Sunday, September 6, 2009

In the News – 9/6

I found a couple things while exploring that you may find interesting.  First, it seems that Hamid Karzai followed the GOP’s example and fixed the election there.

Karzai In the southern Afghan district of Shorabak, the tribesmen gathered shortly before last month’s presidential election to discuss which candidate they would back. After a debate they chose to endorse Abdullah Abdullah, President Hamid Karzai’s leading opponent.

The tribal leaders prepared to deliver a landslide for Abdullah – but it never happened. They claim Ahmed Wali Karzai, the president’s brother and leader of the Kandahar provincial council, detained the local governor and closed all the district’s 46 polling sites on election day.

The ballot boxes were taken back to the district headquarters where, tribal leaders allege, they were stuffed with ballots by local policemen. A total of 23,900 ballots were finally sent off to Kabul, the capital – every one of them a vote for Karzai.

The alleged fraud, which Ahmed Wali Karzai denies, was the most blatant example among hundreds of incidents that have threatened to make a mockery of the election.

The sheer scale and audacity of the cheating, which includes supposedly “state-sponsored” ballot-stuffing, vote burning, intimidation and the closure of polling stations in antigovernment areas, has overwhelmed the country’s fledgling Electoral Complaints Commission…

Inserted from <Times Online>

We need to remember that the only reason Karzai was installed as President in Afghanistan is that he was an employee of Unocal, who hoped to build a gas pipeline from the independent republics to Karachi.  Russia now controls the distribution of that gas.  The Bush family and their GOP cronies in the Carlisle group would have profited immensely as the principal investors in that project.  I have mixed feelings about this war.  On the one hand, I don’t want Afghanistan to become a major Al Qaeda base again.  On the other, if we support a corrupt government, we will only repeat the mistakes of the past.  This reminds me too much of our support or the Diem regime in Vietnam.

Elsewhere, it appears that John Ashcroft may be liable for at least one of the Bush/GOP crimes against our civil liberties.

Kidd Former Attorney General John Ashcroft may face personal liability for the decisions that led to the detention of an American citizen as a material witness after the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal appeals court panel ruled on Friday.

In the decision, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, was sharply critical of the Bush administration’s practice of holding people it suspected of terrorism without charges, as material witnesses.

“We find this to be repugnant to the Constitution, and a painful reminder of some of the most ignominious chapters of our national history,” said the opinion, written by Judge Milan D. Smith Jr.

The lawsuit was brought in 2005 by Abdullah al-Kidd, who was born Lavoni T. Kidd in Kansas and converted to Islam in college. He was arrested in 2003 at Dulles Airport as he prepared to fly to Saudi Arabia for graduate work in Islamic studies, and was held for weeks under a law that allows the indefinite detention of material witnesses to a crime. After his detention, he was ordered to stay with his in-laws in Las Vegas; his travel was restricted over the next year.

Mr. Kidd, who was not called as a witness in the case in which he was detained and was never charged with a crime, sued Mr. Ashcroft and other officials in 2005, challenging his detention as unconstitutional and saying it cost him his marriage and his job. His lawyers argued that he was held as part of a secret Bush administration policy to use the material witness statute as a tool to detain and interrogate people when there was insufficient evidence to charge them with a crime…

Inserted from <NY Times>

I strongly believe that Ashcroft, and all the other members of the GOP regime who committed crimes must be held accountable, and if Democrats were party to criminal activity, so be it.  It’s time to drain the swamp.


Brother Tim said...

I must say, that staying in Afghanistan because " I don’t want Afghanistan to become a major Al Qaeda base again." is a weak argument, Tom. Are we going to invade and occupy every country that has that ability. Who's next? Yemen? Somalia? How about Saudi Arabia? Oh, nevermind, I know the answer to that one.

Water seeks it's own level. We need to get out of there now. Our country is called the United States of America, not the United States of the World. We cannot (and should not) try to dictate governance, culture, and religous choice on other peoples.

Our arrogance leads us to believe that our 233 year experiment is God-sanctioned perfection. We discount and fluff off the other's 5,000+ year tribal and cultural history. The only one who ever arguably conquered them, was the ferocious warrior, Genghis Khan, leading the Mongols; and they could not sustain the victory.

You know the Constitution, Brother, and are aware of the purpose our military was established and authorized for. This current perversion has to be stopped, or we may find our experiment short-lived. 'Might' is not synonymous with 'right'.

TomCat said...

Brother, you may well be correct. At the time we invaded, Afganistan was actively supporting and harboring Osama bin Laden, but instead of going after them, the Bush/GOP regime set up a puppet regime to build their pipeline. I'm still concerned about that nation returning to the status quo as it was before.