If you can buy this…

…I’ve got a prison colony I’d like to interest you in.

A lovely little exchange between our Attorney General and Sen. Specter at the Jan. 18th Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, which were mostly about legislative and judicial oversight of Gonzales’ mass wiretapping program. The main story of that day was that Gonzales basically indicated that the executive would do everything in its power to evade the substance of the order, but the fun part was the conversation that began when Gonzales said, “There is no expressed grant of habeas in the Constitution; there’s a prohibition against taking it away.”

From the fact that the Constitution’s only mention of habeas is that “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it,” he therefore concludes that the Constitution does not grant you this right at all.

I love the sort of fellow we have in the AG’s office. I really wasn’t certain if our administration could find a more odious person than Ashcroft, but apparently if you start with people whose past experience is in writing legal justifications for torture, you can.

Side note: This story appeared on slashdot with a note that it wasn’t being covered by the mainstream press, but only by the indies. However, today’s Washingon Post corroborates the story.

(For those who don’t follow the law, habeas corpus is the right that, if you are imprisoned, you can go to a court and demand that whoever is imprisoning you show that they have the legal authority to do so, e.g. that they’re doing so in order to charge you with a crime. Without it, you can be hauled off to prison “just because” and left there)

Edit: You know, it takes a certain marvelous skill for an Attorney-General to get Bay Area Indymedia and the John Birch Society to simultaneously consider him a dangerous scumbag, and for the same reason.

Edit 2: Here, watch the conversation. It’s a gas.

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Published in: on January 23, 2007 at 18:09  Comments (4)  
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4 Comments

  1. Gotta love that the John Birch Society has a “Digg it” button; that article has gotten a whole 5 diggs…

  2. Gotta love that the John Birch Society has a “Digg it” button; that article has gotten a whole 5 diggs…

  3. Birchers! I actually first heard about this from the National Alliance website. (Because someone considered the National Alliance a credible source for 9/11 conspiracy theories, if you’re wondering why I was hanging around there.)

  4. Birchers! I actually first heard about this from the National Alliance website. (Because someone considered the National Alliance a credible source for 9/11 conspiracy theories, if you’re wondering why I was hanging around there.)


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