Added: Oct. 13, 2008
Added: Oct. 13, 2008
Related video: (CNN) Ron Paul’s Major Announcement: Reject Obama and McCain!
More justices in the mold of Antonin Scalia could be on the way under a McCain presidency. (Flickr: Chris Eversole)
There has been much debate about whether Sen. John McCain is a candidate of change. But in one area, McCain is unquestionably a reformer. He would almost certainly make fundamental changes in the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court.
McCain has said that, should he be president, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito “would serve as the model for my own nominees.” He regularly attacks what he calls “activist judging,” and he described a recent ruling vindicating the right to habeas corpus as “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.” McCain has repeatedly said that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overruled.
British citizens could be convicted in their absence by foreign courts for traffic, credit card or other criminal offences under plans approved in principle by the European Parliament.
The proposals would allow citizens to be extradited automatically under fast-track procedures at the request of another European Union country on the basis of a decision by the foreign court.
The overwhelming adoption by the Parliament of the proposals, which now go to the Council of Ministers, was condemned yesterday as “throwing habeas corpus out of the window”.
Philip Bradbourn, the Conservative justice and home affairs spokesman in the European Parliament, said: “This initiative would enable courts to pass judgments in absentia. It goes against one of the most fundamental corner-stones of British justice – that the accused has a right to defend himself at trial. If other EU countries want to go ahead with this proposal that’s their choice, but the British Government should have no part [of it].”
Related article: – US needs 100 years to recover from Bush
An interview with Gore Vidal by Afshin Rattansi, Press TV, Tehran:
Press TV:We hear that Michael Mukasey is going to become the latest of the President’s Attorney-Generals to be subpoenaed, this time over his conversations with Bush and Cheney – does this show that Congress is serious about calling the executive to account?
Gore Vidal: No, Congress has never been more cowardly, nor more corrupt. All Bush has do is to make sure certain amounts of money go in the direction of certain important congressmen and that’s end of any serious investigation. After all, one of the bravest members of Congress is Dennis Kucinich who brought the article of impeachment in to the well of the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives must then try the president, and then after that it goes to the Senate for judgment. However, none of these things will happen because there’s nobody there except for Mr. Kucinich who has the courage to take on a sitting president who is kind of a Mafioso.
Press TV: How can it just be one person among so many hundreds of Congressmen who wants the impeachment of George W. Bush in these circumstances?
Gore Vidal: Well it’s because we no longer have a country. We don’t have a republic any more. During the last 7 or 8 years of the Bush regime, they’ve got rid of the Bill of Rights, they’ve got rid of habeas corpus. They have got rid of one of the nicest gifts that England ever left us when they went away and we ceased to be colonies – the Magna Carta – from the 12th century. All of our law and due process of law is based on that. And the Bush people got rid of it. The president and little Mr. Gonzales who for a few minutes was his Attorney General. They managed to get rid of all of the constitutional links that made us literally a republic.
Press TV: You have often written about the US’s superpower status in terms of the history of previous superpowers. Do you think we’re witnessing the end of US power as some suggest. Will the White House be seen like Persepolis?
Gore Vidal: Well it won’t make such good ruins, no. It’ll be more like the tomb of Cyrus nearby. They managed to destroy the United States – why? Because they’re oil and gas people and they’re essentially criminals. I repeat that this is a criminal group that’s seized control of the country through what looked like an ordinary election. But there’s some very nice films and documentaries about what happened in the year 2000 when Albert Gore won the election for president and they saw to it that he couldn’t serve. They got the Supreme Court – which is the Holy of Holies ordinarily in our system – to investigate and then accuse the thieves of being absolutely correct and the winners – Mr. Gore and the Democrats – of being the cheaters. It’s the first law of Machiavelli, whatever your opponent’s faults are, you pick his virtues and you deny he has them. That’s what they did when Senator Kerry ran a few years ago for president. He’s a famous hero from the Vietnam War. They said he was a coward and not a hero. That’s how it’s done. When you have a bunch of liars in charge of your government you can’t expect to get much history out of that. But later on we’ll dig and dig… and we will dig up Persepolis.
Press TV: Senator Obama talks about change but of course he has courting Wall Street as well as the Israeli lobby – do you see any prospect of change with him as president?
Gore Vidal: Not really. I don’t doubt his good faith, just as I do not doubt the bad faith of Cheney and Bush. They are such dreadful people that we’ve never had in government before. They would never have risen unless they were buying elections as they did in Florida in 2000, as they did in the State of Ohio in 2004. These are two open thefts of the Presidency. When I discovered that this did not interest the New York Times or the Washington Post or any of the press of the country I realized our day was done. We are no longer a country we are a framework for crooks to go in and steal money. Knowing that they’ll never be caught and they’ll be admired for it. Americans always take everybody on his own evaluation. You say I’m a state and they say “oh, yeah yeah yeah, he’s a state, isn’t that great.” And you accuse the other people of your crimes before you commit them. It’s an old trick which was known to Machiavelli who wrote about it in his handbook, the Prince.
Press TV:Finally that issue which is exercising so many minds in the Middle East and beyond. You, yourself have written about so many Imperial wars of the United States. Do you think Bush and Cheney would risk another war in what Mohammad ElBaradei of the IAEA calls a fireball?
Gore Vidal: They are longing to but they have spent all of the money. They have got it in their own private companies like the Vice-President and a company called Halliburton which is stealing more money and should be on trial sooner or later before Congress. But perhaps not, who knows? But it’s well known in Washington, these people are leaking away the money of the country. Well there’s no more money. They are longing for a war with Iran. Iran is no more a harm to us than was Iraq or Afghanistan. They invented an enemy, they tell lies, lies, lies.
The New York Times goes along with their lies, lies, lies. And they don’t stop. When the public that’s lied to 30 times a day it’s apt to believe the lies, is not it?
By now, it is widely known that the Supreme Court has weighed in on the debate over the rights of the prisoners at Gitmo. The court has stated that the detainees’ habeas corpus rights (the protection against an indefinite detention without charges and a trial) ought to be respected.
Referring to the human beings who are still being detained at Guantanamo Bay, McCain stated, “These are people who are not citizens. They do not and never have been given the rights that citizens in this country have” (emphasis added).
So our rights are given to us? Interesting.
I might ask McCain at the out-set, since you apparently believe that only citizens have rights (presumably “given” to them in the Constitution) where exactly in text of the Constitution does the Constitution give this right the right of habeas corpus?
You won’t find it. The Constitution only puts limits on the removal of habeas corpus, which implies that human beings possess this right naturally, and that habeas corpus is not some peculiar civil privilege, such as welfare, or some right that only citizens have, such as voting in our elections.
Similarly, human beings possess the rights in the Bill of Rights naturally, and as such, government is prevented from infringing upon them in the first ten amendments to the Constitution. But the rights are not granted by the government or the Constitution; we already had the rights as human beings!
I recommend that McCain read the Declaration of Independence. He has admitted that he is ignorant of economics, so perhaps he needs to brush up on his political theory and History, as well.
The Declaration of Independence declares the self-evident truth that God gave us our rights and that we are “endowed by our creator” with “unalienable rights,” such as, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Unalienable. Can’t be taken away. God-given natural rights. This is extremely important. Pay attention.
You see, if governments have “given” you “rights,” well then guess who can take them away at their will. Governments! McCain’s dangerous philosophy of rights as privileges is a recipe for tyranny. Government gives us our liberty? Is he serious? Well then that makes the state our god.
John McCain said Friday that the Supreme Court ruling on Guantanamo Bay detainees is “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.”
The presumptive GOP nominee said the decision, a 5-4 ruling Thursday that determined Guantanamo detainees have the right to seek release in civilian courts, would lead to a wave of frivolous challenges.
“We are now going to have the courts flooded with so-called … habeas corpus suits against the government, whether it be about the diet, whether it be about the reading material. And we are going to be bollixed up in a way that is terribly unfortunate because we need to go ahead and adjudicate these cases,” he said at a town hall meeting in New Jersey.
McCain said he has worked hard to ensure the U.S. military does not torture prisoners but that the detainees at Guantanamo are still “enemy combatants.”
(Obviously not hard enough. And what would happen if he would be the next hard working President of the U.S.? Please do not contemplate that before you go to sleep! – The Infinite Unknown)
I waited a week to comment on the Texas case, separating 437 children from their FLDS parents, to see if any substantive evidence of abuse would emerge. It hasn’t. Even if it had, those could have been handled individually. But no, Texas plans instead to make every member of the group pay the supreme price: to strip away their beloved children. This case is about group punishment. In spite of a search warrant tainted by a false witness (the “Sarah” who doesn’t exist), no actual specific evidence of abuse, or any unwilling participants in this polygamous compound, a self-righteous Texas judge had decreed that all 400 + children will not be returned to the custody of their parents. Texas has gone too far to rid itself of this awkward religious sect that built the “Yearning for Zion” (YFZ) ranch in order to evade persecution in Utah and Arizona.
As this tyrannical order clearly meant separating even nursing children from their mothers, a wave of outrage began to sweep the nation. The media-savvy judge immediately changed her order (allowing children under 1 year if age to be nursed) in order to keep the tide of public relations on the side of the authorities. But this should not deter the nation from realizing the danger of the tenuous legal proposition that mere membership in a group (that may have isolated examples of marrying underage girls) makes all unworthy of possessing any children at all–ever. That is wrong, especially when legal remedies exist to prosecute specific wrongdoers.
The local sheriff admitted on television that he had an “informant” on the inside for over 4 years. That was probably a disgruntled member of the group who decided to stay on to build up a case against his fellow church members. If a case can’t be built after four years of informing, and authorities have to rely on a false abuse phone call to justify this invasion, what does that say about the State’s case?