"This law gave the president unfettered authority to create blacklists, an authority President Bush then used to empower the Secretary of the Treasury to impose guilt by association. The court's decision confirms that even in fighting terror, unchecked executive authority and trampling on fundamental freedoms is not a permissible option."
~ David Cole, Center for Constitutional Rights.
~ David Cole, Center for Constitutional Rights.
One piece of big news from the past week was the ruling by a federal judge in Los Angeles that strikes down portions of Executive Order 13224, and its mushrooming annexes, as unconstitutional. From The Washington Times:
President Bush lacks the constitutional authority to designate groups and persons as terrorists under a post-September 11 executive order, according to a federal judge in Los Angeles.
U.S. District Judge Audrey B. Collins, in a challenge brought by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of the Humanitarian Law Project, said a Sept. 24, 2001, executive order naming 27 groups and persons as "specially designated global terrorists" (SDGTs) allowed no way for those designated to challenge the ruling.
In a 45-page ruling, Judge Collins said the executive order "contains no definable criteria" to constrain the president's use of it, and, as a result, "is unconstitutionally vague on its face." She said the order is subject only to Mr. Bush's "unfettered discretion."
The judge also said the order "contains no definable criteria for designating individuals and groups as SDGTs," and improperly gives the secretary of the Treasury the power to impose penalties for "mere association" with the groups.
The ruling, made public on Tuesday, came in a lawsuit in which the Humanitarian Law Project, through the Center for Constitutional Rights, sought to support the nonviolent work of two groups designated as terrorist: The Kurdistan Workers Party, the main Kurdish political party in Turkey, and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a rebel group fighting for a separate homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka.
"This law gave the president unfettered authority to create blacklists, an authority President Bush then used to empower the secretary of the Treasury to impose guilt by association," said David Cole, a Center for Constitutional Rights board member.
"The court's decision confirms that even in fighting terror, unchecked executive authority and trampling on fundamental freedoms is not a permissible option," he said.
[ . . . ]
Judge Collins did let stand some sections of the order that penalize those who provide "services" to designated terrorist groups, including humanitarian aid and rights training.
The Humanitarian Law Project plans to appeal the sections penalizing those who provide humanitarian aid and rights training to designated "terrorist" groups.
The ruling itself can be read here.
At the moment, the State Department's own definition of terrorism would require the US government to be listed as a terrorist organization, along with many of the client states of the US. We should also ask why it is that the US considers itself in a position to designate anyone as a "terrorist" anyway, given the misery caused by US policies and related actions worldwide. As mentioned almost two weeks ago on Rastî, the designation of an organization to any of the other US Lists, is also an exercise in vagueness.
The fascists at sites like the CounterTerrorism Blog and Strategy Page are a bit nervous over the ruling, and rightly so. They should be worried about fascism being overturned in law courts because so many Western leaders should be charged in international courts with war crimes and genocide. They should be worried about the War on Terror® being exposed as a scam created to cover-up greedy corporate and elitist interests. As Strategy Page puts it, the ruling:
. . . also has the effect of giving terrorist groups a chance to contest their designations. This would arguably require some sort of hearing, in which evidence would be presented. Naturally, those groups threatened with a terrorist designation, would be given the chance to rebut it. The presentation of the evidence is a potential recipe for disaster . . .
The presentation of evidence is most definitely a recipe for disaster, but not for the reason that Strategy Page gives. Evidence would be a recipe for disaster by exposing the war crimes and genocidal activity. Evidence would call into serious question the goals of all the policies of the West and expose those policies as fantasies used by the ruling elites of the world to consolidate their own selfish power. Just as the entire international community collaborated against bringing the evidence of Turkey's genocide of the Kurdish people to an international court, by capturing and handing Abdullah Ocalan to incompetent Turkey, so too the real terrorists, the international community, have until now censored all evidence that would prove their crimes, their false flag operations, their Gladio, their complicity in the Turkish state's genocide of the Kurdish people.
Think about how much money the defense industry, the private military contractors, and the whole phony "security" industry have made since 2001, and you will understand why there is a War on Terror®. Read how the murderers in charge of companies like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrup Grumman are eager to continue to push the fantasy of War on Terror®. Think about all the people who pass through the revolving door between the government and corporate world and you will find truth.
And the truth shall set you free.
Note: While you were sleeping, the fascists in Washington have been building a "terrorist score" on you, if you've been an international traveler since 2002.
Another note: If you haven't seen it, you might want to take a look at a 3-part BBC documentary that discusses the rise of both the neocons and the Islamists and how both have benefited from the War on Terror®. Each video is about an hour long and if you want to get a synopsis of each part, check the Wikipedia entry for the documentary.
The Power of Nightmares 1
The Power of Nightmares 2
The Power of Nightmares 3