Tuesday, November 03, 2009

It's Coming Up Orwell All Over

'Tis election day and I was going to type a wee rant about the political spectrum here in Greater Redneckia, but I went and paid attention to things in the larger world again.  Yep, read the news this morning, and I have news for all you folks who think Obama is going to fix things:  this country has gone so far off track it will take decades to find the freaking train, let alone drag it toward the tracks. 

Really, and what is more important?  Our collective loss of decency or whether or not Squarebanks elects a lefty or a righty?

I'm speaking vaguely, of course, of the disposition of the case Arar v. Ashcroft.  (And all this info is a summation of a Glenn Greenwald story at Salon.Com. Go read that one.) In 2002, an innocent man (Canadian citizen of Canadian and Syrian descent) was sent to Syria through rendition by our government - where he was brutally tortured - all in the name of 'the war on terror.'  His crime? Uh, well, there wasn't one.  He did switch planes at JFK Airport, though. 

Arar sued.  Our court system, the Second Circuit specifically, ruled 7-4 in favor of the our government's position and tossed his case.  What's that smell?  That's the smell of the Constitution being burned.  And, well, yeah, torture is illegal, but the court majority seems to think that no matter what the government does, nor how illegal it might be, people should not be able to sue for damages.  The court should defer if the government tosses around the terms 'national security' and state secrets.' 

Excellent quote in Greenwald's article:
"Reflecting the type of people who fill our judiciary, the judges in the majority also invented the most morally depraved bureaucratic requirements for Arar to proceed with his case and then claimed he had failed to meet them.  Arar did not, for instance, have the names of the individuals who detained and abused him at JFK, which the majority said he must have.  As Judge Sack in dissent said of that requirement:  it "means government miscreants may avoid [] liability altogether through the simple expedient of wearing hoods while inflicting injury" (p. 27; emphasis added)."
Repeat after me, "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."

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