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April 7, 2003 1:36 AM   Subscribe

A "Disappearance" In America - Arrested without charge. Secret warrants and subpoenas. No arrest record. No accusation of a crime. Solitary confinement. No access to a lawyer. No comment from the authorities. No court appearance. In other countries, this would be a "disappearance". Here in America, it's just the Patriot Act at work. Read the story of Mike Hawash, and ponder where this country is headed.
posted by laz-e-boy (44 comments total)

 
Double post
posted by Eirixon at 1:44 AM on April 7, 2003


"We had to destroy the village constitution in order to save it."
posted by RavinDave at 1:46 AM on April 7, 2003


Ahh the age old question - who will watch the watcher?

Americans are a very patriotic bunch, and there's nothing particularly wrong with that. That is until that feeling is used by the government to manipulate the population; surely to oppose the Patriot Act would be unpatriotic!

What has this act have to do with patriotism? Isn't it really an anti-terrorism bill? How do we define terror?
posted by DrDoberman at 3:27 AM on April 7, 2003


Sorry, what part of "double post" did you not understand?
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:46 AM on April 7, 2003


Is that a double comment?
posted by srboisvert at 4:27 AM on April 7, 2003


The freemikehawash website said he had limited contact with his lawyer and wife. Try again, chicken little.
posted by techgnollogic at 8:43 AM on April 7, 2003


If the ideals of the republic fall in the forest and no one says anything about it, does it still make a sound?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:52 AM on April 7, 2003


I don't think 'limited contact' alleviates the concerns about the process by which Mr. Hawash is detained. Try belittling again, only this time make it on point.
posted by holycola at 9:05 AM on April 7, 2003


This case is deeply worrying, but it's not served well by mischaracterizing it as a "disapperance"; don't feed the naysayers. (It might better be described as "Kafka Justice", but some of MeFi's better thinkers might come up with a more accurate term - get to work, Zachsmind...)
Of course, without Hamash's personal connections (I'd like Intel on MY side in a situation like this), others like him could just 'disappear'. But then, we wouldn't know about them, would we?
posted by wendell at 9:33 AM on April 7, 2003


Did we mention DOUBLE POST yet?
posted by reality at 9:37 AM on April 7, 2003


America, the home of the brave and the land of the free.

Strike that.

I wonder at what point all those patriotic songs, espousing America's great values of freedom and liberty, will sound hollow to even those neo-conservative, neo-fascists, that are currently screwing up the country?
posted by Blue Stone at 10:08 AM on April 7, 2003


Good points drdoberman.

It would seem many of the right wing nut element do not understand the difference between patriotism, nationalism and jingoism. Twentieth century history predicts a likely outcome from such stupidity.

Holding two separate thoughts in their heads at the same time to consider is way too taxing, better to let Rush and Faux do their thinking for them!

[sarcasm alert]
(Putting hands over ears and alternatively eyes)
Na na na na!!
What's that you say?
Na na na na na!! I can't hear you! Double Post!
Na na na na na!!
You unpatriotic bastard, someone should shoot all you supporters of Saddam and Osama, his blood brother!!
Na na na na na!!
See me wave my flag?
I support George W. Bush and the troops!!
Unka' Karl Rove said Dubya is the best on Faux today!
Support Operation Infinite War and help Unka' Karl win elections!
[/sarcasm alert]
posted by nofundy at 10:12 AM on April 7, 2003


Nofundy, you're an idiot without peer.
posted by dhoyt at 10:22 AM on April 7, 2003


dhoyt, I'm not a fan of the ad hoc name calling, but I have to concur, your response to nofundy summed up my feelings about his post perfectly; it's sad, because he & I probably share the same views about Bush, this war, and numerous other social and political points, but MAN does this kind of crap just make lefties look stupid.
posted by jonson at 10:25 AM on April 7, 2003


Exactly ^. I may agree on some points too, but it's posts like his that routinely make me embarassed to tell friends of any political persuasion to visit Metafilter.
posted by dhoyt at 10:27 AM on April 7, 2003


(blushing)
Geez!
I just don't know what to say!
I'm feeling sooo loved riight now!
I just want to thank all the screaming righties that helped drive to the point of fighting back! Thank you! Thank you!
posted by nofundy at 10:33 AM on April 7, 2003


"it's posts like his that routinely make me embarassed....."

One of the nice things about Metafilter is that it brings people of diverse viewpoints together to rant, debate, discuss, laugh, etc.

You might think it's convenient to dismiss nofundy's posts (I know I do), but at the same time you'd miss a substantial demographic if he wasn't here. I would lobby you that without exposing yourself to this type of poster you miss the complete picture. A substantial percentage of Americans fall into the "babbling loon" mentality which nofundy typifies. On both sides of the debate.

I think we can all agree that if everyone was as erudite and reasonable as dhoyt and jonson, most of the world's problem would go away. But reality just doesn't work that way. Like it or not nofundy, and his counterparts from the Right, are the norm here in the US. To dismiss them is to ignore the true root of the problem.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:51 AM on April 7, 2003


I could use a nofundy kill file too, and I am against the ghodless fucking war/patriotact/whathave you. (Ostensibly on his side even)

You are a terrifying sort Fundy.
posted by thirteen at 10:53 AM on April 7, 2003


I would lobby you that without exposing yourself to this type of poster you miss the complete picture.

I hadn't thought of it that way. Cheers to egalitarianism :)
posted by dhoyt at 10:59 AM on April 7, 2003


Did anyone mention METATALK yet?
posted by reality at 11:07 AM on April 7, 2003


Bail Denied for Mike Hawash in Secret Hearing

Meanwhile, Jose Padilla has now been detained for over a year.
Again, Padilla may be a very bad person. The problem here is that there is no legal distinction between Mr. Padilla and you or me. As far as the courts are considered, the only distinction between Jose Padilla and George Paine is that Attorney General John Ashcroft says that Padilla is a bad man who must be kept in solitary confinement indefinitely. Mr. Ashcroft calls Padilla an "enemy combatant", despite the fact that he was detained on American soil by a law enforcement agency.

If the FBI decided to grab me at my local subway stop, as they did Mike Hawash, and call me a "terrorist" or "enemy combatant" then they could do the very same thing with me that they have done with Padilla. They could transfer me to the custody of the US Navy Shore Patrol or the US Army Military Police or the US Air Force Air Police and have me dissapear into a solitary confinement cell.
posted by homunculus at 11:12 AM on April 7, 2003


y6 - you make an intelligent point, agreed (albeit with frustration!).
posted by jonson at 11:14 AM on April 7, 2003


I would really like to believe this has nothing to do with this other former Intel employee and his ongoing bizarre story. I would also like to believe that someone will either charge or release this guy Real Soon Now.

This is not a conspiracy theory, just a random thought I had.
posted by ilsa at 12:05 PM on April 7, 2003


homunculus: brilliant point. Because it highlights the root of the problem. When I talk to people about this, they often say "Well, we can't just let the terrorists go free, then, can we?" as if the only other alternative is to simply let them walk away. Perhaps the answer is a different legal structure that makes the distinction. The thing that I find scary isn't the fact that the government is investigating/detaining people, it's that when they're whisked away, from then on, it's all done in the dark, no chance for appeal or coverage.

An increase in power combined with a decrease in accountability will inevitably lead to an abuse.
posted by weston at 12:11 PM on April 7, 2003


You are a terrifying sort Fundy.

haha, what?
posted by Satapher at 12:22 PM on April 7, 2003


I think we can all agree that if everyone was as erudite and reasonable as dhoyt and jonson, most of the world's problem would go away.

ROTFLMFAO!!!
posted by rushmc at 12:29 PM on April 7, 2003


do you guys circle jerk?
posted by Satapher at 12:33 PM on April 7, 2003


Nah. I think you're looking for these guys.
posted by dhoyt at 12:38 PM on April 7, 2003


posted by rushmc

Michael! I thought you'd left us! Maybe I misunderstood what "left" means.
posted by jonson at 12:39 PM on April 7, 2003


(So, is Steven den Beste technically the only one to do the melodramatic "This Time I'm Really Leaving" thing, and actually stick to it? Rushmc, Evanizer, Crasspastor, Aaron--they all seem to keep coming sheepishly back)
posted by dhoyt at 12:50 PM on April 7, 2003


I'd like to know why he's now "Mike" instead of "Maher" (as he's credited on the cover of his book).

Has he always gone by "Mike", or is this a way to make his name more Westernized and stir the frenzy a little more? What I'm thinking is that not a lot of everyday Americans are going to be up in arms if "Maher Hawash" is being detained by the Fibbies, but if "Mike Hawash" turns up missing, well...pretty much everyone knows a "Mike", right? If it could happen to "Mike", couldn't it happen to anyone?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:09 PM on April 7, 2003


(So, is Steven den Beste technically the only one to do
In his name, Steven den Beste
posted by thomcatspike at 1:15 PM on April 7, 2003


(So, is Steven den Beste technically the only one to do

It's really sort of pathetic, the whole "I'm leaving you now, no, don't beg me to stay, this place has gone too far downhill, etc", like the world will really miss them. Just cracks me up. Evanizer was the worst, with the whole second account, but rush is giving him a sad little run for his money. Sent me a bunch of ugly vituperative emails the last time I called him on one of his post "I've left" comments in a thread, worth quite a chuckle.
posted by jonson at 1:43 PM on April 7, 2003



It's really sort of pathetic, the whole "I'm leaving you now, no, don't beg me to stay, this place has gone too far downhill, etc", like the world will really miss them.


There are many people who are missed. Most people do not make the speech, they just go. I miss those people all the time.

It is not like they have been replaced by people of similar skill. Metafilter is still interesting, but it is not nearly as smart as it used to be.

Myself, I will continue posting until I get a final 404.
posted by thirteen at 2:01 PM on April 7, 2003


"Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be — or to be indistinguishable from —self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time." — Neal Stephenson
posted by cohappy at 2:42 PM on April 7, 2003


Arrested without charge. Secret warrants and subpoenas. No arrest record. No accusation of a crime. Solitary confinement. No access to a lawyer. No comment from the authorities. No court appearance.

Guantanamo Bay was just the start.

In other countries, this would be a "disappearance".

No, in all other countries this is a violation of article 5 and 17 from the 3rd Geneva convention.

Expect no less from the new land of the free.
(or what movie was that "you ain't seen nothin' yet")
posted by psychomedia at 3:01 PM on April 7, 2003


what was so horrible about nofundies post?
posted by delmoi at 5:23 PM on April 7, 2003


It's not nearly as ominous as Patriot II, but apparently Joe Biden is trying to sneak the RAVE Act past Congress right now.
posted by homunculus at 5:33 PM on April 7, 2003


Michael! I thought you'd left us!

It was an observation, not a promise. Sorry to disappoint.
posted by rushmc at 8:11 PM on April 7, 2003


It was an observation, not a promise

"I have already left" is a funny observation... then again, maybe I misunderstood what observation means... Still, we really did miss you - check the MeTa search for any one of the numerous "where has Michael Rush" threads, or even the dozens of mentions throughout the site of how it was diminished by your absence. It's touching!
posted by jonson at 9:21 PM on April 7, 2003


Back on target, if I may:

PORTLAND, Ore. (April 8, 2003 12:38 a.m. EDT) - A federal judge on Monday set a deadline later this month for prosecutors to take testimony from an Arab-American software engineer detained as a material witness.... The judge's order requires prosecutors to take a deposition from Hawash or present him to the grand jury to testify no later than April 25.

Please forgive the registration requirement, and the fact that it will eventually be taken down. I think I've pasted the important bits. Long live Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights.
posted by ilsa at 9:53 PM on April 7, 2003


Myself, I will continue posting until I get a final 404.

Inspirational, in a metaphorical kinda way.

As far as nofundy's rant goes, well, for my part, I'd rather be in a room with a leaping loon who says 'kill no person, ever' than a leaping loon who says 'kill 'em all and let GOD sort 'em out.'
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:52 AM on April 8, 2003


"leaping loon"

Hmmmm... maybe I need to change my account name. :-)

I love rushmc's posts and I still miss rebecca blood. I don't care when the righty tighties attack me. It's a badge of honor.
posted by nofundy at 5:34 AM on April 8, 2003


Still, we really did miss you - check the MeTa search for any one of the numerous "where has Michael Rush" threads, or even the dozens of mentions throughout the site of how it was diminished by your absence.

Gee, someone's pissy! If you're gonna froth so every time I post, I'll have to make a point of doing so every couple of weeks, just for fun.

I think you're just still mad that I wouldn't take you to the prom....
posted by rushmc at 8:19 AM on April 8, 2003


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