Civil Liberties

When Your Detainees Absolutely, Positively Need To Get There Overnight…

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Apparently, the CIA contracts out for the delivery of torture suspects. At least that's what the ACLU is claiming in a lawsuit against a Boeing subsidiary:

A Boeing Co. subsidiary accused by the American Civil Liberties Union of facilitating torture by providing services to the CIA for secret overseas flights said it does not, as a rule, inquire about its customers' business.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc., enabled the clandestine transportation of three terrorism suspects to secret overseas locations where they were tortured and subjected to other "forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment."…

"American corporations should not be profiting from a CIA rendition program that is unlawful and contrary to core American values," said Anthony D. Romero, the ACLU's executive director. "Corporations that choose to participate in such activity can and should be held legally accountable."

The company's response:

"We don't know the purpose of the trip for which we do a flight plan," said Mike Pound, a spokesman for Englewood, Colo.-based Jeppesen.

"We don't need to know specific details. It's the customer's business, and we do the business that we are contracted for," he said. "It's not our practice to ever inquire about the purpose of a trip." The company had no immediate comment on specifics of the lawsuit.

More here.

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  1. For liability purposes, it is he ocean that will kill you, not us.

  2. If the FBI were to require Jeppesen to notify them of any flight plans entered for certain destinations, the ACLU would be all over that in a heartbeat. Oh wait… Jeppesen already files flight plans with the Government. No win.

    Obviously the ACLU has too much time on its hands. Perhaps I’ll have to reconsider my membership.

    CB

  3. Yes, their flight crews mind their own business and pay no attention to the hooded, shackled guy screaming in agony in the passenger cabin.

  4. The Alberto Schultz Defense: “We know nothink! Nothink!”

  5. Yes, their flight crews mind their own business and pay no attention to the hooded, shackled guy screaming in agony in the passenger cabin.

    In other words, the detainees are flying coach?

  6. Jeppesen Dataplan? They’re still around? I thought Grace Slick was dead.

  7. Nearly spit out my coffee on that one, D.A.

  8. Jeez. Will outsourcing ever get a good name?

  9. BakedPenguin, I nearly sprayed milk and bits of Honey Bunches of Oats?.

  10. This is tricky for libertarians. On one hand, torture is really awful if the government does it. On the other hand, it’s not nearly as bad as the government regulating business. Of course, businesses who engage in or enable torture will eventually fail in the marketplace if customers get fed up with it, so I guess the answer is “carry on”.

  11. hey, i’d like to book a flite from Cali to Miami. Don’t ask, don’t tell?

  12. I assume the ACLU is suing Exxon for providing Jet-A as well. And Goodyear for putting tires on the jet. And the pilots for flying the plane, and the airport for letting the aircraft take off, and the concrete manufacturer for making the concrete used in the runway, and the contractor for building the runway, and all of the passengers who have paid a passenger facility charge that allows the Air Traffic Control system to work.

    CB

  13. CB has it right…the same strategy product liability lawyers have used for ages…when you can;t make a case directly, go after anyone and everyone who might have been connected.

    In this case, why stop before getting to We the People?

  14. The whole ‘extraordinary rendition’ thing, as part of the whole torture thing, gets my teeth to grinding.

    However, I don’t hold the Post office responcible for the bombs Ted Kaczynski paid them to deliver. I don’t hold ISPs responcible for kiddie porn. So I’m not sure what their exposure here is. Is my landlord responcible for the pot I’m growing in the closet?

  15. This is tricky for libertarians. On one hand, torture is really awful if the government does it. On the other hand, it’s not nearly as bad as the government regulating business. Of course, businesses who engage in or enable torture will eventually fail in the marketplace if customers get fed up with it, so I guess the answer is “carry on”.

    That straw man didn’t put up much of a fight, did he Dan T?

    The problem here isn’t gov’t regulating business, so much as government colluding with business so that the latter can profit from the nefarious schemes of the former. Clearly this is an ethical breach on the part of both parties.

    The ideal solution is to punish both parties for gross violations of human rights. But since the government–that hallowed body we entrust with the protection of our rights–is the one engaging in the violations in the first place, they need to be stopped in order to give them authority to punish Jeppesen.

  16. “The ideal solution is to punish both parties for gross violations of human rights.”

    Hugh, I assume you are in favor of punishing gun manufacturers for producing a product that is sometimes used in a crime, even though that is not what it is intended to do? And liquor manufacturers, and car manufactures et al?

    CB

  17. Regarding Dan T.:

    When somebody routinely elicits the “OMG! Did he really just say that?” response, it’s time to ignore.

  18. I can see how people could consider Boeing to be morally or ethically responsible, but legally? I’m not a big fan of “We can’t go after the people ACTUALLY responsible, so we’ll pick on you, instead”

  19. “We don’t need to know specific details. It’s the customer’s business, and we do the business that we are contracted for,” he said. “It’s not our practice to ever inquire about the purpose of a trip.”

    Maybe air carriers should be subject to a “know your customer” rule, requiring them to make sure that they’re not being used for some illegal purpose. I think there are precedents for such rules.

  20. Cracker’s Boy, dagny,

    Gun manufacturers aren’t responsible for shooting deaths, nor is Hostess liable for heart disease. These are products that people use independently of their manufacturer.

    Services are a grayer area.

    I’m not clear as to the exact allegations being made at Jeppeson, but if they are providing logistics and/or personnel in these rendition cases, then they are ethically and legally liable to some extent.

    If they’re just selling the gov’t the planes, then they’re off the hook.

    Clearly, though, the main villain in this case is the CIA.

  21. So… do we think that when the CIA chartered the jet from Jeppesen, in the box that says “Purpose of Trip”, they wrote “deliver hooded, shackled prisoner into hands of torturer”? Or do we think they wrote “Private travel to Egypt”?

    CB

  22. In case no one has noticed (or checked), Jeppesen is NOT an operator of aircraft. It is a company specializing in aeronautical charts, flight planning and navigation services.

    So the CIA purchased navigation charts, or flight planning information from Jeppesen and they (Jeppesen) become an accessory to torture…! Give me a break!

    Using the same parameters, then anyone from ACLU who pays for a seat on any airline where the pilot in command owns a set of Jepp charts, or the airline uses the navigation or flight planning provided (and virtually all do) that ACLU wonk is contributing to Jeppeson/Boeing’s activities and also becomes an accessory to torture. Or do ACLU wonks get to ride for free and for the most part don’t actually contribute to anything?

    Gaijin says: “CB has it right…the same strategy product liability lawyers have used for ages…when you can;t make a case directly, go after anyone and everyone who might have been connected.

    In this case, why stop before getting to We the People?”

    Right on!

  23. How much does this pay, anyway? I’ve got room for six terrorism suspects in my minivan.

    Incidentally, what are “torture suspects”? People suspected of being tortured? People who have committed the crime of torturing others?

  24. Waterboarding – go after the garden hose manufacturer.

    Electric shock – battery and wire companies

    Sleep deprivation – GE, Sony (light bulbs and sound system)

    Uncomfortable positions – Handcuff, chain, and wire tie makers

    This dog won’t hunt. Although I’m admittedly less schooled on the subject then I should be, seems like the US Constitution, Geneva Conventions, and Int’l Law would be stronger launching pads. Of course, you still can’t fight City Hall (even if you are the ACLU).

  25. As far as I can tell from the linked article the company did not provide pilots or jets.

    Jeppesen Dataplan provides flight plans, fuel, airport data and other services to its clients.

  26. Jeppesen-Sanderson was originally (and still is) a publisher of aeronautical information (charts, approach plates) who got into the flight planning business. Members of the Aircraft Owner’s and Pilot’s Association can use a lightweight version of their planning software for free.

    The ACLU is smoking crack on this one, although their actual motivation is likely to try to obtain the actual flight plans (equipment, destinations, dates and times) though discovery.


    Maggie Leber
    AOPA 925383 – Amateur Radio Station K3XS

  27. The government says that if I loan you my car and you use it to hire a hooker or buy drugs, I can have my car confiscated even if I have no idea you were going to use it in a crime.

    If my friends and I can be held to such standards of behavior, so too can the government and its partners in torture.

  28. “American corporations should not be profiting from a CIA rendition program that is unlawful and contrary to core American values…”

    If it was a non-profit, say, for instance, the ACLU, that would be okay?

    But beyond the scare word “profit”, do I understand that the ACLU expects these companies to (a) fully understand US law, (b) fully understand the law of the nations they are helping their customer transport passengers to, (c) fully understand how the US and those other nations might violate their laws in order to practice torture, (d) know precisely what constitutes torture, and (e) know that their passengers are going to be tortured?

    Just trying to be clear on what this lawsuit is asking for…

  29. Ok obviously Jeppesen-Sanderson is not the ACLU’s real target in this case. They are just trying to gain evidence and whatever leverage they can against the CIA. And I seriously don’t care.

    I’m sorry but it really really does not bother me that the ACLU is using tricky legal maneuvers in an attempt to hold our government accountable for torturing people. I mean really.

  30. The real villain here, obviously, is the U.S. Government/dba The CIA.

    My problem with the ACLU suing a private company is that the private company will have to defend itself with money that would otherwise go to that company’s bottom line; ie. profitability. (That’s why Dan T. is in favor of the lawsuit; anything to go after a company’s profit is justified.)

    Yeah, we’re all pissed at the CIA, but the ACLU has no business dicking around with a company so they can obtain some documents. My bitch is against the ACLU, in this case (obviously after the CIA).

    CB

  31. Jennifer,

    That’s an excellent point. And since there’s practically no due process in civil forfeiture, I’m going to go seize me a new jet. Zooom!

  32. shackled guy screaming in agony

    You’re totally misrepresenting how the CIA conducts renditions! The guy would be gagged, too.

  33. I find it absolutely astounding that anyone would quibble about the legal methods/reasoning used to try to stop our government from illegaly kidnapping and torturing people.

    Talk about a lack of priorities!

  34. The government says that if I loan you my car and you use it to hire a hooker or buy drugs, I can have my car confiscated even if I have no idea you were going to use it in a crime.

    But if you lend me a map so I can find a location where I know there are hookers, should an anti-prostitution nonprofit be able to sue you for your car and your house?

    I find it absolutely astounding that anyone would quibble about the legal methods/reasoning used to try to stop our government from illegaly kidnapping and torturing people.

    So you would cut down the law to get to the Devil?

  35. So you would cut down the law to get to the Devil?

    The Devil’s already cut down the more serious laws against kidnapping and torture.

    But if you lend me a map so I can find a location where I know there are hookers, should an anti-prostitution nonprofit be able to sue you for your car and your house?

    If I believed prostitution were as evil as kidnapping and torture, I’d be hard-pressed to blame them. But in this case, I merely advocate a form of legal kung-fu–turn the government’s own sleazy weapons against it.

  36. Jennifer | May 31, 2007, 11:32am | #
    The government says that if I loan you my car and you use it to hire a hooker or buy drugs, I can have my car confiscated even if I have no idea you were going to use it in a crime.

    If my friends and I can be held to such standards of behavior, so too can the government and its partners in torture.

    So I take it that if you approve of this lawsuit, you also approve of asset forfeiture for the mere accusation of solicitation? I’m gonna choose the internal consistency approach and say that both are bullshit.

    From what I can see, a better analogy would be for the cops to fine the Texaco who sold gas and a map to a guy headed to the red light district for purposes of getting a hooker.*

    * Assuming that my understanding of Jeppessen’s role is correct, which it may or may not be. From my reading of their services, they are not the kind of services that would give you direct knowledge of the cargo in these flights. There are a lot of things that need to be known before you can make an informed decision regarding a particular flight.

  37. “But if you lend me a map so I can find a location where I know there are hookers, should an anti-prostitution nonprofit be able to sue you for your car and your house?”

    If I believed prostitution were as evil as kidnapping and torture, I’d be hard-pressed to blame them. But in this case, I merely advocate a form of legal kung-fu–turn the government’s own sleazy weapons against it.

    So if you’re trying to protect people, the law doesn’t matter? It sounds as if you’re using exactly the same legal reasoning that the Bush administration uses.

  38. But in this case, I merely advocate a form of legal kung-fu–turn the government’s own sleazy weapons against it.

    To expand a bit more to explain why I am actually frightened of the methodology you’re advocating, let me put it this way. You’re suggesting that what’s sauce for the goose, namely subverting the law to further the government’s aims, should be sauce for the gander, namely protecting the people from the government. Unfortunately while it is true that what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, the reverse is true. Sauce for the gander has to be sauce for the goose. If you stomp on peoples’ rights to stop the government, then you’re tacitly approving of the principle that peoples’ rights can be subverted for the common good.

  39. But in this case, I merely advocate a form of legal kung-fu–turn the government’s own sleazy weapons against it.

    Having taken those weapons in hand, you will be hard pressed to criticize them later.

  40. So I take it that if you approve of this lawsuit, you also approve of asset forfeiture for the mere accusation of solicitation? I’m gonna choose the internal consistency approach and say that both are bullshit.

    I agree both are bullshit. But what’s even more so is deciding that, while we’re using such tactics to prosecute sca-a-a-a-ry crimes like prostitution and drug use, using them against kidnappers and torturers is beyond the pale.

  41. Actually no. I think that both are beyond the pale. I vehemently oppose their use. I will speak out vigorously when anybody is short-sighted enough or cynical enough to advocate them. And if I could stop the government engaging in theft, I would. But I won’t subourne theft. Seriously, you want to be like Bush?

  42. Seriously, you want to be like Bush?

    I’d much prefer to use tried-and-true legal methods, like filing writs of habeas corpus and the like. Except the government no longer allows that.

    And if the government finds that companies are no longer willing to do business with it for fear of getting into legal trouble, too fucking bad.

  43. But what’s even more so is deciding that, while we’re using such tactics to prosecute sca-a-a-a-ry crimes like prostitution and drug use, using them against kidnappers and torturers is beyond the pale.

    Who is “we”?

    The fact that the government feels it can harm a third party in its quest for justice really shouldn’t make you feel that you can harm a third party in your quest for justice.

  44. The fact that the government feels it can harm a third party in its quest for justice really shouldn’t make you feel that you can harm a third party in your quest for justice.

    What alternative do you propose that has a chance of actually working? The court system has completely abandoned any pretense of giving a rat’s ass about the rights of the accused, and on this very blog we’ve seen commenters argue that Constitutional rights like those against torture or being held without trial don’t apply to non-citizens. And in practice, apparently, they don’t. So what do we do?

  45. You’ve certainly learned from Banhoff et al.

  46. If the purpose of the ACLU lawsuit is truly discovery, they should come right out and say so. “We the ACLU are suing Jeppesen, but the intent is to perform discovery on CIA documentation. In fact, we will pay Jappesen’s legal bills and, unless they are found in extreme breech of corporate responsibility, we will pay their settlement as well.”

    Now that would get people’s attention!

  47. Anyone who intentionally targets the innocent to get at the bad guys is herself a bad guy. The ends do not justify the means.

  48. So what do you suggest we do, Lunchstealer? I can afford to be patient, but the people being kidnapped and tortured (sometimes literally to death) cannot.

  49. To be fair, a private contractor working with the feds is not quite as “private” as other private companies.

  50. Jennifer,

    I find that torture of people who would just as soon be killed if they couldn’t be captured to rate no higher than the third worst thing the government does.

    Do you suggest I can use even more extreme measures on even more innocent parties to fight the two continuing government offenses that I find worse?

  51. I suppose my point is that this is not a case akin to product liability. This case is more along the lines of aiding and abetting an escaped convict.

    I’m not sure about legal tradition, but it seems reasonable to hold someone blameless if they don’t know that the person crashing on thier couch an escaped convict.

    So if Jeppeson truly had no idea that these midnight flights to Abu Dhabi had anything to do with torture, they should be held blameless as well.

  52. I find that torture of people who would just as soon be killed if they couldn’t be captured to rate no higher than the third worst thing the government does.

    Even ignoring your incorrect supposition that the only guys we torture are those captured in battle who might just as easily have been killed instead, I note you have not answered my question of what we can realistically do to stop OUR government from kidnapping and torturing people. Pooh-poohing it as no big deal doesn’t count as an answer.

  53. I’m not sure about legal tradition, but it seems reasonable to hold someone blameless if they don’t know that the person crashing on thier couch an escaped convict. So if Jeppeson truly had no idea that these midnight flights to Abu Dhabi had anything to do with torture, they should be held blameless as well.

    Good point, but that also raises the question of “did they not know, or not WANT to know?” If the guy on my couch is wearing an orange jumpsuit with “Property of Department of Corrections” on it, and has a sawed-off shackle around his ankle, claiming I didn’t know he was a convict won’t work.

    So it boils down to timing: if Jeppeson helped the CIA before its torture activities became known, maybe they should get off the hook. Otherwise, it’s not that they didn’t know, but that they didn’t want to.

  54. So what do you suggest we do, Lunchstealer? I can afford to be patient, but the people being kidnapped and tortured (sometimes literally to death) cannot.

    I’m going to change some nouns in your statement, and see what you think of it.

    So what do you suggest we do, Lunchstealer? I can afford to be patient, but the people being blown up by suicide bombs and death squads cannot.

    That would be the argument for allowing the government to ignore civil rights in Iraq. The only difference is who you’re suggesting we break the rules for. You’re arguing a mirror image of John’s defense of Abu Grhaib.

    I’m far more sanguine about civil disobedience, where at least the one who’s being disobedient is being honest and acknowledging that they are breaking the law. Here, you’re asking the government legal system to do your dirty work for you.

  55. I note you have not answered my question of what we can realistically do to stop OUR government from kidnapping and torturing people.

    I don’t know Jennifer. What can we do to stop “OUR” government from prosecuting the trade and consumption of drugs or restricting immigration?

    I know I feel pretty powerless.

  56. That would be the argument for allowing the government to ignore civil rights in Iraq. The only difference is who you’re suggesting we break the rules for.

    Another difference is that I’m suggesting using the government’s rules against its own collaborators.

    As I said before, if we still had a non-kangaroo court system for dealing with this, I’d be all in favor of working through that.

  57. Jennifer,

    Remember that I’m only opposing the concept of going after these guys to punish the Bush administration. Going after them to punish them for their own failings is OK in my book. If it is provable that they’ve knowingly abetted civil or human rights abuse, they should be held liable. But it should be Jeppessen’s actions we consider, not Bush’s.

    I really just don’t want Jennifer’s death squads coming for me just because I happened to do business with the wrong people.


  58. As I said before, if we still had a non-kangaroo court system for dealing with this, I’d be all in favor of working through that

    What’s the point of working through courts at all then? Why not just assassinate anyone who’s worked with the Bush administration. Or anyone who voted for him? That too might be effective.

  59. What can we realistically do to stop OUR government from kidnapping and torturing people?

    Legally: vote, advocate, protest, call for international condemnation/war crimes tribunal, support right’s watch orgs, etc.

    Or you can become a jihadist.

    Neither path is going to lead to rapid results however (nor is the ACLU approach).

    Sigh.

  60. Remember that I’m only opposing the concept of going after these guys to punish the Bush administration. Going after them to punish them for their own failings is OK in my book.

    I want to go after them for playing a role in the illegal rendition of people to countries where they were tortured. But as I amended earlier, it all depends on when–if Jeppeson did this in late 2001, when they still had reason to believe we were The Good Guys, that would be a different matter. But it’s been a few years since anyone could plausibly claim “I had no idea the CIA’s secret midnight flight to Fuckistan might have led to bad things.”

    What’s the point of working through courts at all then?

    The hope that the civil courts still maintain a shred of the decency which the criminal courts have long since abandoned.

  61. So what do you suggest we do, Lunchstealer? I can afford to be patient, but the people being kidnapped and tortured (sometimes literally to death) cannot.

    Jennifer,

    I have a vauge suspicion that you might be involved in CIA torture operations yourself. So you would agree that it is totally justified to sue you, in a lawsuit that would require you to spend millions of dollars to defend yourself, in order to try to collect evidence of possible conspiracy between you and the CIA?

    I mean, if you are innocent it is lame that you would be going bankrupt and all, but I am not 100% sure you are innocent of CIA torture, and what else am I supposed to do to stop this kind of horrible behavior? I can’t go directly after the CIA.

    You see Jennifer, sometimes we need to destroy the village to save it!

  62. I have a vauge suspicion that you might be involved in CIA torture operations yourself. So you would agree that it is totally justified to sue you, in a lawsuit that would require you to spend millions of dollars to defend yourself, in order to try to collect evidence of possible conspiracy between you and the CIA?

    Based on what? If you can show that I helped plan an itinerary for a torture trip a la Jeppesen, that’s one thing. But this case against Jeppesen is based on more than mere “vague suspicion.”

  63. Jennifer, I don’t think anyone has even a “vague suspicion” that Jeppesen had any knowledge whatsoever about the purpose of the flights its products and services were being used for.

  64. I don’t think anyone has even a “vague suspicion” that Jeppesen had any knowledge whatsoever about the purpose of the flights its products and services were being used for.

    As I mentioned before, it depends on when they happened. Right now there’s no way anybody can plausibly claim not to know what it can mean when the CIA contracts a super-secret flight to one of the scumsucker countries of the world. The question is: was that the cases when these flights occurred?

  65. Jennifer says: “The government says that if I loan you my car and you use it to hire a hooker or buy drugs, I can have my car confiscated even if I have no idea you were going to use it in a crime.

    If my friends and I can be held to such standards of behavior, so too can the government and its partners in torture.”

    So if the government is going after innocent people in one case, it is morally acceptable to go after innocents in any other case because a precedent has been set? Instead of, oh I don’t know, repealing the prostitution and drug laws?

  66. it is morally acceptable to go after innocents in any other case because a precedent has been set? Instead of, oh I don’t know, repealing the prostitution and drug laws?

    If the latter option were plausible I’d be all for it. But we all know damned well the government’s not in the habit of admitting it made a mistake. So shove its mistakes down its own goddamned throat until it fucking chokes to death on them.

  67. OK, Jennifer, if you think that they can provably be shown to have known that the CIA was engaged in illegal activities, then that’s a very different case than your I-loaned-my-car-to-a-friend-who-got-a-hooker example.

    Before you seemed to be advocating going after them solely for having done business with someone who turned out AFTER THE FACT to have done something illegal. The car confiscation concept seemed to be indicating that you didn’t care what Jeppesen knew, you wanted to screw them over just for having done business with the Bush administration.

  68. Glad to have cleared that up, Lunchstealer.

  69. What’s the point of working through courts at all then?

    The hope that the civil courts still maintain a shred of the decency which the criminal courts have long since abandoned.

    If we have politically motivated trials in civil court to counterbalance percieved failings elsewhere, then we just have a big politically motivated mess and there’s NO PLACE left being objective. Better to leave the civil courts objective and not just have a big fight between sellouts.

    If the criminal courts are kangaroo courts, then the answer isn’t turning the civil courts into kangaroo courts. It’s just a terrible idea.

  70. Jennifer, as for your agonized handwringer over what we can do to stop this, at the risk of sounding callous, the answer is: wait, and vote. The Bush admin has what, a year and a half to go before they’re term-limited out of office? Do you really think the ACLU or anyone else can, in the short time left, force Bush to obey the Bill of Rights?

    Realistically, this will only stop if we get a new president who thinks extraordinary rendition is a bad idea.

  71. When I was still working at the car wash, we washed a lot of vehicles with US Government plates. It’s quite possible that some of them were used to transport “torture suspects”, and I’ve known about the extraordinary rendition practices of the government for quite some time.

    Does that make me an accessory to torture?

  72. If the criminal courts are kangaroo courts, then the answer isn’t turning the civil courts into kangaroo courts. It’s just a terrible idea.

    I’m not so sure about that. Have you ever seen two kangaroos box? It’s quite entertaining.

  73. Hugh, I assume you are in favor of punishing gun manufacturers for producing a product that is sometimes used in a crime, even though that is not what it is intended to do?

    Don’t kid yourselve here. If someone provides the getaway car in a bank robbery, they are prosecuted for the robbery as well. They can’t say oh we didn’t really know that those sacks were full of cash and those masked men were bank robbers.

  74. Jennifer, as for your agonized handwringer over what we can do to stop this, at the risk of sounding callous, the answer is: wait, and vote. The Bush admin has what, a year and a half to go before they’re term-limited out of office?

    This may sound sarcastic, but it’s not: my belief that your solution would work pretty much evaporated once the Democrats took control of Congress and abandoned their plan to get out of Iraq. Unless we get stupendously lucky regarding Ron Paul, the new election will likely make as much difference as Buckingham Palace’s Changings of the Guard makes a difference regarding the Queen’s level of security.

  75. Jennifer, maybe we’ll get some Bill of Rights hating clod in a year and a half. Bad. But, what you’re talking about doing would involve all the following: the Democratic majority growing a pair and abandoning their plan for now to hang onto their slim foothold of power by appearing reasonable and moderate by not doing impeachment hearings, getting dirt on Bush, impeaching him, removing him from office, getting dirt on Cheney, impeaching him, removing him from office, getting dirt on the right-winger replacement veep Cheney picked, impeaching him, removing him from office, getting a reasonable new president picked by that right-winger — all in the space of six months to a year. Yeah, that’ll work.

    There just is no time to do that. Like it or not, running out the clock is the only realistic approach.

    Or, did they change the name of this website from Reason to Emotion when I wasn’t looking?

  76. But, what you’re talking about doing would involve all the following: the Democratic majority growing a pair and abandoning their plan for now to hang onto their slim foothold of power by appearing reasonable and moderate by not doing impeachment hearings, getting dirt on Bush, impeaching him, removing him from office, getting dirt on Cheney, impeaching him, removing him from office, getting dirt on the right-winger replacement veep Cheney picked, impeaching him, removing him from office, getting a reasonable new president picked by that right-winger — all in the space of six months to a year.

    And this differs from what you’re talking about doing . . . how, exactly?

    Honestly, you lost me at “Democratic majority growing a pair.” They won’t, and thus won’t do anything that will make them appear “soft on terror” anymore than they’ll do things which make them “soft on drugs.”

    So if we get a Democrat in the White House we’re screwed, and if we get a Republican other than Ron Paul we’re screwed.

  77. Jeppesen does the same thing that the Auto Club does — they put map books together, tell people where to get fuel and so on.

    I guess the ACLU will go after AAA next.

  78. Jennifer, that’s the beauty of being a libertarian — instead of running a 30 or 40 percent chance of having someone you can stand elected to office, and thus being stuck with bland, boring, acceptance, you can be sure of having someone in office to furiously excoriate, year after year. Adds extra zest to one’s life, yeah?

  79. Yeah. Especially if you’re kidnapped and tortured by the CIA, with the help of upright American companies willing to turn a blind eye in exchange for a healthy profit.

  80. I assume the ACLU is suing Exxon for providing Jet-A as well. And Goodyear for putting tires on the jet. And the pilots for flying the plane, and the airport for letting the aircraft take off, and the concrete manufacturer for making the concrete used in the runway, and the contractor for building the runway, and all of the passengers who have paid a passenger facility charge that allows the Air Traffic Control system to work.

    The next thing you know the ACLU will be suing all of the airlines for transporting domestic convicts, with police escorts, because they might get beaten up by a prison guard.

    Before anybody pipes up with “Con Air”, they are not the only transporter of prisoners in the USA. Quite frequently prisoners are flying on regular commercial flights with police escorts.

  81. Would the detainee have been any better off if the flight s/he’d been on was unplanned?

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