Worse Than Apartheid Justice


The Economist spells out, in graphic detail, how the ?military commissions? being prepared for ?enemy combatants? provide significantly less rights for the accused than terrorism trials in Northern Ireland, the criminal justice system in apartheid South Africa, and U.S. court martials.

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  1. Mr. Anonymous (wussy) seems like one of those brain-dead armchair neo-fascists that thinks the human beings running the government are above the corrupting influence of way too much power, since they happen to at least mouth his prefered brand of rhetoric. Mr. Anonymous is a perfect example of how unchecked power can and does grow in an onstensibly free republic. Mr. Anonymous and his two-dimensional thinking brethren are possibly, in the long run, a much graver threat to liberty, and the United States. Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t advocate locking up these dickheads, just confronting them (at least that’s allow for now).

  2. Yes Steve (if that is your REAL name) I am neo-fascist for dare questioning why one can’t simply make an argument without slipping into ridiculas hyperbole and mindless comparisions to unrelated historical events.

  3. In response to Dude:

    According to the article in the Economist, even if a military tribunal acquits a person, the person can still be held as an “enemy combatant” for as long as the President wishes. So the way it works is:

    military tribunal = kangaroo court with no due process for anybody the President wants to use it on (this is NOT the same as a court martial, as the article in the Economist makes clear. A court martial has due process protections and abides by military law, as opposed to executive whim.)

    enemy combatant = somebody who doesn’t even get the benefit of a kangaroo court

    BTW, some of the anonymous posts here are so crazy I can’t help but wonder if the posters are being facetious, creating “straw-men” for the rest of us to knock down.

  4. Um, premium content? How are the rest of you accessing this article?

  5. I subscribe to the print edition. I already read it on Saturday.

  6. You want to stop Apartheid? — End the occupation of Iraq! Free Mumia!


    It was a holiday and it was steaming hot–in the way Philadelphia gets in July. But 5,000 people put aside thoughts of cool comfort on July 4 and marched through the downtown streets demanding the U.S. get out of Iraq and let the troops come home.
    And, in this city that feels like a plantation, they raised yet again the cry of justice for native son Mumia Abu-Jamal, whose powerful and passion ate voice of outrage the police want to hush forever. On death row for 20 years despite abundant evidence of his innocence, Abu-Jamal is paying for the crime of exposing racism and police brutality in the “City of Brotherly Love.”

    At rallies before and after the march, which wound through the historic district where the Declaration of Independence was drafted, speakers tied the monstrous crimes of U.S. imperialism abroad to its festering sores at home–symptoms of a rotting capitalist system that can produce in abundance but turns wealth into pov erty while spreading war and violence.

    Unity in action had been achieved among various currents in the progressive movement. The event was sponsored by Philadelphia ANSWER, Phila delphia Regional Anti-War Network, Minority Experience Network, Avenging the Ancestors Coalition, Unite for Peace and International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

    –Deirdre Griswold

  7. yeah thats where i read it

    honestly you need to subscribe its informative witty and thorough

  8. Sorry about the premium content deal; you can see the money-graph over at Kevin Drum’s website:


  9. i would just like to know how there were no fighters over d.c. to stop the pentagon attack an HOUR after the first wtc plane hit. something stinks and it ain’t arab terrorists.

  10. Apartheid = oppressing someone soley because of their ethnic background

    Military Commissions = oppressing a suspected terrorist

    nothing like muddying the waters!

  11. “terrorism trials in Northern Ireland, the criminal justice system in apartheid South Africa, and U.S. court martials.”

    Pardon me for being the stickler, but the plural should be “courts martial”.

    Juss one of them grammatikal things that bug me.

  12. commenter #1 = idiot who can’t read

  13. yeah I can’t read, that must be it because I fail to see the connection between oppressing millions based on their ethnic orgin and skin color and oppressing a few suspected terrorists. but I forgot that Apartheid sounds cool and scary. Ending welfare? Apartheid! War on Iraq? Apartheid!

  14. Key word is “suspected.”

  15. Apartheid was an unjust regime. That unjust regime’s courts still at least claimed to uphold certain procedural safeguards.

    We Americans claim that our republic is a beacon of justice, but we’re setting up courts that don’t even pretend to respect fundamental procedural safeguards of liberty.

    The apartheid comparison should give us all pause.

    And no, I don’t care that much if a terrorist’s rights are violated. But how do we know if a person is a terrorist unless we properly examine the evidence? I don’t want a system where people say “Well, the government claims he’s a terrorist, so there’s really no need to properly examine the evidence.” So don’t say I’m putting the interests of terrorists ahead of national security. I’m putting the security of our liberty ahead of the government’s “don’t worry, just trust us” claims.

  16. They didn’t have two planes fly into the heart of their country’s financial district, topple the tallest buildings of the land and murder 3000 hard-working, innocent and productive people. Like everything else, America does it larger. We have every right to respond to terrorism the way we see fit.

  17. Hello anon.
    I have decided that by posting anonymously, you are acting suspiciously like a terrorist.
    For this reason, the government has dispatched two agents to your house to carry out the execution.
    Justice system?
    We don’t need no steenking justice system!

  18. How is it that large-scale crimes deserve a lower burden of proof? Larger crimes certainly deserve MUCH larger punishment, but why a lower burden of proof?

  19. in the old days we just shot enemy combatants

    nowadays we are more cruel

  20. Well, I don’t know. When we’re AT WAR.

    Ted, haha. U R so funny. Fortunately, I am not Arab so fuck off. Oh and fuck The Economist. Motherfucking Arab apologist sympathizers.

  21. Anyone recall if Padilla has been designated an “enemy combatant”? (I seem to recall he was).

    I can’t get too worked up about foreign nationals who get caught in Afganistan and wind up in Gitmo, but when citizens of the United States are involved, then this sort of thing gets very troubling.

    The way I understand it is that the President can decide that you’re an “enemy combatant” (are there any sort of criteria for this designation that we know of?) and then you can be detained for an indefinite period, and then maybe they’ll get around to having one of these military commissions, sometime. Sounds like it’s basically a gimmick to keep alledged terrorists out of the usual civillian court system when the govt decides it doesn’t have the evidence to convict someone in an ordinary trial. Wonderful.

  22. “in the old days we just shot enemy combatants”

    True, but in the old days, “enemy combatants” was also more likely to mean “people charging you on a battlefield” than “American citizens the executive branch has decided are enemy combatants in advance of a trial.”

  23. “We have every right to respond to terrorism the way we see fit.”

    If “we” are actually the people “we” claim to be, then “we” won’t want to see trials carried out in violation of the principle that “we” are always patting ourselves on the back for believing in.

    Because this is the United States of fucking America, that’s why.

  24. If anon actually read the entry, let alone the piece, he would have noticed that no one said fighting terrorism is equivalent to apartheid. The point ? laid out very clearly so that anyone of average intelligence could decipher it without any trouble at all ? had to do with the rights of the accused.

  25. Oh and fuck The Economist. Motherfucking Arab apologist sympathizers.

    what the hell is this? the economist is the best thing since barry goldwater.

  26. when do we get to call the system “genocidal”?

  27. Grammar police, part 2: it’s “fewer rights”, not “less rights”. Rights can be counted.

  28. I think that this war is a stupid way of letting go everyones anger why dont they just leave it alone and mind there own buissness!!! thats what i think n e way !!!

  29. dont let terror rule our lives get out there and let the goveronment know wot your feeling dont sit at home screaming at the telly get out there and let others know wot your feelin get a group of friends and start a protest just LET THEM KNOW HOW U FEEL!!!!!! GIVE THEM YOUR SAY!!!!!! THINK ABOUT THE CHLDREN!!!!!!

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