I would like to highlight two blogs with impressive and thoughtful posts. One is Ambivablog, which won my heart by titling a blog to represent one’s ambivalence, a place between the radical fringe and the solid middle. The author has a thoughtful post on a particularly articulate savant with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, named Daniel Tammet. The post you are looking for is titled “Thirty-seven is lumpy like porridge.”
The second blog of note is Eteraz, which is notable for the long essays on aspects of Islam by a thoughtful educated American, once an atheist, who writes long posts on Islam, and Islamic thought in the present world. The author is a born-again Muslim, whose roots were the teaching of a mauldi in Pakistan, and whose education included Martin Buber and Jacques Derrida. His blog site is Eteraz. A notable post is the one titled “Jews are apes and swine.”
The highest crime, of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” for which Congress can impeach a President, is violation of her or his Oath of Office to defend the Constitution. In this part of an ongoing conversation between Walter Dellinger of Duke University Law School, and Dahlia Lithwick, an Editor of Slate, Dr. Dellinger lays out in stark and frightening exposition “exactly how this presidency departed from
fundamental legal principles. The problem is not the president’s assertion (or that of lawyers on his behalf) that he can ignore laws he believes to be unconstitutional. The problem is what laws he believes to be unconstitutional.”
In the area where no law exists, Dellinger explains, a sitting President can exert Executive authority, as in responding to surprise attack. While Dellinger’s explanations do not need me to explain them, I want to lay a foundation based on the points of argument that apply to a particular distinction in describing events and actions as “before the fact” and “after the fact,” as they will be the foundation of further posts of mine, posts that (perhaps or probably) go far afield of Dellinger’s cogent arguments.
The blog titled “MyScribbles: Write-ups of an Afghan”
appeared in the WordPress page that highlights growing blogs; I checked out the blog and came back to the WordPress page only to find that all mention of the blog had disappeared. Now it is back. The content confronts our denial of American actions abroad-whether the confrontation is successful in penetrating and dismantling denial, I am not able to say at this point.
It is fairly clear from the New York Times lead article on the United States Supreme Court decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that the Court has restored the Constitutional balance of powers. It is also clear, from the Deseret News article on the same decision by the Supreme Court, that there are many more turns of the screw before we have settled law in this matter. The Deseret News, of Salt Lake City, Utah, expresses points of view congenial to its readers, in the reddest of red states. The NY Times expresses views congenial to the bluest of blue cities, with twice the population of Utah.
Because the LDS Church (Mormons) revere the United States Constitution as second only to scripture, the Deseret News article is measured and respectful. What it does is outline the steps that are likely to come that will reconcile the Bush administration position with the Court’s decision.
Read together, as an accident of Google home page and frequent updates of “Google News, the two articles provide a more comprehensive perspective on the issues and consequences of this decision. No detainees will be moved from Guanta/namo; no tribunals will be held, and further judicial processes will be delayed until new law is written and passed that will enable the Executive branch to hold “commissions” (read tribunals) that will pass muster with the Supreme Court.
I think the outstanding part of Justice John Paul Stevens’s decision is the point that any legal process against detainees needs to comply with the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Conventions (Convention on Prisoners of War, Article 3). What is outstanding, and one hopes it would be a binding precedent, is the specification of international law fixed by treaty to which the United States is signatory. Further, the Geneva Convention in the above link defines what we learned to call “enemy combatants,” that is, people we have detained though