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Spectral Evidence

By Al Schumann on Wednesday February 24, 2010 10:32 AM

“So you can communicate, but the communications are censored,” Justice Ginsburg said. “You can be a member, you can attend meetings, you can discuss things, but there is a certain point at which the discussion must stop, right?”

Ms. Kagan responded, “The discussion must stop when you go over the line into giving valuable advice, training, support to these organizations.”

Ms. Kagan gave examples of prohibited conduct. A lawyer would commit a crime, she said, by filing a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of a terrorist group. Helping such a group petition international bodies is also a crime, she added.

Justice John Paul Stevens asked if there was an authentic risk that Mr. Fertig would be prosecuted were he to make a presentation on behalf of the Kurdish group at the United Nations. He seemed to expect a negative answer.

But Ms. Kagan would say only that the matter would involve a “prosecutorial judgment.”

Via Who Is IOZ?

Increase Mather ultimately questioned the use of spectral evidence out of fear it could be influenced by demons. Demons being all demonic and evil and all, that makes a certain amount of sense. False witness and leading people into it are right up Satan's alley. What a pity the Obama administration is less enlightened than Increase Mather. He, at least, could find grounds to question "prosecutorial judgment".

Comments (9)

Ah, the PKK!

Years ago, at UCSD, our little volunteer-run infoshop, called Groundwork Books, put a link up to the PKK website in our list of links. The administration at UCSD threatened us with sanctions because this was a case of "providing material support to a terrorist group".

Yes, a hyperlink is material support. One wonders what the self-appointed meritoids in the administration made of the word "material", if they bothered to consider it at all.

They sent us a truly ridiculous letter saying that we had to write an essay saying how we understood that we'd broken the law and that we'd never, ever do it again. For a combination of the schoolmarmish and the authoritarian, UCSD's administration cannot be beat. This demand was parried by us noting that this amounted to both an impermissible abridgment of not only our first amendment right to free speech, but our fifth amendment right against self-incrimination, and that if we faced any recriminations from refusing to give into this extortionate demand, then we'd sue everybody involved up to the UC Board of Regents and we'd be certain to win.

That kept them at bay, but still.... Assholes.

Actually, I should clarify. The link was not even on our own bookstore website, but on a UCSD site that we didn't even host at the time and over which the Groundworks collective had no control. Regardless, we were deemed to be guilty by a truly tenuous chain of associations that made Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon look straightforward by comparison.

Oh, how I pine for the days when I still believed our tripartite government was noble and benevolent, and our justice system properly named.

Eric Holder makes John Ashcroft look like Noam Chomsky.

...but at least we have our first Black US Attorney General, which must count for something, right?

Al Schumann:
Eric Holder makes John Ashcroft look like Noam Chomsky.

Pretty close! Ashcroft on his sickbed had qualms about the mass wiretapping. He could only go so far with exigent circumstances and passionate belief. I was surprised and a little skeptical when that was reported in the papers. I still am, when it comes down to it. But whatever the full truth may be, Holder is clearly worse by far. After all the lessons supposedly taught and learned during the Bush regime, he's nevertheless committed to reaffirming the nastiest doctrines.

... we were deemed to be guilty by a truly tenuous chain of associations that made Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon look straightforward by comparison.

I wonder if liberals can see a future in which checks to environmental groups might make them persons of interest as supporters of eco-terrorism. They thought it possible during the Bush regime. The bland, corporate environmental affiliates of the Democratic Party could get tossed under the bus as easily as ACORN. The House and Senate majorities fell all over themselves doing that, on the strength of an overdubbed, meretriciously edited "expose".


"meretriciously edited"
a. Attracting attention in a vulgar manner: meretricious
ornamentation. See Synonyms at gaudy1.
b. Plausible but false or insincere; specious: a meretricious argument.
2. Of or relating to prostitutes or prostitution: meretricious relationships.

Irony, given the context.

Al Schumann:

Boink, indeed. It was accidental on my part, but thanks for making it felicitous.

One has to keep in mind the nature of organizations that end up on the U.S. State Department terrorist list. Many are indigenous nations seeking accommodation with oppressive states. While some seek limited autonomy or outright independence, all of them are seeking their human rights as recognized under international law. Unfortunately, many of these oppressive states are also friends of the United States government and the corporations it represents. This leaves anyone who effectively advocates for freedom for indigenous peoples in the position of being an enemy of the US. My colleague Rudolph Ryser explains http://fwe.cwis.org/2010/02/23/human-rightspatriot-actus-supreme-courtindigenous-peoples/ further.

Al Schumann:

Ryser does a fine job explaining the dangers of thuggish, hysterical sophistries. He's a good teacher.

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