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In the current issue of Harper’s, I described how the Bush Administration has waged a relentless war against the Rule of Law in connection with the Guantánamo detainees—attempting to overturn every value and norm, and always holding itself above the law, accountable to no person and no court. I recount dozens of incidents which follow a consistent pattern and leave no doubt whatsoever that this is not a series of random incidents, but an organized practice of thuggery, approved and directed at the highest level of the government, involving the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, among other agencies. And today the Toronto Star reports another chapter which fits perfectly in with the others:
[Canadian attorney] Dennis Edney was on his way home Saturday from a visit with Khadr at the U.S. detention centre in Cuba when his military flight stopped at a small Fort Pierce, Fla., airport to refuel. U.S. customs agents ordered him to retrieve his bags from the plane and hand over his notes and reveal any material on his laptop relating to Khadr, Edney says. He was then brought to a separate room where everything was removed, including the business cards in his wallet.
“I’m indignant because it’s an invasion on my solicitor-client privilege. It wasn’t a random search of some guy who you’re thinking is going to be bringing in drugs. This was a direct search into all matters pertaining to my client. That’s a violation. That’s harassment,” Edney charged yesterday.
Before Edney was permitted to meet with Khadr on Friday, Guantanamo guards also searched his notes. “They’re not just thumbing through, they’re reading the documents,” said Khadr’s military lawyer Lt. Commander William Kuebler, who was also present.
Don’t blame the customs agents. They’re doing as they have been instructed. Blame Michael Chertoff, the man who runs the Department of Homeland Security, and who constantly manipulates the resources at his command for partisan political purposes. How do I know this? My gut just tells me.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
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.
Flor Arely Sánchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Average duration of a Japanese prime minister’s tenure since August 1993, in months:
Brain shrinkage has no effect on cognition.
An Indianapolis fertility doctor was accused of using his own sperm to artificially inseminate patients, and a Delaware man pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his former psychiatrist.
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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.'”