interpreting the constitution
number 20      
The Bush administration has the
authority to indefinitely detain without
charge a US citizen designated an
"enemy combatant," a federal
appeals court ruled on Friday. The
decision overturned an earlier ruling
by a US district court that so-called  
"dirty bomber" Jose Padilla must be
charged or released. Legal experts
stressed that the controversial issue
of imprisoning US citizens outside the
civilian justice system seems
destined to be considered by the
Supreme Court.

Padilla was arrested in Chicago in
May of 2002. One month later
president Bush designated him an
"enemy combatant." The government
alleges that the former street gang
member converted to Islam,
moved to the Middle East, and
became associated with the al Qaida
terrorist network. It is further alleged
that Padilla returned to the United
States to perpetrate terrorist

Originally authorities said that Padilla
was involved in a plot to detonate a
"dirty bomb," a crude small-scale
nuclear device. More recently the
government has retreated from that
charge, saying instead that Padilla
and his unknown collaborators
planned to "blow up apartment
buildings" through sabotage. None of
the allegations have been supported
by evidence, as Padilla has yet to be
charged, after more than three years
in custody in a military facility.
The appeals court decision was
written by Judge J. Michael  Luttig,
an outspoken conservative said to
be under consideration for
nomination to the Supreme Court.
Luttig  wrote that the
Congressional authorization
president Bush obtained to
conduct his "war on terror" in
Afghanistan was sufficiently broad
to embrace the indefinite
detention of US citizens, without
charge, as long as they are
"enemy combatants."

A spokesman for the ACLU said
that he doubted whether
"Congress either anticipated or
endorsed the military detention of
US citizens" when it authorized  
military action.
interpreting the constitution

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Try Not to Anger Them- Or You May Be Next
Citizens Request
Review of Chicago
Police Torture
Two high ranking civil servants are
pursuing claims of employment
retaliation on the part of the White
House.  The two long time Federal
employees, Bunnatine Greenhouse,
formerly the head procurement for
the US Army Corps of Engineers, and
Lawrence Greenfeld, former director
of the US Justice Department's
Bureau of Justice Statistics, claim
that they were demoted after
confronting the administration while
attempting to carry out their duties as
government employees.

Ms. Greenhouse was removed from
her high ranking position in the army
Corps of Engineers and reassigned
after publicly criticizing the pentagon
for granting a no bid open ended
contract with Vice President
Cheney's former employer,
Halliburton, to rebuild
infrastructure in occupied Iraq.  
The contract is worth several
hundred million dollars.  
Ms. Greenhouse's demotion is
currently the subject of an internal
investigation by the Army and Ms.
Greenhouse has sought counsel
of the National Whistle Blower

Mr. Greenfeld was demoted after
he disagreed with the
administration's demand to censor
a Justice Department press
release regarding a report that
detailed racial profiling by
America's  police.  The study
that African Americans and Latinos
were three times more likely than
whites to be searched after routine
traffic stops.  Greenfeld refused to
delete the reference to the statistics
in the press materials announcing
the report's release.  

The ranking Democratic member of
the House Judiciary Committee, Rep.
John Conyers (MI), has called for a
congressional investigation regarding
Greenfeld's demotion and the
suppression of the report's findings.

The White House said that no
political pressure was brought to
bear in the case of Mr. Greenfeld
and a spokesperson for the army
declined to comment on the demotion
of Ms. Greenhouse.
A broad based group of civil
rights attorneys, civic and
community groups, law
professors and a retired
Illinois appellate judge has
petitioned the Organization of
American States to request a
hearing before its human
rights commission regarding
wide spread torture performed
by Chicago Police over a 20
year period.

The torture has been
confirmed by an investigation
performed by the Chicago
Police Department's Office of
Professional Standards and
several court cases brought
by prisoners found that
systematic torture took place
in Chicago's Area 2 Police
Unit run by the now retired
Commander John Burge.

The police under Burge's
command are alleged to have
beaten suspects with
telephone books, burned
them, suffocated them with
plastic bags,
electrocuted them and staged
"mock  executions" in order to
get false admissions of guilt.

Between 1971 and 1990, 135
African Americans were
victims of these forms of
torture at Area 2.  The group
is asking that the commission
to review a "mountain of proof
that African American men
were tortured multiple times
on the south side of Chicago".

The commission could issue a
declaration calling on the US
to prosecute the alleged
tortures, but such declarations
are not binding on the US
Distribution Center Serves Up Photo Op
President Bush first visited the
ravaged Gulf Coast where Hurricane
Katrina made landfall demolishing
whole neighborhoods and sending
flood waters over the levees
protecting New Orleans on Friday
September second.  The widely
reported visit was designed by the
White House to countervail criticism
of the Federal Emergency
Management Administration's  
delayed and disorganized response
to the tragedy and show the
president as a hands on commander
in chief.

The day began in Mobile Alabama
where the president met with FEMA
officials, then the president met with
some of the hurricane's  victims in
Mississippi  and Alabama and toured
what officials described to the press
as an open-air food distribution
center.  Reports from CNN and Fox
said the president then met with
officials from New Orleans at the end
of the day.

The German TV station ZDF also
reported on Mr. Bush's inspection of
the food distribution point.  ZDF's
reporter described the event from
before the president arrived at the
center until after the president and
the gaggle of reporters left the
scene.  Reporter Christine Adelhardt
reported to viewers in Germany that
she and her camera crew witnessed
the hasty construction of the food
distribution point, complete with a
staging area where the president
could speak with the press and meet
with victims of the disaster for a
photo-op.  Adelhardt reported that
after the president left the area, the
entire food distribution point was

Later, Mr. Bush visited the location
where the 17th street levee in New  
Orleans broke flooding the city.  On
the day of the visit, TV cameras
filmed a crew of construction workers
and heavy machinery working to
repair the broken levee.  The next
day, Louisiana Senator Mary
Landrieu complained that the earth
moving equipment and crew had not
Poverty Rates in the  
United States by Year





2000  2001 2003  2005
37 million Americans live in poverty
that equates to one in
every eight Americans
source: US Census
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Bush Appointee Delays Non-Prescription Sale of Plan
The new commissioner of the
Food and Drug Administration,
who was nominated by George
Bush this summer, contradicted
the agency's own independent
scientific advisors and delayed
the non-prescription sale of the
emergency contraception known
as the "morning after pill".  

The contraceptive is currently
sold to women over the age of
seventeen by prescription only.  
Almost 2.5 million women use the
drug each year and the FDA's
own scientific advisory board
consulted the agency to allow the
over the counter sale of the
contraceptive in 2003.

Commmissioner Lester Crawford's
nomination was approved by the
senate on the condition that he
would decide on the matter by this
September.  Advocates of the
over the counter sale of the
contraceptive had expected that
new administrative head would follow
the counsel of the agency's own
experts who overwhelmingly
approved the drug for
non-prescription sale to women over
the age of 17.  Crawford delayed the
final decision citing "enforcability" as
a factor.

This is the second time the drug's
manufacturer, Barr Laboratories,has
submitted an application to sell the
drug without a prescription to adults.  
The FDA rejected that first
application due to the fact that it did
not address the prescription sale of
the drug to  minors.  

The second Barr application took the
advice of the FDA to include a
request for the prescription sale of
the contraceptive to minors.  But the
second application was rejected by
Crawford because of the
complications of enforcing an age
limit. Groups that oppose a woman's
right to choose have applauded the
The FDA's decision has prompted
calls for an inquiry into the delay.   
Senator Patty Murray, (D-WA) called
for the FDA to "stop playing games
with the health and well being of
millions of American women."  

The delay also led to the resignation
of a long time FDA official, Assistant
Commissioner Susan Wood, who
complained that the decision to place
further road blocks in the way of the
non-prescription sale of the
contraceptive was made "at the
commissioner level" without the input
or the consultation of the FDA's
professional staff.  

Wood said she "could no longer serve
as staff when scientific and clinical
evidence, fully evaluated and
recommended by the professional
staff here, has been overruled".  
back to top of
verbatim                                                                      number 4.2  
"First, we're going to save
lives and stabilize the
situation. And then we're
going to help these
communities rebuild. The
good news is -- and it's hard
for some to see it now -- that
out of this chaos is going to
come a fantastic Gulf Coast,
like it was before...  
...Out of the rubbles of Trent
Lott's house -- he's lost his
entire house -- there's going
to be a fantastic house."
 Mobile AL  09.02.05
Court Backs Indefinite Military Detention For US Citizen
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