Chicago Indymedia :
Chicago Indymedia

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Democracies die behind closed doors

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has shot down the Bush administration’s secret tribunals of foreign residents, declaring that the secret deportation hearings are an attempt to hide behind national security to strip us of our freedoms.
A three judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati declared Monday that the Justice Department acted unlawfully by holding secret hearings designed to target Arab and Muslim Americans and rid the U.S. of their presence. The fact that the secret “Star Chamber” hearings were only directed towards Muslims, who make up a fraction of one percent of the nations illegal immigrants, is telling.

The decision was unanimous, and was summarized by Judge Damon Keith. The appeals court panel also included Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey, also of the U. S. 6th Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, and Judge James G. Carr. Judge Keith wrote: “Democracies die behind closed doors”, and “ When the government begins closing doors it selectively controls information rightfully belonging to the people. Selective information is misinformation”

Four Michigan newspapers and House minority leader Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich, brought the case. They sought to attend deportation hearings concerning a tourist, Rabih Haddad. Haddad, a native of Lebanon and a resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., is the founder of Global Relief Foundation.

Judge Keith wrote” The task of designating a case special interest is performed in secret, without any established standards or procedures, and the process is, thus, not subject to any sort of review". "A government operating in the shadow of secrecy stands in complete opposition to the society envisioned by the framers of our Constitution” And "The framers of the First Amendment . . . protected the people against secret government." Commenting on the Bush administration he said, "The executive branch seeks to uproot people's lives, outside the public eye and behind a closed door. Democracies die behind closed doors."

That this decision comes from the most conservative court in the land, in the most conservative city in America suggests that some in power do indeed ‘get it’. Good and powerful people like these are in opposition to the Administrations dismissal of the very democratic principles that many Americans feel are our most cherished possessions. Let’s keep up the pressure on those who would replace the rule of law with the rule of the gun, the secret agent, and the concentration camp.

This white, Anglo-Saxon, straight, conservative looking male knows this: If they came for you in the morning, they will come for me in the night. We’re coming for you, George. We have never liked tyrants named George, and we won’t tolerate you much longer. Sleep in fear, know there are many in opposition to you and yours, and when you take the tally, make sure you get this right-We, the People, are against you. To use an over used term with deadly accuracy, you are a terrorist, and the time of terror and fear grows short.

Joseph Eisenschmidt



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