Friday, October 07, 2005

First things first. Danae Kelley, one of those people cooling their heels (clearly a euphemistic expression) in federal prison that we just wrote about (“FBI in Da House,” October 5) has been released.

we know what you’re thinking, but it’s doubtful highwayscribery’s decision to join this particular fracas had much to do with the outcome, but you never know.

Anyway, she’s out after 74 days in The Big House (see photo post below).

It’s a confusing enough without the scribe muddling things up a little more. We reported how the activists had been sprung by U.S. District Court Judge Irma Gonzalez. Further reading reveals the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered them sprung while it considered the issues in greater depth, and then reversed itself, once that bit of deliberation was over.

Anyway, the 21 year-old, whose home and mother’s home were subjected to raids by federal enforcement folk, was jailed under an immunity deal that prevented her from claiming a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

With that kind of immunity, infection may be more desireable. Now the feds have lifted that immunity deal, so her right against self-incrimination kicks-in.

But loss of immunity may mean the feds will go after Kelley with a new set of specific charges cooked-up especially for her.

Follow? That’s okay, Kelley probably doesn’t either.

The point is, you don’t want these people getting you into their maws. Either they’ll jail you, or screw up your life for so long it will be difficult to regroup and carry on once they’ve walked away.

Meantime, the other two activists remain in jail. It is against the law to coerce people into testifying by jailing them. The amount of jail time cannot rise to a standard of “punishment”.

In the scribe’s big book, one day’s too much, but we’re not going by the scribe’s big book.

Which is why the Senate’s decision to include a provision preventing the U.S. military from torturing those in its possession is so important.

That happened October 5. The White House has threatened to veto the whole entire defense bill if the Senate gets it into their wacky heads the U.S. does not stand for torture and that such techniques are counterproductive to THE WAR ON TERROR.

Now there’s something you can get behind the White House on. Keeping torture on-hand as an option.

A White House spokesperson said the new requirements and standards would “tie the [p]resident’s hands.”

Sounds like they would keep him from tying somebody else’s.

highwayscribery covered this (“As Much as You Can Stomach,” July 26) earlier and will reproduce the image from that post, because it is both iconic and effective.

Ted Stevens, a (r)epublican senator from Alaska, who has dedicated his career to keeping medieval practices of governance alive, had this to say on the Senate floor: “The techniques vary upon the circumstances and physical location of people involved.”

Please allow the scribe to translate with language he’s picked up from military bloggers in Iraq: “If it involves a sand-Nazi, out somewhere in the sand, you put that Hajib on a leash and let a babe with a cigarette in her mouth parade him around in front of his sand-Nazi buddies.”

There are Democrats remaining in Congress, but since they have no influence, it’s up to other (r)epublicans to paint an opposition.

One such voice is the red-shirted Jacobin, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee (r) who, according to the “Washington Post,” questioned why “the White House would oppose a measure that codifies military procedures and policies, and reaffirms a ban against torturing detainees. ‘It is time for Congress, which represents the people, to clarify and set the rules for detention and interrogation of our enemies’.”

The time was five years ago, Lamar, and the delay has been ruinous and, at times, deadly for those detained by the freest, most democratic country on earth.

Kudos to senators John McCain (r-Arizona), Lindsay Graham (r-South Carolina), and John Warner (r-Virginia) for holding firm on this here issue.

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