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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 — 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.'”