Tuesday, August 27, 2002
"DEMOCRACIES DIE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS"
Here are some extraordinary quotes from a case against Ashcroft decided yesterday regarding the custody of Rabih Haddad, a Muslim clergyman from Michigan held since last December.
Michigan newspapers and John Conyers filed suit against Atty General Ashcroft to prevent the Bush administration from holding hundreds of deportation in secret, based only on the government's word that the plaintiff was dangerous enough to warrant such treatment.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decided unanimously against the Ashcroft and Bush.
You can find the entire opinion here.
"In our democracy, based on checks and balances, neither the Bill of Rights nor the judiciary can second-guess government's choices. The only safeguard on this extraordinary governmental power is the public, deputizing the press as the guardians of their liberty."
"Today, the Executive Branch seeks to take this safeguard away from the public by placing its actions beyond public scrutiny. Against non-citizens, it seeks the power to secretly deport a class if it unilaterally calls them "special interest" cases. The Executive Branch seeks to uproot people's lives, outside the public eye, and behind a closed door."
"Democracies die behind closed doors. The First Amendment, through a free press, protects the people's right to know that their government acts fairly, lawfully, and accurately in deportation proceedings. When government begins closing doors, it selectively controls information rightfully belonging to the people. Selective information is misinformation."
"The Framers of the First Amendment 'did not trust any government to separate the true from the false for us.' They protected the people against secret government."
"Even though the political branches may have unfettered discretion to deport and exclude certain people, requiring the Government to account for their choices assures an informed public -- a foundational principle of democracy."
"The public's interests are best served by open proceedings. A true democracy is one that operates on faith - faith that government officials are forthcoming and honest, and faith that informed citizens will arrive at logical conclusions. This is a vital reciprocity that America should not discard in these troubling times."
posted by Zentronix @ 8:31 AM
Monday, August 26, 2002
The industry still sucks. [What took so long for everyone in the mainstream press to figure this out?] Check this piece in Slate by Mark Jenkins for the latest industry-bashing.
posted by Zentronix @ 9:13 AM
Sunday, August 25, 2002
The Justice Department reported today that the U.S. correctional population has hit a record high. If you want actual numbers, that's about 6.6 million men and women in the correctional population, either incarcerated or otherwise in the system.
posted by Zentronix @ 8:04 PM
Thursday, August 22, 2002
Hey yall. I'm still settling into my place in Berkeley and missing Brooklyn. Also working with a dial-up until the broadband folks can link me up. In the meantime, here's a fantastic piece from a good friend Todd Inoue on Yao Ming, Apolo Ohno, Ben Kim, and Asian Americans rooting for Asian athletes. Check it out!
posted by Zentronix @ 2:51 PM
Monday, August 05, 2002
Hey everyone. I haven't disappeared. Just in the process of moving back to the Bay Area. In the meantime, here's the Open Society Institute's website on our panel, move the crowd: the emergence of hip-hop activism two weeks back. Check it out and let me know what you think. Peace...
posted by Zentronix @ 2:11 PM
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