Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, July 18, 2005

London and Atlanta

Eric Rudolph, who bombed abortion clinics and conducted the 1996 Olympics bombing in Atlanta, was sentenced to death today. London won its Olympics bid on 7/6, and the next day suffered bombings with home-made explosives by native Britons. The parallels are striking: the difference appears to be that the London bombers were filled with a fundamentalist Muslim ideology, while Eric Rudolph professes to be a devout Catholic. Where is the denunciation of terrorist activity? The White House is eerily silent. Rudolph is a problem for them: they do not want anti-terrorist laws being turned on right-wing extremists in America who vote Republican.

This is relevant for another reason: Today, the 4th Circuit accepted the appeal in the Jose Padilla case. Jose Padilla, some of you will recall, is an American citizen arrested by agents at O'Hare aiport after he arrived in this country. He has been rotting in a military jail for three years, while the military tries to extract a confession from him. He has been charged with no crime. Echoing King George III, this George says he needs this power. And conservative judges (Scalia excepted) are not that good at reading the plain text of the constitution in its historical context. You need to know very little about the details to know that the power of unlimited indefinite administrative detention was a major target of the Revolution of 1776.

If Democrats win, should they start throwing right wing radicals in the military brig indefinitely? What is to stop them?


Dr. Strangelove said...

When I think of people like Eric Rudolph, I remember why I support the death penalty. Hey, let's make leaking the name of a covert CIA operative a capital offense too! Or are the Republicans soft on crime...?

Anonymous said...

The theocratic right (Bush included) oppose Rudolph's actions only in the way that various radical clerics in the Middle East condemn particular terrorist attacks but always include in their condemnation that the terrorists were provoked by the victims. The simliarity between Bush's attitude and the Saudi elite's attitude towards terrorism is almost perfect. No wonder they hold hands so affectionately. I'll leave the death penalty debate for another time.

Should the Democrats turn the Patriot Act on the Religious Right? Yes. What is to stop them? Thanks to the GOP, nothing.

"I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution." - U.S. Grant, President, General, and Republican. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

I believe, Rudolph avoided the death penalty in a plea agreement. I thought he was sentenced to life in prison today. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

LTG makes a good point. This gives rise to something I referred to way back in the post about London. Some terrorists are criminals, not all criminals are terrorists. Notice that we treated Rudolph as a criminal rather than a terrorist. He was given all the rights promised under the law. And he was not given the death penalty. RBR is correct about that. But he was effectively put away for life. We didn't need a special tribunal to do that, nor did you need a special investigation to find him out.

LTG raised the issue of whether you can treat right wing "terrorists" as you do Islamic terrorists. I'd say yes. And I think you can treat leftist Eco terrorists the same way. There are perfectly legal ways to protest without killing people.

I remember after 9/11 that there was discussion in some circles about how you defined terrorist. Would anti-terrorism laws apply to say the IRA or the potpourri of European separatists organizations? We never really got a straight answer to this.

Once again, I refer to you to the Brookings report. on French anti-terrorism techniques. We are simply rehashing ground that the French have already visited. The French did not create special courts, but centralized proceedings in the existing Trial Court of Paris and left regular judges to make final decisions in such cases. So terrorism is treated as a special category of criminal activity.

A local prosecutor decides if a crime in his jurisdiction is related to terrorism. Terrorism is defined as "acts committed by individuals or groups that have as a goal to gravely trouble public order by intimidation or terror." (our Rightists and leftists would qualify) He then refers it to a special prosecutor within the Paris Court. The special prosecutor and a small section of investigating magistrates that only deal with terrorism investigate. These special prosecutors and magistrates are different from anything we have. They are like a cross between prosecutor, investigator, and judge. They are not prosecutors in our sense of the word. They do not advocate for any one side, but try to run an impartial investigation. So far, they have been quite successful. So it is just another way to consider handling terrorism.


// posted by Anonymous

US West said...

Sign off on the last post: USWest

Anonymous said...

My post was a Freudian slip. I was so angry that Rudolph was NOT sentenced to death. 

// posted by LTG

Dr. Strangelove said...

FYI, my comment re death penalty assumed that Eric Rudolph was NOT sentenced to death. But I suppose it would have worked either way.