The court's ruling in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, No. 08-1498 effectively eliminates dissent where there might be questions as to what constitutes a terrorist. by Walt Thiessen
Monday, June 21, 2010
The 6-3 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, No. 08-1498 effectively creates a new class of people: Unpersons. These are people who have the temerity to disagree with U.S. government's designations of certain persons and groups as terrorists. The ruling effectively makes it a crime to attempt to make peace with such people. It eliminates, from a legal perspective, the basic human rights of anyone who disagrees with the U.S. government. In effect, such dissenters become Unpersons.
It's worth noting that it was only the "horrible liberals" on the court who stood against this ruling: Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor. It's also worth noting that it was the conservatives who supported this horrible ruling. Let those who love to claim that conservatism is equivalent to liberty put this ruling into their pipes and smoke it.
Now, the next, great step to expect from the U.S. government is to start designating its political opponents as terrorists. Once that happens, it will be perfectly legal, by this ruling, to lock up one's political opposition, without trial, without bringing a single charge in court, without any judicial interference whatsoever. All the government has to do is to declare those opponents to be terrorists.
And remember...there are no requirements for proving that such persons are terrorists. The government only needs to declare it. That is all.
If you think this won't happen, guess again. It may be many years before it happens, but you can bet your bottom, worthless dollar that it will happen eventually. It's only a question of when. If the events since 9/11 have taught us anything, they have taught us that there are no limits to the lust for power and money pursued by those who seek the highest pinnacles of government, financial, and corporate power.
According to the New York Times, Chief Justice Roberts, who voted with the majority, wrote, ""The government is wrong that the only thing actually at issue in this litigation is conduct" and not speech protected by the First Amendment protection. But he went on to say the government’s interest in combating terrorism was enough to overcome that protection. In this manner, Justice Roberts and his fellow justices once again betrayed the document they swore to protect: the Constitution.
The Associated Press reported David Cole, a Georgetown law professor who represented the aid groups at the Supreme Court, as saying that the court essentially ruled that "the First Amendment permits the government to make human rights advocacy and peacemaking a crime."
The most ironic part of Roberts' comments was where he said, according to the Washington Post, "We in no way suggest that a regulation of independent speech would pass constitutional muster, even if the government were to show that such speech benefits foreign terrorists organizations." My reply: if you really believe that, then you violated your own principles, Mr. Chief Justice.
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Posted By: Dan Steward
Date: June 22, 2010 07:04:34 AM
Great article, Walt. Interesting that you used the term "unperson", very apt for the situation.
I've mentioned on occasion to people that the novel it came from, 1984 is more often than not, a handbook for despots. I fear that these tyrants we live under are taking their plays directly from it. The UK is literally swarming with millions of cameras spying on everyone, even in their homes.