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Two Standards of Detention

Posted on Jul 8, 2009

By Amy Goodman

  Scott Roeder, the anti-abortion zealot charged with killing Dr. George Tiller, has been busy. He called the Associated Press from the Sedgwick County Jail in Kansas, saying, “I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal.” Charged with first-degree murder and aggravated assault, he is expected to be arraigned July 28. AP recently reported that Roeder has been proclaiming from his jail cell that the killing of abortion providers is justified. According to the report, the Rev. Donald Spitz of the Virginia-based Army of God sent Roeder seven pamphlets defending “defensive action,” or killing of abortion clinic workers.

  Spitz’s militant Army of God Web site calls Roeder an “American hero,” proclaiming, “George Tiller would normally murder between 10 and 30 children ... each day ... when he was stopped by Scott Roeder.”

  The site, with biblical quotes suggesting killing is justified, hosts writings by Paul Hill, who killed Dr. John Britton and his security escort in Pensacola, Fla., and by Eric Rudolph, who bombed a Birmingham, Ala., women’s health clinic, killing its part-time security guard.

  On Spitz’s Web site, Rudolph continues to write about abortion: “I believe that deadly force is indeed justified in an attempt to stop it.”

  Juxtapose Roeder’s advocacy from jail with the conditions of Fahad Hashmi.

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  Hashmi is a U.S. citizen who grew up in Queens, N.Y., and went to Brooklyn College. He went to graduate school in Britain and was arrested there in 2006 for allegedly allowing an acquaintance to stay with him for two weeks. That acquaintance, Junaid Babar, allegedly kept at Hashmi’s apartment a bag containing ponchos and socks, which Babar later delivered to an al-Qaida operative. Babar was arrested and agreed to cooperate with the authorities in exchange for leniency.

  While the evidence against Hashmi is secret, it probably stems from the claims of the informant Babar.

  Fahad Hashmi was extradited to New York, where he has been held in pretrial detention for more than two years. His brother Faisal described the conditions: “He is kept in solitary confinement for two straight years, 23- to 24-hours lockdown. ... Within his own cell, he’s restricted in the movements he’s allowed to do. He’s not allowed to talk out loud within his own cell. ... He is being videotaped and monitored at all times. He can be punished ... denied family visits, if they say his certain movements are martial arts ... that they deem as incorrect. He has Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) ... against him.”

  Hashmi cannot contact the media, and even his lawyers have to be extremely cautious when discussing his case, for fear of imprisonment themselves. His attorney Sean Maher told me: “This issue of the SAMs ... of keeping people in solitary confinement when they’re presumed innocent, is before the European Court of Human Rights. They are deciding whether they will prevent any European country from extraditing anyone to the United States if there is a possibility that they will be placed under SAMs ... because they see it as a violation ... to hold someone in solitary confinement with sensory deprivation, months before trial.”

  Similarly, animal rights and environmental activists, prosecuted as “eco-terrorists,” have been shipped to the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ new “communication management units” (CMUs). Andrew Stepanian was recently released and described for me the CMU as “a prison within the actual prison. ... The unit doesn’t have normal telephone communication to your family ... normal visits are denied ... you have to make an appointment to make one phone call a week, and that needs to be done with the oversight of ... a live monitor.”

  Stepanian observed that up to 70 percent of CMU prisoners are Muslim—hence CMU’s nickname, “Little Guantanamo.” As with Hashmi, it seems that the U.S. government seeks to strip terrorism suspects of legal due process and access to the media—whether in Guantanamo or in the secretive new CMUs. The American Civil Liberties Union is suing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Bureau of Prisons over the CMUs.

  Nonviolent activists like Stepanian, and Muslims like Hashmi, secretly and dubiously charged, are held in draconian conditions, while Roeder trumpets from jail the extreme anti-abortion movement’s decades-long campaign of intimidation, vandalism, arson and murder.

  Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

  Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 750 stations in North America. She is the co-author of “Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times,” recently released in paperback.

  © 2009 Amy Goodman

  Distributed by King Features Syndicate



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By sumguy, July 15, 2009 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

here in oregon, there are no privately-run, for-profit prisons, but the courts send people to prison faster than the state can build new ones. mandatory minimums are a DA’s best friend. people will plead guilty to a crime they did not commit rather than face the POSSIBILITY of seven or eight Measure 11 (mandatory sentences)charges being piled up against them. no one seems to be able to stop this train.

also, judges just don’t care about the law anymore. they’ll say so in open court. here’s how i heard it at my own trial “That’s something to work out in appeals.” which means that the judge was going to send me to prison and if i wanted a fair hearing, i’d have to take it up with the higher courts.

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By DBM, July 14, 2009 at 5:17 am Link to this comment

I stand corrected ... although the reason I found it “disturbing” was that I wasn’t sure if Rodney was speaking his own mind or if he was quoting an outrageous position ...

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By Xntrk, July 13, 2009 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

DBM, You seemed concerned that Rodney had somehow gotten lost in cyber space, yet, if you carefully read his post, it is obvious [at least to me] that it is directly to the point.

>>By rodney, July 13 at 2:15 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

He is a hero to the white race. He prevented choice be killing the health care of women who choose to terminate their pregnacy. Mostly white women. He probvably has filet minon and cable
tv for his efforts<<

What it is not, is intellectually framed and edited for context and errors. “...He prevented choice be [sic] killing the health care of women who choose to terminate their pregnacy [sic].>>”

This article which started all these comments, begins: Scott Roeder, the anti-abortion zealot charged with killing Dr. George Tiller, has been busy. He called the Associated Press from the Sedgwick County Jail in Kansas, saying, “I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal.”...

Rodney could not be clearer, it’s just that he is far more emotional than most of are in our posts. When you consider that Dr. Tiller’s Clinic is closed, making especially difficult abortions even more difficult to get, though they are legal, perhaps there is good reason to be emotional. Could be that someone he [or she] cares deeply about is at risk because this type of intervention has been blocked in the Mid-West.

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By DBM, July 13, 2009 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

Pitleaper / Literacy,

A simple misunderstanding on the muslim / environmentalist thing ... not worth harsh criticism. 

However, I would suggest that before asking something like “who is x anyway?” that you make use of this tool at your fingertips.  A search on “Andrew Stepanian environment” probably gives you what you need to know.

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By pitleaper, July 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

Hi Literacy.  I’m glad I gave you a platform to vent. First, you are right and I was wrong.  I misinterpreted the “Muslim/Environmental terrorist” connection. My fault, no excuse.

Secondly, of course I come to this site with a bias; as do you. As for me being a part of a determined effort to undermine “liberal” sites; you missed that mark completely.

I do believe, however that the article had some serious flaws.  Andrew Stepanian may be familiar to you, but I’ve never heard of him.  What would be the harm of putting at least a parenthetical phrase describing who he is? What was he imprisoned for? The omission of such a common journalistic practice causes me to wonder.

If he tried to save an endangered species (for example) by peacefully protesting the draining of a swamp, that’s totally different from (for example) making plans to blow up the building of the contractor hired to drain the swamp. 

My bona fides are the same as yours; I occasionally like to comment on an article that I feel strongly about.

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By DBM, July 13, 2009 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

Rodney (if you ever come back to this) ... you appear to have posted to the wrong article ... or maybe even the wrong site?

This is a non sequitur! (albeit disturbing)

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By literacy, July 12, 2009 at 11:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To pitleaper:  Firstly, the article above neither suggested, nor stated in any way, that the “environmental activists” were Muslim.  It stated that the CMU’s contained Muslims (majority) AND “eco-terrorists” (minority).  Secondly:  What are his “bona-fides”?  Well, judge not lest ye be judged… therefore, what, exactly, pray tell, are YOUR bona fides?  It’s interesting…. I’ve read a lot of articles, and a lot of (too many) follow ups in the comments section… and what I find very, VERY interesting is this:  there usually (especially on Truthdig) is at least one person in the comments section, who (for whatever personal/political reasons) misinterprets the ENTIRE article in question, then follows up with the most logically fallacious reading of the article.  Generally, this type of “illogical logical” appeals to the lowest common denominator of blogger.  Yet, effective enough (apparently) to “preach to the choir” (the choir being anyone with a bias preceding the reading of the article).  Is there a trend I see here?  Are there this many “illogical logicians” out there…. or is there someone, somewhere, out there in cyber-land, working to undermine certain “liberal” sites by regurgitating similar fallacies for every article (regardless of content).  Hmm.  Makes you wonder…

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By rodney, July 12, 2009 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He is a hero to the white race. He prevented choice be killing the health care of women who choose to terminate their pregnacy. Mostly white women. He probvably has filet minon and cable
tv for his efforts

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By DBM, July 12, 2009 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA,

I certainly hope no-one has to be caught and killed.  I think it would be a good start to get rid of a few institutions that appear to be working against the interests of the rest of the world.  I would put the military industrial complex at the top of that list but I think Health Insurance might be an easier target.  It is a lot easier to drum up faux patiotism than it is to excite people about paying through the nose for ever decreasing access to health care.

Fight the battles peacefully and hopefully the war will never be necessary.  I would point out that the establishment is pretty overpowering when the contest is one of violence.  If you want to defeat them you have to change the game ...

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By MarthaA, July 12, 2009 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

DBM,

Without mass awareness none of this will ever happen.  History shows that revolution does happen and when it happens it will be like an explosion and all the offenders of the American Aristocracy and the Professional Middle Class that can be caught will be killed.  When awareness in the masses reach a critical mass, and it appears the RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICANS, the DLC/PROFESSIONAL MIDDLE CLASS, the echo-chamber of the media and all their minions are going to push until critical mass happens, those who stand in the way will either stand down or die; this is the way of things, and I am certain than no one wants this to happen, but history proves it to be so.

However, it is up to those who would push their control for greedy benefit to stand down before things get to mass revolutionary change forced by mass armed revolt of the masses.

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By DBM, July 12, 2009 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA,

You may be right but IMHO it would be nice if things really worked that way.  Getting 70% of the population to recognise their own self-interest has not proved easy but it happens.  The problem is that with enough money, 70% or 90% is not a problem.

The best current example is Health care where, co-incidentally, 70% of the population recognise that it would be in their best interests to have “single payer” government run health care without the involvement of health insurance companies whose interests are in denying health care.  But money speaks ... so no loss of profits to the health insurance industry will be considered even if it strangles the entire economy. 

I would argue that 70% of the population would be against violent foreign policy if they were presented with an alternative.  But the military contractors have profits to make and lobbyists of their own.  So alternative foreign policy options won’t be presented anytime soon either.

Start with campaign finance reform and breaking up consolidated media groups and I think you’ll have more success.

Again ... just an opinion!  grin

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By MarthaA, July 12, 2009 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

Xntrk,

People for the most part are sleepers, in a “frog in hot water” like hypnotic state, able to jump out, but passively enduring until death.  These people will argue against their best interest until their death and the only way to break them out of their state is to pepper them with truth and reality for awareness; they will get them angry, but in getting angry they will become aware, so that the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION can think of their own best interest and get themselves out of supporting the eccentric position of the CONSERVATIVE RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST REPUBLICANS that are against the best interests of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION.

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By DBM, July 11, 2009 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

Thanks Ardee for the info re prison location. 

While it’s fine to hear that madoff will not be in a “white collar” prison, the most disturbing thing in his case (and with say Ken Lay) is that his family will never have to work in their lives while his victims will be packing groceries and flipping burgers in their “retirement”.

Still, a few more prosecutions on Wall St would not go amiss in establishing a deterent for what are far more than misdemeanours ...

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By Xntrk, July 11, 2009 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

Scarier yet - And I have not seen an article about it anywhere, btw; was the Nation-Wide, joint operation by Federal Marshals and local cops to round up ‘fugitives. Over 8000 were arrested. Supposedly, these were violent criminals and drug pushers. But, the only case mentioned in one article was the arrest of a white-collar criminal, and not someone with the clout of Maddof.

Once upon a time, the feds were forbidden to act as a National Police Force. Since the War on Drugs and 9-11, they know no boundaries. Things that once were local crimes are now federal ones. With the limitation against the Death Penalty spreading, more cases wind up in Federal Courts because they can [and do] use it.

Here in Hilo, a college kid made some bottle bombs and tied them in trees at 3:00 a.m. That would have been a prank in any sensible society. He was tried with ‘terroristic threats’ or some such BS in Federal Court and sentenced to 5 years probation. The good news was he’ll not have a record if he behaves. The bad news is that he was charged with anything more than a misdemeanor Disturbing the Peace.

Someone set one on the road by my house at 6 a.m. I didn’t call the cops. I just picked up the rubbish, which how I know what it was. I thought it was just an M-80, also illegal of course.

People can talk about Freedom and Democracy all they want, but we are living in an increasingly militarized country. The way to control the public is to make all these things illegal and then charge a few people, and lock them up. The message is heard by all. It worked for Hitler and Stalin, and it works for us too, we just lie about it [for now].

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By ardee, July 11, 2009 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

“I’d be surprised if Bernie Madoff spent time in Attica ... and I doubt very much that the two judges who took money to falsely imprison people were subject to SAMs!”

Convicted criminals are placed in correctional institutions based upon a rather complicated formula involving length of sentence, severity of the crime, family’s geographic location ( to make visits easier) and other factors.

Maddof will never see a white collar prison with tennis courts due to the length of his sentence alone. He will probably be placed in a mid level security location because of his vulnerability with respect to other prisoners, isolation probably.

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By DBM, July 11, 2009 at 1:56 am Link to this comment

Excellent article Amy (and a good interview on Democracy Now! with Fahad Hashmi’s brother).  Also, I agree whole-heartedly with Baukunin’s about for-profit prisons. 

The case of the two judges taking kick-backs directly for putting young offenders in specific facilities is but the most obvious case of “imprisonment for profit” which has been caught to date.  There have been numerous people with conflict of interests based on legislative influence and investment in private prisons (including - not surprisingly - Dick Cheney).


However, it is also true that this is all part of a class struggle.  I’d be surprised if Bernie Madoff spent time in Attica ... and I doubt very much that the two judges who took money to falsely imprison people were subject to SAMs!

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By ardee, July 10, 2009 at 3:21 am Link to this comment

Baukunin, July 9 at 5:50 pm #

Am excellent addition to the conversation, but the abuses of long and prejudicial prison sentencing has been ongoing long before the arrival of private prisons for profit.

I offer that these are a natural outgrowth of capitalism gone wild and the practice of lobbying to purchase legislation favorable to the increase of profit.

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By Baukunin, July 9, 2009 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find it odd that no one has commented on the most significant force for expansion of the prison industrial complex in the US and other English-speaking countries around the world: The for-profit prison industry. 

Led by the Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group, they have lobbied to put tens of thousands of harmless undocumented workers in endless detention. They have increased criminal sanctions as well as helping to throw a wider net to capture ever more offenders. They do this alone, in coalition with others and especially through the American Legislative Exchange Council, where they write draconian legislation for conservative legislators around the US to bring home and sponsor in their respective legislatures.

If we can’t all call attention to the corporate profit motive in all this, where indeed shall we find such a critique?

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By JohannG, July 9, 2009 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

Great reporting. Our government’s hysteric and stupid reaction to the events of 9/11 has (and still is) a study of ineptness. Keeping non-violent crime suspects in solitary confinement for years is barbaric and counterproductive. Just as murder suspect Scott Roeder has access to the outside world, so should every suspected criminal. Transparency and openness are the necessary conditions for any Democracy. Support the ACLU’s efforts to provide these.

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By Folktruther, July 9, 2009 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

The ideology of Rugged Individualism, Ardee, is a major reason the American people are so atomized and can’t unite to mobilize against oppressive power.  The ideology is in conflict with the sense of community necessary to identify with the common good. \

bourgeois individualism, as marxists refer to it, is extolled by the business class to justify their bloodthirsty robbery and domination.  It was legiitmated in Educated circles by social Darwinism and has been used ideologically to legitimate US predatory policies by corporate persons.

Kids often join gangs for self defense, since being isolated on school buses and playgrounds can be dangerous.  The American ideology of each against all, ‘Rugged Individualism’ extols the infantile notions of Aamericans, expressed in the silliness of Ayn Rand, that if everyone is selfish, the good of all results.  You have to be from New Jersey to believe something like this.

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By NYCartist, July 9, 2009 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

This is a good article.  It is also a good jumping off
point to look at prison conditions for all prisoners.
I have had several pen-pals who are incarcerated, some
have been released.  One pen-pal of 5 years has just been denied parole, “due to original” crime, which is the justification given in NYS for not using parole for several years.  My pen-pal is disabled, since being shot in the back by the police, unarmed.  I recently learned that someone in his facility was just denied medical parole with an estimated 6 months to live, due to cancer.

  A huge number of people in NYS are in prison for
nonviolent drug charges, which are heavily enforced against African-Americans and Latinos, but not enforced against whites, who are the majority of drug users.  The Rockefeller Drug laws are only slightly changed in this last couple of years and few will be released for time served or have their long long sentences reduced.  (Need I point out the NYS legislature as cited as the worst legislature in the US, by the Brennan Law Center?)

  Prison conditions are terrible for people with disabilities, in particular.  Mentally disabled are locked up for minor offenses that would normally be charged as misdemeanors.  (See the American Friends Service Committee Prison Project; just google) Angela Davis is doing lots of work on prison reform.

  In NYS, for example, the prisons are not usually wheelchair accessible, in housing or programs for prisoners.  This makes it difficult for someone who wants to go to programs to “better themselves” and have a good record for parole.  The health care in prisons is awful.  My pen-pal wrote that he was seen by a doctor, the only one for the prison, who was a gynecologist - in a men’s prison.  At the moment,
my pen-pal is having great difficulty finding any advocacy group to help get wheelchair access in prisons.  He has constantly been moved, each place saying it’s wheelchair accessible, but not.  That includes beds which are metal chained to the wall, with no one to aid someone to get in and out of bed, shower, etc. as well as no yard facilities for wheelchair users in many places.

  One of the worst, is the keeping of mentally disabled people in solitary confinement.  Happens too often and for too long. 

  It is done with political prisoners, and many Muslims in detention. 

  There is a good radio show, “Where We Live”, WBAI hosted by Sally O’Brien on political prisoners and related topics.  Her former co-host was Rosa Clemente, yes, the former VP candidate in 2008.
Rosa Clemente has been supporting the dissidents, the
“fired and banned” of WBAI ... see http://www.wbixradio.org
and the ON-DEMAND section for videos.  The website is produced by Don DeBar who also produces the new
website WBAIX WBAI-in-Exile http://www.wbaix.org 

    WBAIX is currently featuring an interview with Cynthia McKinney, done at JFK airport, July 7, 2009 where McKinney is discussing her prison conditions in Israel, from where she has just returned. http://www.wbaix.org  A short segment with McKinney was on DemocracyNow yesterday at the end of the show.
The interview on WBAIX is fuller.  McKinney points out the prison conditions she encountered in Israel.
She also went four days in prison without any shower.

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By ardee, July 9, 2009 at 3:18 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 9 at 1:23 am #

I do not accept “rugged individualism” as a reason for disproportionate prison sentences, or as a reason for crimes in general.

My definition of that phrase would be one who refuses to stray because things are tough. Rather than rugged one must succumb to desperation and despair to commit oneself to a life of petty crime. Kids join gangs, not because they are individuals but because they are desperate to belong to something.

Rugged individuals are increasingly rare in our society anyway I fear.

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By Folktruther, July 8, 2009 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment

You don’t list, ardee, in the reasons for rates of US imprisonment the enormuous economic inequality and the lack of an institutionalized class struggle that give people collective hope. Rugged individualism under those conditions leads to criminality.

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By Xntrk, July 8, 2009 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

Everyone seems to be in agreement that Justice is lacking in the US. But, in the list of Crimes Against Humanity, don’t forget the lengthy list of political prisoners held in penitentiaries around this Land of the Free:

Leonard Peltier; Mumia Abdul-Jamal; The Angola Three; The Cuban Five; are just a beginning of the names we should honor and fight for on a daily basis.

Never forget that these men rot in jail wile terrorists like Luis Posada-Cariles, Ollie North, Rumsfeld, et al, are feted at dinners and fund-raisers in their honor.

The ‘Rule of Law’ is honored only by its absence in the “Home of the Brave”.

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By pitleaper, July 8, 2009 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

I’m not buying this story.  Seems like a lot was left out to make a political point.  If most of the prisoners in the “CMU’s” are Muslim, something else is going on not reported. These are animal rights and environmental activists and mostly Muslim?  Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

Who is Andrew Stepanian and why can he be trusted to tell the truth?  What are his bona fides?

Seems like an example of telling a partial truth(s) to make a point.

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By ThomasG, July 8, 2009 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

I support due process of law and oppose indefinite detention; I encourage the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION to call the White House at (202)456-1111 and express their support for due process of law and opposition to indefinite detention; it is in our best interest and the best interest of the United States to do so.

I for one have expressed my views about being opposed to indefinite detention to the White House, and I strongly encourage everyone else to express their opposition to indefinite detention because I strongly support due process of law.

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By ardee, July 8, 2009 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 8 at 8:25 pm #

Due process died in the flames of 9/11, which was the pretext for an unacknowledged political revolution in the US which militarized US policy.  The Bushite initiated revolution is being continued by Obama.
...............................

While there is much truth to this assertion due process never really was evident in our judicial system. Minority lawbreakers always get far longer sentences than do whites convicted of the same crimes. There has always been a bias against the poor, the marijuana user and anyone who cannot afford high priced legal representation.

“The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

Indeed, the United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes — from writing bad checks to using drugs — that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations.

Criminologists and legal scholars in other industrialized nations say they are mystified and appalled by the number and length of American prison sentences.

The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation, according to data maintained by the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College London.

China, which is four times more populous than the United States, is a distant second, with 1.6 million people in prison. (That number excludes hundreds of thousands of people held in administrative detention, most of them in China’s extrajudicial system of re-education through labor, which often singles out political activists who have not committed crimes.)

San Marino, with a population of about 30,000, is at the end of the long list of 218 countries compiled by the center. It has a single prisoner.

The United States comes in first, too, on a more meaningful list from the prison studies center, the one ranked in order of the incarceration rates. It has 751 people in prison or jail for every 100,000 in population. (If you count only adults, one in 100 Americans is locked up.)

The only other major industrialized nation that even comes close is Russia, with 627 prisoners for every 100,000 people. The others have much lower rates. England’s rate is 151; Germany’s is 88; and Japan’s is 63.

The median among all nations is about 125, roughly a sixth of the American rate.

There is little question that the high incarceration rate here has helped drive down crime, though there is debate about how much.

Criminologists and legal experts here and abroad point to a tangle of factors to explain America’s extraordinary incarceration rate: higher levels of violent crime, harsher sentencing laws, a legacy of racial turmoil, a special fervor in combating illegal drugs, the American temperament, and the lack of a social safety net. Even democracy plays a role, as judges — many of whom are elected, another American anomaly — yield to populist demands for tough justice.

Whatever the reason, the gap between American justice and that of the rest of the world is enormous and growing.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/world/americas/23iht-23prison.12253738.html

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By Folktruther, July 8, 2009 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

Due process died in the flames of 9/11, which was the pretext for an unacknowledged political revolution in the US which militarized US policy.  The Bushite initiated revolution is being continued by Obama.

In a CommonDreams piece today, Glenn Greenwald reports that the DOD’s general counsel stated that Obama had the power to imprison people EVEN IF A COURT STATED THEY WERE INNOCENT OF THE CHARGES.  There is no due process law in the US any more, especially if you are Muslim.  IF the powerful do it, that means that it is legal.

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By hippie4ever, July 8, 2009 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

Lots of examples of separate and unequal in the prison system: the “country clubs” for white collar criminals, while poor and mostly minority prisoners serve time in hell holes like San Quentin, Attica, Leavenworth, Sing Sing.

I assume a militarist state like ours, run by oligopolists, engaging in “shock and awe” and perpetual war, is capable of anything, Amy, so I’m not surprised but a big thank you for all the real news you report.

The penal system shuts down progressive activists while allowing Neo-Nazis like Roeder and Rudolph privileges to spread their hate and lies. It just seems so consistent with the rubbish the Rulers choose to believe in, their Capitalist God and that spinning 24-Hour Jesus Neocon media. These Neos never go after the big guys, unlike ALF or PETA, so preferential treatment is the order of the day. They’re harmless—they just kill liberals.

The state understands that prisons are institutions of higher learning; therefore any lefty activist facing incarceration will be isolated because they last thing the American Junta wants is a leftist perspective disseminated among the incarcerated community.

I have heard prison builds solidarity, loyalty and trust among the various gangs. This is something lacking in life on the outside, or as Eldridge Cleaver penned, “minimum security.” Well, poverty and unemployment/underemployment also breeds solidarity. Change is coming…I feel it in my poor hippie arthritic bones.

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By godistwaddle, July 8, 2009 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Gee, Christians are lying, hypocritical filth. Wow!! What a concept!!  By the way, take your favorite Christ-tard and compare him/her to the requirement for being a sheep rather than a goat in the famous analogy. 

Christians claim to follow the teachngs of Jesus.  ROFLMAO

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