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Month: August 2002

Judge Kessler's decision

While I’m on the subject, Judge Kessler’s decision is now available from FindLaw. It’s a PDF document. It warms my heart:

“Difficult times such as these have always tested our fidelity to the core democratic values of openness, government accountability, and the rule of law. The Court fully understands and appreciates that the first priority of the executive branch in a time of crisis is to ensure the physical security of its citizens. By the same token, the first priority of the judicial branch must be to ensure that our Government always operates within the statutory and constitutional constraints which distinguish a democracy from a dictatorship.”

What she said.

Joe Biden's week for news

It must be Joe Biden’s (D-Del) week for attacking civil liberties. This time round, he’s sponsoring a bill that would criminalize raves. It’s already a felony to knowingly house and profit from a drug enterprise; OK, I have no real issues with that other than my general feelings about the War on Drugs (which are negative).

However, extending that law to cover people who throw raves seems sketchy — yes, there are going to be drugs at raves. But there have also been drugs at every rock concert I’ve ever been to in my life. You can’t hold promoters responsible for drug use in the culture; they didn’t create the culture.

Prosecutors in related cases have argued that the venues sell items associated with rave drug culture. Glow sticks. But glow sticks don’t cause drug use, nor are they drug paraphenalia. Both drugs and glow sticks are part of rave culture. What’s next — going after clothing stores that sell rave fashion?

Assassination for fun and victory

Time to go to the the assassination strategy, apparently. Rumsfeld has reportedly given the U.S. Special Ops command direct orders to go after the top leadership of al Qaeda, under their own guidance rather than under the authority of Central Command. It makes a sort of sense, for a country traumatized by civilian deaths; now is probably the best time to switch to an assassination strategy, because we’re so aware of collateral damage (and are finding out that we inflict quite a bit ourselves).

Of course, one still assumes that we would become distressed if England sent SAS into the US to take down IRA leaders living over here. Our leadership continues to neglect the acid test: would we mind if someone else did that to us?

Free the 9/11 thousand!

Judge Gladys Kessler just ruled that the federal government must release the names of everyone who’s been arrested and detained in the course of the September 11th investigations. I can’t find the decision itself online, but I’ll keep an eye out for it.