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The 1940s Again?
August 15, 2002 7:28 AM   Subscribe

The 1940s Again? While this in't to internment level yet, I find it terrifying. What to do about this government? This article was originally LA Times, but has been reposted to Common Dreams....
posted by pjgulliver (78 comments total)

 
someone had best round up ashcroft and put him in internment before he turns this country into a bigger bundle of shit than his boss has been able to so far...
posted by quonsar at 7:38 AM on August 15, 2002


Bush scares me, but at least I look at him and say "well, he just wants to enrich himself and his friends." Ashcroft has the philosophical leanings of a zealot and an authoritarian, which I find incredibly frightening. I mean a year ago, who would have ever imagined a US Attorney General would be actively discussing the creation of holding camps for citizens?
posted by pjgulliver at 7:48 AM on August 15, 2002


With any luck at this will establish once and for all that Ashcroft is a menace and unfit to serve. This guy is a loose cannon, probably not sane, and may have crossed the line this time.

What scares me most is that something of this magnitude didn't lead to an instant uproar from both sides of the political spectrum. I'd expect some quick backpedaling from the Bush administration, the wholesale dismemberment of the Constitution isn't going to be easy to gloss over. Ashcroft has already, by refusing the orders of a federal judge, placed the Justice Department above the law. This is criminal and if we haven't turned into a nation of pabulum sucking sheep should lead to the end of his reign.
posted by cedar at 7:49 AM on August 15, 2002


On top of everything else, we have to endure his singing. This guy is downright spooky.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 7:52 AM on August 15, 2002


I'm giving more and more credence to the paranoid notion that Ashcroft is there to distract us with outrageous actions, whilst more sinister shenanigans transpire in the background.

But I just lurve a bit of melodrama.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:53 AM on August 15, 2002


I'm with PST - the guy is obviously a frightening nutjob, but he's also a lightning rod.

Just like my growing feeling that all this public yabber about invading Iraq is really just to distract our attention. Now, distract it from what? Think, man, think...
posted by gottabefunky at 8:04 AM on August 15, 2002


what does 'disclosed last week' mean? Is this a policy paper, proposed legislation, a throwaway comment to an aid in an elevator, or just extrapolation from the Padilla case?
posted by tellmenow at 8:08 AM on August 15, 2002


But I just lurve a bit of melodrama.

What your overlooking is the success Ashcroft has had with his 'outrageous actions'. This camp thing isn't new, there are American citizens (several, dozens, hundreds... nobody seems to know exactly how many) being held without due process right now. The camp thing merely creates a formal environment for something that is already happening.

There is nothing melodramatic about being concerned when people are being scooped up and held without access to lawyers and without being charge by a Justice Department that refuses to acknowledge Congressional oversight or the authority of the federal judiciary.
posted by cedar at 8:09 AM on August 15, 2002


I agree with all of the above. It's like no one is coming into the media to say 'this is a load of fucking horseshit.' A search on Google with 'enemy combatants ashcroft camps' turns up nothing of the announcement Ashcroft made last week. That's even more stunning to me - it isn't being reported (except for the LA Times - though it turns up in the search on latimes.com but when I click on the link it says Error - Invalid URL). Everyday I wonder to myself: this can't actually be happening - it's nuts!
posted by ao4047 at 8:12 AM on August 15, 2002


there are American citizens (several, dozens, hundreds... nobody seems to know exactly how many) being held without due process right now.

I can think of only two: Jose Padilla (the "dirty bomber" guy) and Yasser Hamdi (the Saudi man who was born in the United States). You know of others?
posted by TBoneMcCool at 8:15 AM on August 15, 2002


did he actually say this in a speech?
posted by tellmenow at 8:15 AM on August 15, 2002


That's a whole lot of rhetoric and zero substance. Anyone have a link to the policy that was proposed?
posted by revbrian at 8:16 AM on August 15, 2002


This page on the JD web site list no new statements from Ashcroft since April
posted by tellmenow at 8:18 AM on August 15, 2002


I can think of only two: Jose Padilla (the "dirty bomber" guy) and Yasser Hamdi (the Saudi man who was born in the United States). You know of others?

No I don't. All I know are unsubstaintiated rumors and failed efforts by Congress to obtain specifics. That is the entire problem. When the Justice Department refuses documents to Congress and the judiciary they are acting without oversight and *no one* knows anything. That's not the way a free society works.

It may well be there are only the two you mentioned, but even if that's the case it's two too many. The precedent has been established.
posted by cedar at 8:22 AM on August 15, 2002


Well, tellmenow, we know Ashcroft has spoken in public since April. I apologize for the lack of other links, but since it was LA Times, and I haven't seen a retraction, I'm assuming it stands....
posted by pjgulliver at 8:22 AM on August 15, 2002


no doubt pjgulliver, what's amazing is how hard it is to find any transcripts. his schedule is up on the JD web site, but searching for articles on his keynotes turns up nothing.
posted by tellmenow at 8:24 AM on August 15, 2002


I know! Its insane how this government seeks to compartmentalize and restrict information.
posted by pjgulliver at 8:25 AM on August 15, 2002


A very old tactic , worked in the Boer war. I mean how harmful can concentration camps be.
posted by johnnyboy at 8:29 AM on August 15, 2002


Scary stuff.

When I converted to Islam 4 years ago, I never considered (even in the remotest of circumstances) that I could potentially be interned, because I disagreed with US policy. Granted, that time is still probably long-off, or at least I'd like to think so. Asscroft is starting to make me wonder...
posted by drstrangelove at 8:32 AM on August 15, 2002


Would it matter if transcripts were put on the JD web site? The White House has made it regular practise to scrub the man-child's speeches for gaffs and errors, so I wouldn't look to the JD web site as a source of truth.
posted by holycola at 8:34 AM on August 15, 2002


Here's the latest on Padilla - the government seems to have squat on him and now thinks he's not even tied to Al Queda.

You know of others?

I don't know of any unless he's talking about people being held as material witnesses, not suspects. It sounds like most if not all of them were not US citizens. But since the Justice Dep't won't release their names, who knows for sure.
posted by pitchblende at 8:35 AM on August 15, 2002


Perhaps there needs to be an independent federal archival service, that transcribes statements by senior officials. That way, no one branch could edit the public record.
posted by pjgulliver at 8:40 AM on August 15, 2002


How about less effusion of accusations and vulgar words, and more substance on the guy's record.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:41 AM on August 15, 2002


here is the la times link. Published Aug 14th, give it a few days to see what shakes out....

Related story in the washington post can be found here.
posted by kurtosis at 8:41 AM on August 15, 2002


Hey Paris, where the hell is the record?
posted by tellmenow at 8:42 AM on August 15, 2002


Tom Tomorrow, as usual, has some insightful thoughts on the subject.
posted by tweebiscuit at 8:42 AM on August 15, 2002


Ashcroft gives me the creeps, but so do most politicians. Big wup.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:45 AM on August 15, 2002


Paris- at the risk of invoking Godwin's law:

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

Big wup

That attitude is seriously offensive to me. I hope you're just feeling flip today.
posted by kahboom at 8:59 AM on August 15, 2002


I don't have Movable Type, so here's my own little traceback. The best thing I can think to do right now is to post about this on my blog, to just alert a few more people, to make them aware of the sort of things that are going on. I suggest that everyone who's concerned do the same -- Ashcroft's best weapon right now is ignorance, and so far he's got a pretty big arsenal.
posted by tweebiscuit at 9:01 AM on August 15, 2002


I'm as cynical about Ashcroft as anyone, but I don't see anything that shows the camps exist anywhere but in a columnist's imagination. I don't see anything that links Ashcroft to camps, or even anything official advocating camps. True, the Padilla and Hamdi cases are scary enough, but, as for the "camps", where's the beef? If there is substance to this rumor, I definitely want to know.
posted by kcmoryan at 9:02 AM on August 15, 2002


I'm going to agree with paris. Common Dreams is a liberal site, and apparently what they're accusing Ashcroft of saying can't be found in a more reputable news source. If American citizens begin being interned for just dissenting or on accusation, there's going to be a media frenzy. The day Joe Blow is taken away from his middle/upper-class home, do you think his family will just sit by? Or that they won't contact the media and give some reporter the story of the year?

I'm not saying that Ashcroft is the best guy in the world, I'm just saying that I'm not going to believe any of this till I hear it on the evening news, with some more specifics. Of course, you can always play the card that it will never show on the evening news because our gov't has some kind of super power to keep everyone quiet.
posted by geoff. at 9:07 AM on August 15, 2002


Common Dreams is a liberal site, and apparently what they're accusing Ashcroft of saying can't be found in a more reputable news source.

I don't generally read the paper so wouldn't know their political bias, but would you consider the LA Times more reputable? Common Dreams just mirrored the LA Times story. This was made clear on the Common Dreams site and in the original post.

I will say I'm surprised at the difficulty in finding further information. If there is any substance to this, I expect it will become clear before the day is out.
posted by cedar at 9:17 AM on August 15, 2002


I didn't think about Ashcroft until I read this . He covered the Spirit of Justice! How ironic.

Soon after, i was informed he was beaten by a dead man.

The current situation with the detainees makes me very nervous....
posted by ericableu at 9:23 AM on August 15, 2002


Common Dreams is a liberal site, and apparently what they're accusing Ashcroft of saying can't be found in a more reputable news source.

Since geoff seems to have missed the repeated references (both in this thread and on the Common Dreams page) to the fact that this originally ran in the Los Angeles Times -- presumably a "reputable news source" -- here's the same piece on the latimes.com site. (login: metafil / password: metafil)

Although it's true that this is an opinion piece and not a news story, I very much doubt that the Times would run an opinion piece reacting to a statement that couldn't be corroborated.
posted by jjg at 9:24 AM on August 15, 2002


What is important to remember here, whether or not you agree with the conclusion of the article, is that 2 American citizens, one arrested in Afghanistan, the other here, in the USA, are being held without access to counsel, without being charged with a crime, and presumably will be held indefinitely. What makes this situation even more heinous is that a Federal Judge has ordered the government to simply provide the court with information as to why one of these individuals is being held (not to release him, not to make public this information, simply to inform the court) and the Department of Justice has REFUSED. This affects all Americans. If this is allowed to stand, there is no conceivable reason why this same procedure cannot be applied to other people. What happens when "enemies" in the "war on drugs" are determined "enemy combatants" as well?
posted by pjgulliver at 9:30 AM on August 15, 2002


Paris only gets mad when trolling I/P.
posted by websavvy at 9:31 AM on August 15, 2002


With any luck at this will establish once and for all that Ashcroft is a menace and unfit to serve.

Ashcroft was an effective and, in some parts, rather respected Senator. "Unfit to serve," under your definition, would cause the entire of Congress, both houses, to be sent home - not entirely a bad idea :)

This guy is a loose cannon, probably not sane, and may have crossed the line this time.

Has anyone considered the remote possibility that Ashcroft is saying the things he says and doing the things he does NOT because he is a proto-fascist but because crystallizing public opinion against him personally deflects media and public attention from Bush and Cheney?

He admitted as much in a recent GQ article.
posted by UncleFes at 9:35 AM on August 15, 2002


I just mention that to point out that, though it would be pleasant and simple to believe so, these guys are not morally defective imbeciles with swastikas tattooed on their butts. They are intelligent, savvy, powerful, monied politicians. They LIKE it when they are underestimated.
posted by UncleFes at 9:40 AM on August 15, 2002


The Guardian has an article related to this issue. These two paragraphs seem relevant:
Chertoff, head of the Justice Department's criminal division, was not backtracking. He said the president can take the preventive step of imprisoning people who might be a threat during wartime, whether or not they are Americans.

Chertoff said the jailings are not punishments. People put behind bars as combatants could be tried later at military tribunals, he said. As long as they have the enemy combatant status, they are denied access to attorneys and courts.
posted by maurice at 9:44 AM on August 15, 2002


Has Bush actually declared war, or just "war on not getting re-elected" or "war on his buddies not getting richer"?

OK, excuse the sarcasm. But really, has war been declared against any nation by the US within the past year or two?
posted by websavvy at 9:50 AM on August 15, 2002


Chertoff said the jailings are not punishments.

Oooooh. Well, that changes everything.
posted by ook at 9:51 AM on August 15, 2002


This article is beyond silly.

...would induce a free people to surrender the rights so dearly won by their ancestors.

Our ancestors dearly won the right for US citizens to take up arms in defense of a foreign theocratic dictatorship that sponsors the mass murder of other US citizens? How are the equivalent of POW camps inappropriate for all two of these individuals?

Ashcroft seems as icky to me as to most people, but I just can't get all that worried about this. This stuff is pure FUD.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 9:54 AM on August 15, 2002


Well, I'm a big ol conspiracy, anti-government, kinda girl...and I'm willing to believe nigh onto anything bad about our resident Crisco oil anointed, speakin' in tongues, statue-covering Attorney General...because he makes it SO easy to do, but...I can't find corroboration of this story either.

But, there is proof that Bush appointees have spoken out to say that camps are a possibility...last week in Detroit, as a matter a fact...to a *large* group of Arabs...go figure the idiocy there.

Also, FEMA is taking bids for contractors to build "temporary housing"...which says to me that the camps are being planned. (On June 19, FEMA posted a special bid notice for one of the agency's largest contract awards ever, offering contracting firms $300 million for a five-year contract to simply prepare plans to create temporary housing on a scale never before imagined, and then stand by.)

Thus, where the rest of the media may not believe that Ashcroft can get away with this nonsense, and therefore isn't even reporting his Himmler-like ranting, as far as the camps go...the proof is in the pudding...and the pudding is the official FEMA bid requests for the camps. I ran across the FEMA links last week, not long after the Detroit debacle.

(Yes, yes, the Himmler reference could get me flagged under Godwin's rules as they're being interpreted here...but usenet people know that the godwin rule only comes into effect when you call 'someone in the thread' a Nazi...not just because you've made a reference to National Socialism as it ruled for 14 years in Germany. Some things deserve to be compared to the rise of Fascism and nationalism...and Ashcroft fits that bill pretty well.)
posted by dejah420 at 9:54 AM on August 15, 2002


dejah420 - the FEMA summary (Word doc) makes it clear this is "Disaster Housing." Here is the complete PDF file of the contract proposal.

I guess if you really want to believe it's for internment camps and the disaster thing is just a cover, you can. But a possibly scarier reason for the housing that some have put forward is that it's in preparation for attacks on U.S. cities with weapons of mass destruction. By whom? Who knows. Al Queda? Does Iraq have terrorists here waiting to retaliate for the upcoming US invasion of Iraq?
posted by pitchblende at 10:29 AM on August 15, 2002


Now, distract it from what? Think, man, think...

The economy?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 10:34 AM on August 15, 2002


Ummm...I hope I'm not coming off as a complete newby here, but as it was my thread, I thought I'd ask a quesiton that's been puzzling me. When there appears text in a different font and a smaller size at the end of a post, like in dejah's above, is it the poster who appends that, just using different hypertext commands? Or some sort of moderator?
posted by pjgulliver at 10:36 AM on August 15, 2002


I'm preparing to get crucified here, but if the poster had linked to any article from, say, The National Review, wouldn't half of you fallen all over yourselves guffawing and sneering and saying "Oh yeah, NR is a really balanced news source". It's happened about ten times in the past few months, yet when someone links to info on an openly liberal site (and yes, I know the article is from the LA Times) no one has a problem with it. Someone yesterday was even called a troll for disagreeing with the largely liberal arguement and referencing the NR.

And for the record, I agree Ashcroft is out of control. I just wish the double standards didn't exist so plainly before our eyes on Metafilter from folks who usually promote Tolerance and freedom of opinion.
posted by dhoyt at 10:42 AM on August 15, 2002


Well, Dhoyt on the one hand you have a point, and it is certain that there are a few more vocal liberals than conservatives on MetaFilter (the vast majority seem to me to be pretty open minded, not left or right), but on the other hand, as has been noted several times, this article comes from The Los Angeles Times. If it were a CommonDreams editorial and not from a major newspaper, I think your point would have more validity.
posted by cell divide at 10:45 AM on August 15, 2002


Ashcroft was an effective and, in some parts, rather respected Senator.

Joe McCarthy was 'effective' as a Senator, Huey Long and George Wallace were 'in some parts' respected governors. Nixon won reelection. Ted Kennedy managed to evade prosecution for a negligent homicide and has been reelected numerous times. None of this means that they weren't/aren't megalomaniac authoritarian figures with no regard for checks and balances, the rule of law or ethics.

Because a politician succeeds in appealing to the lowest common denominator and shows a remarkable capability to manipulate a scared and confused public does not make him fit to serve. Simply because this is so widespread in the political arena isn't justification for excusing their actions.
posted by cedar at 10:55 AM on August 15, 2002


dhoyt, I think I've made clear that I'm not Ashcroft fan, but I agree with you on this point. Let me also add that, yes, the piece did run in the LA Times -- a reputable news source by most people's standards -- but it was a submitted opinion column that presumably ran on the paper's op-ed page. The op-ed page serves as a vehicle to allow people from outside the newspaper to express their opinions -- right or wrong -- about a wide range of issues. I'm a little worried that some people here are confusing the piece with a staff-written news article.

The column is nothing more than a piece that a professor submitted to the op-ed editor of the LA Times, who found it to be interesting enough for publication. Just because the column was published in the LA Times does not mean that it is endorsed by the LA Times, or even that the LA Times fact-checked every line in the piece (Most likely, the LA Times fact-checked very little if anything at all). It stands on its own as one guy's opinion.

The bottom line, I guess, is that the column should be judged by the facts used to back up its point, not necessarily by what publication it ran in.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 10:56 AM on August 15, 2002


Right, but what if someone posted an article from LA Times that National Review was re-printing on their website. How long do you think it would take before people went out of their way to scoff, "Well, anything that National Review re-prints is clearly conservatively biased rhetoric".

And keep in mind: I'm a moderate liberal. Still wanting to be pleasantly surprised by like-minded independently thinking moderate liberals out there.......
posted by dhoyt at 11:01 AM on August 15, 2002


these guys are not morally defective imbeciles with swastikas tattooed on their butts

Prove it.
posted by Dirjy at 11:06 AM on August 15, 2002


pitchblende,
I find the fact that FEMA is in charge less than reassuring. FEMA enjoys a rather unique set of powers and is in many ways immune from the normal regulatory oversight that applies to other agencies.

IF, and I'm by no means convinced of this, we are setting up a system of detention, FEMA would be the natural choice for the administration of internment camps or similar facilities.

I admit to a certain morbid fascination with the whole thing. Wouldn't it be something if the paranoid Black Helicopter and New World Order lunatic fringe lucked out and got something right. It sounds pretty far out there, but a year ago I never thought there would be discussion about internment camps or the indefinite detention of uncharged citizens.
posted by cedar at 11:09 AM on August 15, 2002


Dhoyt: your point is well taken.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 11:12 AM on August 15, 2002


Being a college student, I've personally heard a lot of unsubstatiated opinions uttered by professors as they try to pass it off as "fact". Seeing as I cannot find this Ashcroft news anywhere else on the Net/media leads me to conclude that this information is either:

a) systematically censored from all the media

b) the op-ed opinion of the professor who wrote the "article"

Personally, option (b) seems more likely, especially since the only other media source picking up the op-ed piece and trying to pass it off as fact is some web site who's by-line is "news & views for the progressive community."
posted by burnt_offerings at 11:22 AM on August 15, 2002


Because a politician succeeds in appealing to the lowest common denominator and shows a remarkable capability to manipulate a scared and confused public does not make him fit to serve

Hm. In the arena of modern politics, one might consider the above qualities a basic skillset for political office.

Prove it.

jpegs on the way! :)
posted by UncleFes at 11:22 AM on August 15, 2002


I don't know about everyone else, but I trust professors. Sure, they can be elitist at times, but no more than their critics are anti-intellectual. The difficulty of getting a professorship at any good university means that they're nearly always the best in their field, and as scholars they're trained to be as objective and well-reasoned as possible. In a choice between a college professor's opinion and that of a politician, journalist, or lawyer, I'll always go with the professor.
posted by tweebiscuit at 11:27 AM on August 15, 2002


burntoffering, just FYI, my above comment wasn't specifically a response to yours (I hit "post" before your comment appeared) -- but, in fact, it's exactly how I would respond.

(Conflict of interest alert: I am a college student, planning to go to graduate school, with the goal of becoming a professor of philosophy myself. My dad is a marine biologist [actually, he's this marine biology], so I was raised in an academic background.)
posted by tweebiscuit at 11:31 AM on August 15, 2002


Though a laudable prerogative, I've found that college professors are just as subject to intellectual caprice and the vanities of specialized (as opposed to general) knowledge as anyone politico, journo or ambulance chaser. They can be just as ignorant, vain and close-minded as the worst in any profession. And they can be just as you describe. It's individual, and it's subjective.

Trust whom you trust. But never assume that one is worthy of your trust by sole virtue of their profession. Once a hairless ape, always a hairless ape.
posted by UncleFes at 11:35 AM on August 15, 2002


cedar: IF, and I'm by no means convinced of this, we are setting up a system of detention, FEMA would be the natural choice for the administration of internment camps or similar facilities.

I agree, I was just pointing out that there are more likely explanations for the FEMA actions. However, I share your morbid fascination as well and I wonder sometimes if there will come a point when I feel the need to buy a gun...
posted by pitchblende at 11:46 AM on August 15, 2002


UncleFes nailed it. Nicely put. Trust who you trust. I've known some serioussssssssly intellectually bankrupt professors who simply knew how to use the system to achieve their vaunted positions, each more slithery than any politician.
posted by dhoyt at 11:52 AM on August 15, 2002


... which Ashcroft fully supports! Man, this is weird!
posted by UncleFes at 11:52 AM on August 15, 2002


Sorry, that was an extension of pitchblende's comment.
posted by UncleFes at 11:54 AM on August 15, 2002


Hah, I kind of liked the non-sequitir response.
posted by dhoyt at 11:55 AM on August 15, 2002


By virtue of their profession I accord professors more respect at first glance than other professions -- but then I make sure I evaluate them specifically. Snap judgements are fine as long as you recognize them as such.
posted by tweebiscuit at 12:31 PM on August 15, 2002


... which Ashcroft fully supports! Man, this is weird!

Which kind of, *ahem*...shoots holes in the Ashcroft conspiracy theories. Unless you take these theories to the next level and realize that some of his main political opponents do not and would not own guns.

"We've got arguments and they've got guns"
posted by pitchblende at 12:57 PM on August 15, 2002


Looks like I'm a little late to clarify my comment, but I don't consider the op-ed section of any paper to be reputable. I mean it's exactly that, opinion, not fact. I'm not dismissing all op-ed articles as nothing, but if something to this magnitude cannot be found outside a mirror on Common Dreams, then I have doubts.

I'm not an Ashcroft fan, so I'm not trying to defend him, it just seems Ashcroft is an easy target for the left. I'd take the same position of Freerep did an article on Clinton using tax payers money for personal sex toys.
posted by geoff. at 1:29 PM on August 15, 2002


For those looking for Ashcroft speeches: Here is a speech Ashcroft gave to the 8th Circuit Judge's Conference last week. It does not seem to be quite what Turley is referring to - but I can't find anything relevant in the DOJ press release section either.

The relevant text in the speech seems to be:
Finally, we are utilizing our prosecutorial discretion to the fullest extent in order to prevent suspected terrorists from fulfilling their plans. Each and every person detained arising from our investigation into 9/11 has been detained under the law, with an individualized predicate - a criminal charge, an immigration violation, or a judicially issued material witness warrant. We have not engaged, nor will we engage, in preventive detention.

Not sure how this gets to the idea of "camps."
posted by pitchblende at 2:06 PM on August 15, 2002


I'm not an Ashcroft fan, so I'm not trying to defend him, it just seems Ashcroft is an easy target for the left.

I find this interesting. Considering the administrations trampling of states rights, fiscal irresponsibility and creation of several new agencies enlarging the bureaucracy, I wouldn't think the 'right' would be too fond of him either.

Historically the right has been in favor of a very strict interpretation of the Constitution, the Justice Department seems to view it as a rather flexible document.
posted by cedar at 2:09 PM on August 15, 2002


Cedar: the trouble with conservatives -- or more specifically, Republicans -- is that their political party has been hijacked by the Christian right. Republican candidates for elected office must pander to this highly organized voting bloc -- regardless of their personal beliefs. Christian conservatives don't care about a very strict interpretation of the Constitution, they care only about a very strict interpretation of the Bible.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 2:37 PM on August 15, 2002


TBone, that's a really interesting and true point you bring up. I think it'd make a really interesting thread. This "new" Christian movement just kind of snuck up and next thing you know it's either you're a bible-thumper or an athiest. It's either a sign of things to come or a the last futile gasp of breath from a way of life that's no longer compatible with modern society.
posted by geoff. at 2:50 PM on August 15, 2002


Tangentially, the Algerian bloke who was banged up in Britain for five months, accused of having trained the Sept 11th hijackers, is now planning to sue UK and US authorities, given that he was freed without a shred of evidence being found against him. Had he been picked up in the USA, he'd probably be in the same situation as Jose Padilla right now. That's the Justice Department for you.
posted by riviera at 3:15 PM on August 15, 2002


ok, so i emailed mr. jonathan turley. that seemed like the best thing to do i guess. if he emails me back i will post info here.
posted by rhyax at 7:22 PM on August 15, 2002


When there appears text in a different font and a smaller size at the end of a post, like in dejah's above, is it the poster who appends that, just using different hypertext commands? -- pjgulliver


Yes, it's the [small] teeny text [/small] command...when doing it, replace the brackets with <>. It's part of the style sheet for the site. :)
posted by dejah420 at 8:14 PM on August 15, 2002


dejah420 - the FEMA summary (Word doc) makes it clear this is "Disaster Housing." Here is the complete PDF file of the contract proposal. I guess if you really want to believe it's for internment camps and the disaster thing is just a cover, you can.

Well, I hardly think they'd call it "Plans for Arab Internment Camps"...do you? I have no more knowledge of what the camps will actually be used for than anyone else does...but I know that I don't trust FEMA, Ashcroft, or the majority of the Executive Branch...so, I think it behooves us to all be aware that the plans are being laid for some sort of large holding place for people...be it nefarious or not.

(Ok, truth be told, I don't much trust the other two branches of government either. Pretty much, I'm all for riding all of em out on a rail and starting again. I'm like that.)
posted by dejah420 at 8:20 PM on August 15, 2002


rhyax, great idea. If you get any word, why don't you post a new link, or at least e-mail some of us?
posted by tweebiscuit at 8:11 AM on August 16, 2002


rhyax, very cool. I'd be interested in hearing when you get a response. Dejah, thanks for the answer on the formatting.
posted by pjgulliver at 8:20 AM on August 16, 2002


ok, here is his response:

I'm sorry for the delay but I am on vacation with my family. The quick
answer to your question is that no formal policy has been issued. The
disclosure of the proposal first appeared in the Wall Street Journal on
August 8th with confirmation from various unnamed aides to Ashcroft.
Since the op-ed in the LA Times, various newspapers have confirmed the
story and the internal deliberations over the structure and locations of
such camps. The WSJ article has never been denied. There was no
formal statement issued by Ashcroft and members of Congress are now
inquiring into the status of the proposal. I hope that this helps.

Best,

Jonathan Turley


WSJ.com is a pay site, and I don't have access, but i'm sure someone else can dig that up hopefully.
posted by rhyax at 5:38 PM on August 16, 2002


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