Guilty — Take Our Word for It

This is just veering more and more toward the ridiculous.

Yes, there’s a case to be made for protecting national security interests; I’m not so naively idealistic as to contend that national security is a complete fabrication. But given the historical precedent that 95 percent of it is utter fabrication, I’m gonna err on the side of believing the government is full of shit when it cries “national security.”

But let’s allow that there are legitimate interests in keeping secrets with regard to the events of September 11 and the ongoing “investigation” of al Qaeda (and I put that into quotes without irony, as Tsar George II’s so clearly abandoned any such investigation in favor of his little crusade against Iraq). You still have to make a choice: You cannot pretend that you’re presenting a prosecution against an individual while effectively denying that individual any defense. If national security interests truly do outweigh the need to prosecute someone, then — tough — you cannot prosecute. It’s this little thing called the Constitution — without which this nation does not exist, nor does your authority to act as prosecutor in the first place.

And I’m sorry, but summaries of witnesses’ responses to questions you ask, censored by you, without any chance for rebuttal or cross-examination are not by any stretch of the imagination a legitimate defense opportunity. You’re asking us to take your word for it that you’ve done a fair job or representing the defense witnesses’ testimony.

Horseshit. How stupid do you think we are?

(No, don’t answer that — you’ve made a career out of banking on the stupidity of the American people.)

And now the Supreme Court has decided that it’s all hunky-dory. Now, this may end up just being an administrative ruling, a chance for the government to see what it can do — in which case, Moussaoui could still argue that he wasn’t granted anything even remotely resembling a fair trial. But right now, it seems that we’ve set off on a seriously scary course: Forget about defense — all the regime has to do is cry “national security” and they can bar you from defending yourself against whatever they decide to charge you with.

As with Michael Schiavo’s status as de facto right-to-die defender, it’s tough to have an obvious slimeball like Moussaoui as the poster boy for basic Constitutional protections. But given this regime’s demonstrated disregard for civil liberties for the rest of us, its proven lack of anything approaching ethics, and its self-professed affinity for torturing those it’s decided to call “enemies,” I’d be an idiot to believe they’re going to stop with this one case.


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