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Professor Martin Scheinin has been examining United States practices in the war on terror, has issued a preliminary report. The Associated Press reports:
Martin Scheinin, of Finland, also said several U.S. laws enacted since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks had undermined civil liberties, citing the Patriot Act, the Detainee Treatment Act and the Military Commissions Act.
It is “regretful that a number of important mechanisms for the protection of rights have been removed or obfuscated under law and practice since the events of September 11,” Scheinin said in a preliminary report written after meeting with U.S. diplomats and justice and security officials.
There is, of course, nothing remotely surprising about Scheinin’s conclusions. They are the same as conclusions reached by American bar associations which have studied the same practices, and they match the rulings of the United States Supreme Court in Hamdan, which concludes that the Military Commissions put in place by President Bush were a violation of the requirements of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”