Posts Tagged ‘Jane Mayer Article’

Oy vey!  The Obama Administration has some very complicated decisions to make.  Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri is the last “enemy combatant” being detained in America.  He is being held at the U.S. Navel Consolidated Brig in Charleston, South Carolina.   He has never stood trial and has been in isolation for more than five years.  In December of 2001, Marri was arrested in connection to the 9/11 attacks and was about to stand on trial, when President George W. Bush,  ordered the military to seize Marri and hold him until the “war on terror” was over.  Jane Mayer wrote, “The Bush Administration contended that America was in a full-fledged war against terrorists,  and the President could therefore invoke extraordinary executive powers to detain Marri until the end of hostilities, on the basis of still secret evidence.”

Jonathan Hafetz, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, challenged the constitutionality of Marri’s case.  A lower court ruled the government has the right to detain Marri indefinitely, yet after several appeals, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case in April. The Obama Administration is required to file a reply to the challenge by March 23rd.  Hafetz hopes “Obama will withdraw Bush’s executive order labelling Marri an enemy combatant, and issue a new one classifying him as a civilian.”  This allows Marri either to be charged with crimes or to be released.

Marri has spoken through his lawyers and said, “I am not asking to be taken at my word an to be released, although I very much want to go home to my family.  All I am asking for is to be treated like every other person in the United States who is accused of a crime, including terrorism, and to be given a fair trail in an American court.”

Attorney General Eric Holder is reviewing Marri’s case with an “eye toward finding alternative ways to deal with him.”  In the meantime  Marri is the sole prisoner in wing of the brig.  He has three cells, with a personal library, access to a treadmill, a computer, and watches his favorite programs, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, on a 32-inch flat screen television.  However, Marri was on the verge of insanity after he was initially confined in extreme conditions.

The Bush White House also agreed, when transferring Marri to the brig, he could not be charged again with the same crimes  under “double jeopardy.”  Therefore, the Obama Administration will have to use a different set of charges, if they decide to charge Marri in the criminal system.

What an interesting case.   We’ll see how the Obama Administration handles this case.  Much is at stake.  Read Jane Mayer’s article, The Hard Cases.


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I just read a very insightful article, by Jane Mayer of The New Yorker, about Governor Sarah Palin’s path to becoming the Republican nominee for Vice President.  What I found interesting was the mention of the young conservative blogger, Adam Brickly, for starting the Palin for VP Blog back in early 2007.  Some credit his blog for influencing Palin’s appeal to Washington conservatives.  How did Brickly find Sarah Palin?  Wikipedia of course.

In February, 2007, Adam Brickley gave himself a mission: he began searching for a running mate for McCain who could halt the momentum of the Democrats. Brickley, a self-described “obsessive” political junkie who recently graduated from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, told me that he began by “randomly searching Wikipedia and election sites for Republican women.” Though he generally opposes affirmative action, gender drove his choice. “People were talking about Hillary at the time,” he recalled. Brickley said that he “puzzled over every Republican female politician I knew.” Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, of Texas, “waffled on social issues”; Senator Olympia Snowe, of Maine, was too moderate. He was running out of options, he recalled, when he said to himself, “What about that lady who just got elected in Alaska?” Online research revealed that she had a strong grassroots following; as Brickley put it, “I hate to use the words ‘cult of personality,’ but she reminded me of Obama.”

Yes. Palin seemed to be the perfect candidate.  She is a “Washington outsider”, a hard working mother and an extremely popular governor.  But just recently, polls show Palin has been bringing down McCain’s campaign.  I guess you can’t get everything out of a Wikipedia page.

Like calling some parts of the country “Pro-America.” (Although, she did apologize for her remarks.)  And for not really understanding the role of a Vice President.

In charge of the United States Senate? No, not really.

Anyway, Mayer’s article is a good read and hits a lot of the good and bad points to McCain’s Vice President pick.  Conservatives travelled to Palin and were impressed with her “grace” and “star quality.”  Yet, when McCain had finally considered Palin, they met only once and spent less than 3 hours together.  Mayer also mentioned the growing number of concerns of a Palin Vice-Presidency.

“Matthew Dowd, the former Bush campaign strategist turned critic of the President, said recently that McCain ‘knows in his gut’ that Palin isn’t qualified for the job, ‘and when this race is over, that is something he will have to live with. . . . He put the country at risk.'”

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