PERSON who'd come foward and back up his allegations. The only disenfrancisement of black voters that's been proven invloved REPUBLICAN blacks (They do exist--about 22,000 in Florida), whose votes were FIFTY (50) times more likely to be thrown out than others.

As for the oft-regurgitated argument "Gore won the popular vote, so he should be president," I present the 1960 World Series. The Yankees outscored the Pirates by about 20 runs in the series, but the Pirates won 4 games, the Yankees won 3. By your system, the Yankees are the champs, right? It's about states won, not votes won.

Back to the main topic: I'm not for using a military tribunal for every suspected terrorist out there. But for the masterminds, I have no problem with war crimes being tried by a military court. (It's good enough for the members of our own military...They can be tried for acts of treason, and it's done in a military court! How kooky is that?) Why shouldn't members of a foreign military (which is what the Al Qaida is, for all practical purposes) be given the same treatment?


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: SharonA
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 03:24 PM

Loopy, I based my statement on the recent announcement that, if Gore had asked for and had been granted a recount of the entire state of Florida, he would have won by a very slim margin. Normally I would link you to an article in a news service, but since the article might someday disappear, I think it's important to reprint it here (please forgive the gobbling of bandwidth). This is from MSNBC, dated November 12, 2001:

-----------------------------------------------

BURIED TRUTH OF A FLAWED ELECTION
Florida votes, media spins, and a troubled world turns
By Eric Alterman, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR

If all the ballots cast in Florida had been correctly and fairly counted, Al Gore would have won, according to a report by the National Opinion Research Center.

NEW YORK, Nov. 12 —  You would never know it from the confused, pre-crash coverage in the nation's elite media Monday morning, but Al Gore beat George Bush in Florida by almost every vote-counting standard save the one that the Gore team managed to choose. This is consistent with the Democratic candidate's hapless campaign. The Supreme Court did not have to take the election away from Al Gore: he and his campaign gave it away themselves. And in doing so, they helped George W. Bush and his minions undermine American democracy.

No matter how you count it, if everyone who legally voted in Florida had had a chance to see their vote matter, Al Gore would be sitting in the Oval Office today.
MOST OF MONDAY'S headlines reporting the much-delayed results of the $900,000 study of more than 175,000 votes conducted for a consortium of eight news organizations by the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center (NORC) focus on the fact that when the Supreme Court issued its 5-4 decision handing the election to Bush — going so far as to reinterpret the law and refusing to allow its decision to be held as precedent — they were operating under a vote-counting scenario under which Bush would have prevailed. Indeed, Gore attorney David Boies, speaking before the court, explicitly ruled out a more inclusive recount of Florida's votes that not only would have elected his man, but would have been immeasurably more fair to the people of Florida who had a right to have their voices heard in determining their state's choice for president. Boies asked the Supreme Court to count "undervotes" but not "overvotes." Leave it to Al Gore to pick a legal team that fights tooth and nail against his best interests.

BURIED TRUTH
But buried beneath the deliberately misleading headlines on Monday is the inescapable fact that Al Gore was the genuine choice of a miniscule majority of Florida's voters as well as the victor by more than 540,000 votes nationally. On the other hand, George Bush would have won a recount using the "undercount only" scenario and so the Supreme Court majority that labored so torturously to hand Bush his "victory" dishonored itself for nothing. Al Gore professed a public desire to have Florida "count all the votes," but he never instructed his lawyers to demand the recount of all votes in all 67 counties that would have revealed his victory. (The award for most egregious misrepresentation goes to CNN.com for its headline that the results "showed George Bush winning even with a statewide recount." It showed nothing of the sort.)

Washington Post: Election 2000 was closer than close: Gore would also have won if Florida had managed to include the 113,000 ballots deemed to be spoiled by so-called "overvotes." Of these, more than 75,000 chose Gore and a minor candidate and just 29,000 chose Bush. Common sense demands that we admit that most of these voters were not supporters of either Patrick Buchanan or the Socialist Workers' Party. Again, Gore is the winner here by a significant majority. Moreover many overvotes were entirely legal. They simply weren't counted because a voter may have punched in Gore's name AND written it down to be certain the counter got the message. Gore never asked that these votes be counted, either.

MORE VOTES FOR GORE

Political parlance
Politics discussion board: As the Associated Press report put it, "In the review of all the state's disputed ballots, Gore edged ahead under all six scenarios for counting all undervotes and overvotes statewide." In other words, he got more votes than George Bush. Gore won under a strict-counting scenario and he won under a loose-counting scenario. He won if you count "hanging chads" and he won if you counted a "dimpled chad." He won if you counted a dimpled chad only in the presence of another dimpled chad on the same ballot — the so-called "Palm Beach" standard. He even won if you counted only a fully-punched chad. He won if you counted partially filled oval on an optical scan and he won if you counted only a fully-filled optical scan. He won if you fairly counted the absentee ballots. No matter how you count it, if everyone who legally voted in Florida had had a chance to see their vote matter, Al Gore would be sitting in the Oval Office today.

Of course these facts are of only academic interest. George Bush has been sworn in as president and the United States is at war and the media is not much interested in determining the democratic intent of the voters in an election already consigned to history. White House press secretary Ari Fleischer called the results "superfluous," adding, "The voters settled this election last fall, and the nation moved on a long time ago." Much of the national media apparently concurs. Indeed, they concurred even during the Florida recount. James A. Baker declared victory on behalf of his client, George W. Bush, on the basis of a faulty vote count and the media considered the rest of the story to be hardly more than wishful thinking and possibly self-hypnosis on the part of the Gore team. The narrative enjoyed a few interruptions of course, and required not only the Supreme Court to sustain it, but also what Paul Gigot of the Wall Street Journal termed a "bourgeois riot" by Republican operatives in Palm Beach county to shut down a vote that looked like it might go Gore's way. But it held.
PATRIOTIC DUTY?

The U.S. political system has produced virtually nothing to repair an antiquated election system that spends billions for advertising and almost nothing for accuracy.

One always had the impression that the major news outlets were reluctant to report the study in such a way that it injured Bush's shaky legitimacy. After Sept. 11, many seemed to feel it was their patriotic duty not to do anything to call into question the authority of the commander-in-chief. New York Times political reporter Richard Berke admitted as much when he wrote in his newspaper shortly after the attack that the NORC report on Florida now seemed "utterly irrelevant" and, had it been released too close to the World Trade Center attacks, "might have stoked the partisan tensions."

Obviously, those worries were for naught. The horrific crash of the American Airlines jetliner in Queens today ensures that even this study will receive next to no attention. But the ultimate price will not be insignificant. As recently as last week, according to the Gallup Organization, nearly half of Americans surveyed remain convinced that President Bush either "won on a technicality" or "stole the election." Even so, during the past year, the U.S. political system has produced virtually nothing to repair an antiquated election system that spends billions for advertising and almost nothing for accuracy. And in the election of 2000, it put the wrong man in the White House.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Eric Alterman is a columnist for The Nation and a regular contributor to MSNBC.com.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: SharonA
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 03:40 PM

P.S. - Loopy, if you can, access the Mudcat Radio program for July 3, 2001 and give a listen to my song about the election ("The Electoral College Alma Mater and Fight Song"). Where have I been? In my garret, writing stuff, silly!

As for your baseball metaphor: I am well aware that the popular vote does not determine an election. I was contending kendall's assertion that Bush is a popular President. So kin ya git yer foot off my throat now, and let me up? *G*


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 03:57 PM

Loopy: I can't find anything to refute in your statements.

SharonA: The dog would have caught the rabbit IF it hadn't stopped to pee. :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: GUEST,InOBU who needs a cookie
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 04:04 PM

Kinda worrysome when the concervative point of view in the US is opposed to open courts and counting the votes in an election. Not the nation I grew up in, even during the McCarthy era. In those dark days the hope for the future was that we still had open courts and elections where the votes where meant to be counted. Not that there was not electorial fraud, but no one defended the practice.
Cheers and still without a cookie
Larry


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: SharonA
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 04:07 PM

DougR: Huh??? Please explain your metaphor; you lost me again.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 05:04 PM

Simple: metaphor for Doug R: anal sphincter.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:21 PM

SusanA: I was referring to your statement of today's date at 3:24PM, "IF Gore had asked for and been granted a recount of the whole state ..." If, if , if,!

Just an old Texas "saying."

DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: GUEST,InOBU sans Cookie
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:28 PM

Don't you think the more important if, would be if Dubbleya had not opposed a recount, and the Supreme Ct demanded that all the votes in an American election be counted and count... maybe I was asleep during Social Studies class, but my recolection is that each vote in the nation is of great importance and value. Still without a cookie, though Jeri and others are trying, Larry


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: leprechaun
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 10:07 PM

YeeHaw! Got my cookie back!

Thank God George W Bush is our president in these troubled times. It we had gone with that seventh Florida recount and let Gore be president, we'd all be wearing robes of concealment and whimpering about why those nice Taliban people hate us so much.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 11:09 PM

leprechaun: How could you be so insensitive? Had Al stolen the election we would probably all be required to learn Arabic! **BG**

DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: InOBU
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 07:34 AM

Hi Lep... Sure you are not a clorachan? (Note that I didn't ask if the wee fellow was an amadan... one does not want to piss of the little folk...) Well, on a serrious note, yup, I can see why you would feel that way, after all, we all suffered through the most prosperous 8 years of American history the last Demopcratic presidency. Now, things are back to normal, the stock market is soaring downwards and civil rights are on the ropes. Ah yes, the American dream.
Larry


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: SharonA
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 12:51 PM

DougR: Oh! Thanks for clearing up the "dog and rabbit" saying.

Sharon A ;^) (That's okay; I get called "Susan" a lot) (As a mnemonic, just think of the song "My Sharona") (not "Old Susannah"!!!)


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 20 Nov 01 - 03:21 PM

Larry: The last news I heard, the stock market it going up. Nearing the 10,000 mark again as a matter of fact.

After listening to Tony Snow's interview with Attorney General Ashcroft on the Fox News Network this morning, the idea of having military courts try those accused of war crimes makes more sense to me.

1. No U. S. citizens would be tried by military courts.

2. Foreign terrorists should not be accorded the same civil rights as those enjoyed by citizens.

3. The military courts would try only cases related to the committing of war crimes.

That narrows the field down enough for me to see the logic of trying prisoners charged with committing a war crime in a military court.

DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: leprechaun
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 02:53 AM

I can understand some trepidation on the part of the our home-grown terrorists. Torching car dealerships, ski resorts and Ranger Stations reflects Osama's tactics on a smaller scale. In my community, it's quite apparent our local anarchists identify with al-Qaeda, whether they'll admit it or not. Maybe they're afraid the military tribunals won't be as easy to manipulate.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: SeanM
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 02:24 PM

Unfortunately, whatever justifications are lumped on the 'secret trials' decision, what it presents to a large number of people is the impression that the US is hiding things.

Given the acknowledgement that the CIA and the US Gov. were backing the elements that now make up the 'Al Qaeda' when they fought the USSR, it definitely gives me the impression that the secret trials are more for the supression of past US activities than any reason that has been officially given.

Besides, aren't we supposed to be the 'good guys' in this matter?

Or is revenge justified to the point that we frogmarch someone through a 'military tribunal' to salve the image of the country when we kill those tried?

M


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 03:00 PM

Well, the US is hiding things, and should be. We have all talked a great deal about the intelligence failures that preceded the September 11th attacks, and we all know that the government is trying to correct those failures. If and when the government brings an actual terrorist to trial for involvement in the September 11th attacks, it will be a result of successful intelligence work. Intelligence work involves handling secrets, obtained from secret sources, often at great personal risk. This is the primary reason why military tribunals might make sense in this context; they can control the information and protect the sources to a much greater degree than open civilian courts can.

This ability to keep secrets is the greatest strength, and the greatest weakness, of military tribunals. In this country, at this moment in history, I am reasonably confident that this option will be used sparingly, and the tribunals will know that they are being watched by people who are uncomfortable about this Executive Order. I think we should keep an eye on this, but for the time being I think the limited military tribunal option makes sense.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: LoopySanchez
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 03:35 PM

Sorry Sharon, didn't mean to put my foot on the ol' throat. Lord knows I've had enough folks try to step on my figurative vocal cords in some past threads, too. :-) I still contend that Bush is a popular president, but that rating will fade when the media decides it's time. Even a majority of Florida Democrats polled now prefer Bush over Gore in the wake of the 9/11 attack. But 2004 is a long way off, and I have no doubt that when the word is spoken by the Democratic leadership, the Big 3 networks and most newspapers will switch into full-blown "it's the economy stupid" mode. Hope they kept the manual from '92. Look for the shift to begin the day after Bin Laden meets his body bag.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 06:33 PM

Loopy: I suspect you're right. I expect any day now to see a message posted by Kendall that he no longer admires GWB.

DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: leprechaun
Date: 21 Nov 01 - 11:34 PM

inobu - I rarely use bleach, just regular detergent, except in October, when I use unscented laundry detergent. And I don't like those perfumey no-static dryer sheets either.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: CarolC
Date: 22 Nov 01 - 11:21 AM

Why October, leprechaun?


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: leprechaun
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 03:21 AM

Hunting season.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 27 Nov 01 - 10:15 PM

leprechaun: Funny.

DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: leprechaun
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 07:54 AM

Now waiting to be pilloried by the militant vegetarians.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 11:34 AM

Och Leprichan, Musha, Garsson, a Clorachan is a Leprichan who kidnaps folks to steal whiskey for him, not a detergent! When I was younger in west Kerry, most really good drunks contended that they were under the influence of Clorichans. As to militant veggies, it is nice to see we have some common ground, as it is about time to go after the Christmas Carabou around the Otway house, So we will get flamed together, and use the fire to roast some Carabou and Yorkshire pudd.
Cheers, Larry


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 11:54 AM

Larry: you're gonna EAT a Carabou??? I find that shocking! After all, that poor Carabou you plan to devour could be frolicking in the Anwar preserve, but no, you're gonna eat 'em! For shame! :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 01:25 PM

Well, I may have to settle for Buffalo, hardly settling! But, I can't eat beef, liver trouble, alergic to Beef. If Innu friends remember me, and there are folks coming to NY it is Carabou for dinner! But, well Carabou is to the Innu what Buffalo was to mid western Indians. I feel rather honnored that Innu often chose to share Carabou with me. The Carabou they hunt are still following the migration they have followed for millenia, for a great book about the other side of the same migration read "People of the Deer" by ... my brain just turned off, you know the fellow who wrote Grey Seas Under, and Cry Wolf, and all the other great books either about the sea or environment in Canada... where is my head today, we are talking about Military Tribunals, aren't we? I must be hungery! Farley Mowat! That's the fellow I am trying to remember.... I beter go get lunch. Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: CarolC
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 01:44 PM

One of the reasons for leaving the Anwar preserve unspoiled, DougR, is so that there can be caribou, still, for the Innu people to eat.


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: mousethief
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 01:50 PM

Oh, no, we're back to the "liberal media" big lie. Spare us.

Alex


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: CarolC
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 01:54 PM

What are you talking about, Alex?


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: mousethief
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 03:00 PM

I dunno. I thought I read a post that said something about the democrats telling the Big 3 networks what to say. But I see now it's pretty old.

Never mind. No need for the big guy to get out of his chair, I'll find the door myself.

Alex


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: CarolC
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 04:50 PM

What big guy? Is he any good at opening pickle jars?


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: mousethief
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 06:05 PM

It's beginning to look a lot like thread drift....

Everybody sing along!

-Alex


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: CarolC
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 06:11 PM

Everywhere you go!


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: DougR
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 08:10 PM

Sunshine follows you!


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: leprechaun
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 08:34 AM

Hail to the carnivores! If I can get folks to steal whiskey for me, I'll be a clorochan!


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Subject: RE: POL: Dumbya's Star Chamber
From: InOBU
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 10:34 AM

Well, Lep... the trick is to find someone who sneezes three times without being blessed, jump on their back and their yours... or that is how I was told the story goes when I was a ween. Good luck. Larry
PS I also seem to rememeber Clorichans and Leprichans have different colored jackets, both are not red, as a Fear Yerrig is a completly different fellow. Cheers again, Larry


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