Saturday, December 17, 2005


Tales of the Imperial President

George Bush claims he can't be bothered to seek warrants from the special FISA court specifically created to hear such requests speedily and secretly. Meanwhile, his "Justice" Department continues to claim that Jose Padilla's appeal to the Supreme Court is now moot even though they claim he is still an enemy combatant and they still have the right to lock him up without charges:
In a brief filed late Friday, the administration argued that Mr. Padilla's indictment last month by a federal grand jury has given him the "very relief" he sought when he filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in federal court. Any Supreme Court decision now on his petition, which a federal appeals court rejected in September, "will have no practical effect" on Mr. Padilla, the brief said.
Jose Padilla's lawyers argue that
The government should not be allowed to claim the case is moot, the brief said, because the administration has not withdrawn Mr. Padilla's designation as an enemy combatant and has refused to foreclose the prospect of sending him back to military detention if he is acquitted in a civilian trial.

The lawyers told the Fourth Circuit that in its treatment of Mr. Padilla, "the government has repeatedly altered its factual allegations to suit its goals, and it has actively manipulated the federal courts to avoid accountability for its actions."
(Source: New York Times Justices Are Urged to Dismiss Padilla's Case, Dec. 18, 2005 [emphasis added].)
Manipulation of the facts seems to be the Bush league's answer to just about everything, from pre-war Iraq intelligence distortions to environmental concerns:
'The Republican War on Science,' by Chris Mooney
Political Science

Published: December 18, 2005

Last spring, a magazine asked me to look into a whistleblower case involving a United States Fish and Wildlife Service biologist named Andy Eller. Eller, a veteran of 18 years with the service, was fired after he publicly charged it with failing to protect the Florida panther from voracious development. One of the first species listed under the Endangered Species Act, the panther haunts southwest Florida's forests, which builders are transforming into gated golf communities. After several weeks of interviews, I wrote an article that called the service's treatment of Eller "shameful"...

My editor complained that the piece was too "one-sided"... On the other hand, the reality was one-sided, to a startling degree. An ardent conservationist, Eller had dreamed of working for the Wildlife Service since his youth; he collected first editions of environmental classics like Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring." The officials who fired him based their denial that the panther is threatened in part on data provided by a former state wildlife scientist who had since become a consultant for developers seeking to bulldoze panther habitat. The officials were clearly acting in the spirit of their overseer, Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, a property-rights advocate who has questioned the constitutionality of aspects of the Endangered Species Act.
(Source: New York Times [emphasis added.])


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