Thursday, June 30, 2005


L.A. 8 in L.A. Times

There is a very interesting two-part article about the so-called "L.A. 8" by Peter H. King in the Los Angeles Times. From part one:
Shehadeh was told that he belonged to a terrorist organization and was under arrest. They handcuffed him and led him outside. A police helicopter wheeled low over the house, and that is when the thought clicked: He had witnessed this scene before.

"The raid on my house in Long Beach," he said, "looked exactly like the raids in the West Bank: early-morning raids, with helicopters and guns and police and uniforms. Taken away in a hazy dawn, you know. Except this was happening in America."
From part two:
"An alien unlawfully in this country," [U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia] declared, "has no constitutional right to assert selective enforcement as a defense against his deportation." Moreover, the government "should not have to disclose its 'real' reasons for deeming nationals of a particular country a special threat — or indeed for simply wishing to antagonize a particular foreign country by focusing on that country's nationals."

In the aftermath of 9/11, this has meant that federal investigators can target specific immigrant communities, detaining or deporting anyone found to have overstayed a visa or otherwise run afoul of immigration fine print — without fear of facing a selective-prosecution challenge in court. "As a result," warns David D. Cole, another L.A. 8 lawyer who came to the case, pro bono, through the Center for Constitutional Rights, "Arab and Muslim foreign nationals with any possible immigration problem are well advised to do nothing — such as speaking out, demonstrating or joining political associations — that might bring them to the attention of the federal government."

I would so love to know what the real reason is for this administration's obvious, almost knee-jerk efforts to antagonize other nations...have you seen today's Guardian coverage of the G-8 summit? There's a headline that says Bush 'warns' the other attendees that he is interested only in America's interests.

He says such things even as Afghanistan returns to open conflict and Britain is supposed to be taking over the reins of the military operation there.

Sometimes I feel that for all the talk about the aging of the population, the real problem is the failure of the typical politician's ego to develop beyond age 14.

Aunt Deb
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