Bush loses a battle in the war on terror
A federal judge struck down President Bush's authority to designate groups as terrorists, saying his post-Sept. 11 executive order was unconstitutionally vague, according to a ruling released Tuesday.
The Humanitarian Law Project had challenged Bush's order, which blocked all the assets of groups or individuals he named as "specially designated global terrorists" after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
"This law gave the president unfettered authority to create blacklists," said David Cole, a lawyer for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Constitutional Rights that represented the group. "It was reminiscent of the McCarthy era."
She also struck down the provision in which Bush had authorized the secretary of the treasury to designate anyone who "assists, sponsors or provides services to" or is "otherwise associated with" a designated group.
"Even in fighting terrorism the president cannot be given a blank check to blacklist anyone he considers a bad guy or a bad group and you can't imply guilt by association," Cole said.
I agree with Cole wholeheartedly. The President should not ever have the power to create blacklists on just his say so, unchecked by any need to provide evidence to a judge, -- there needs to be a system by which his claims that a group is terrorists are substantiated before that person faces siezures of assets, jail, or other penalties.
Not just this President, who has 0 credibility with most of the world after his declarations about weapons of mass destruction. All Presidents, even the good ones should not have that kind of power to simply blacklist groups and/or individuals and freeze their assets.
Especially troubling what the prhase "associated with." I mean, thousands of Muslims subscribe to an email newsletter sent out by the Council on American Islamic Relations. Subscribing to the newsletter could be construed as "associated" with them, one supposes. But certainly there are many who subscribe to the newsletter who vehemently oppose many of CAIR's stands on various issues. Some find the newsletter a convenient clearing house of information (although it is increasingly becoming only CAIR news, not all national Muslim news at it once was), or perhaps they want to keep tabs on what the organization is doing (or not doing). There could be any number of reasons why some subscribed to the list, not all of them having to do with support or association with the org.
Anyway, gan bei, for a judge with some sense.Politics