2 looks at an issue
09:27 PM PDT on Wednesday, July 27, 2005
SEATTLE – It’s the final chapter in a story that has gripped western Washington for five years. Ahmed Ressam will spend 22 years in prison for plotting to blow up the Los Angeles airport, LAX, on the eve of the millennium.
The basic story is, this guy was arrested pre-9/11 in an attempt to blow up LAX. He cooporated with the government and provided information on terrorist activity, which is why he was sentenced to only 22 years, instead of 35. The judge in the case, Reagan appointee John Coughenour used his decision as an occasion to take the Bush Administration to task for their handling of terror suspects in the GWOT or whatever it’s called this week. He said, in part:
Secondly, though, I would like to convey the message that our system works. We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States Constitution.
Now, as you would guess I lean more toward the liberal side in this. While I agree that his comments are a fine example of grandstanding, he’s not the first justice to do so. Secondly, what he states is the truth- our system works, without stripping people of their civil rights. What is rather eyeopening in reading the right wing retorts, is that they refuse to even debate the legality of Bush’s “enemy combatant” nonsense, much less the morality of it. They completely overlook that by shredding our Bill of Rights in order to “defeat a greater evil” they have already lost.
At least, thats my take on it.