by Chris Hedges
October 1, 2012
The decision by the European Court of Human Rights last week to refuse to block the extradition of the radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri and four others to the United States on terrorism charges removes one of the last external checks on our emerging gulag state.
Masri and the four others, all held in British jails, will soon join hundreds of other Muslims tried in Article III federal courts in the United States over the last decade. Fair trials are unlikely. A disturbing pattern of gross infringements on basic civil liberties, put in place in the name of national security, has poisoned our legal system. These infringements include intrusive surveillance, vague material support charges, the use of prolonged pretrial solitary confinement, classified evidence that the accused cannot review, and the use of political activities, normally protected under the First Amendment, to demonstrate mind-set and intent.
Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. His latest books are Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, Death of the Liberal Class, and The World as It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.
Copyright © 2012 Truthdig
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Another exceptional piece of forensic analysis from Chris Hedges.
We should never forget the plight of Leonard Peltier, who has been incarcerated in the Land of the Free for 29 years.
When beasts rule, human beings must endure.
Thanks, David. Yes, the US does have political prisoners.
Are these indications of a civilization so highly politicized that it will hasten its own death throes? Why do we no longer trust in the checks and balances we expect to apply to us but refuse access of them to others? It’s time to wake up and smell the stench of fear we emit with these strangling exceptions to civil rule before we find ourselves in exactly the same place for simply asking embarrassing questions.