Tyranny is Law, Revolution is Order
08/21/05 "ICH" -- -- The
US introduced Patriot Acts and violated all international laws
after 9/11 to fight “terrorism.” After 7/7, the British
government went one step further to the
extreme to fight “extremism.” It proposed many laws,
contravening the established legal principles, human rights and
all norms of moral decency.
The stress on the need for
more and more laws gives us the impression as if it was the lack
of laws that lead to “terrorism” in the first place.
These developments in the US
and UK led to similar initiatives and debate in other Western
capitals on whether to follow the suit. Puppet regimes in the
Muslim world don’t even need such discussions about terror and
law. Thanks to the unflinching, fully determined support of the
Western leaders and the terrorist attacks abroad, which are good
enough for the dictators to round up, torture and even kill
hundreds of people without any reference to any law.
Because of 9/11 and 7/7, the
legislatures now see a problem and attempt to solve it with
new laws along with permitting the war lords to invade and occupy
sovereign states on the basis of lies. The question is: would these
laws and occupations address the root causes of the problem?
Even a cursory analysis reveals
that the main target of the proposed
terror laws is the basic principles that ensure justice and
fairness. Principles such as "due process,” “no crime
without intent,” “innocent until proven guilty,” “habeas
corpus,” “no self-incrimination,” “no ex post facto
laws,” “the right to counsel,” “the right to remain
silent,” “the right to see the evidence that incriminates”
and “the right to confront one's accusers" are
the first victims of these laws. These principles are the
target because without doing away with them, acts
such as racial profiling would be impossible and without that,
singling out Muslims would not be easily
legitimized in the public eyes.
The most basic understanding of law is that it
provides the people with their most important safeguard against
"predatory actions of government." The understanding has
been turned upside down. The purpose of law, “the greatest
happiness for the greatest number,” has now been changed to the
greatest happiness of the totalitarians, who want to silence their
critics in the name of “greatest safety and security.”
The world needs not be deceived with the concept
of terrorism used an excuse to consolidate tyranny at home and
abroad after 9/11. Efforts were already underway in the US for
controlling public opinion and curtailing freedoms. Roberts and
Stratton argue in their book, “The
Tyranny of Good Intentions,” that in “recent decades,
both conservatives and liberals have cut swaths through the law as
they pursued drug dealers, S&L crooks, environmental
polluters, Wall Street inside traders, child abusers, and other
undesirables." In fact, "with the exception of
Benthamite ideology, the greatest damage to justice has been done
by the unintended consequences of the conservatives' war on
crime." The war on terrorism became the perfect excuse for
consolidating what was already on the cards.
UK is now moving one step
ahead with Blair's plan to criminalize not just direct incitement
to terrorism but anything the totalitarians may categorize as
"condoning," "glorifying" or
"justifying" terrorism anywhere in the world. Words like
that are far too vague, elastic and subject to selective use by
the world mastering demi-gods. Worse still is the government's
plan to expand its list of deportable offenses to include the
expression of "what the government considers to be extreme
views." The idea of making naturalized British citizens
deportable for "extremism" means one has to believe and
fully support every single word and deed of the
government; otherwise the person will be
considered an extremist, whose difference of
opinion might “indirectly” lead to terrorism.
All these measures are based
on the pre-determination that what the US and UK and their allies
have done over the last many decades is absolutely correct.
Only there was a lack of the proposed new laws. They
didn’t violate any international law and norm. They
didn't assist tyrants and aggressors. They didn't support
occupations and tortures of innocent populations. They didn't
starve 1.8 millions to death. They did not fully legalized state
terrorism. And they didn't disregard any international law and
even bypassed the UN after 9/11.
What is value of the terror-laws, when those
formulating the laws are above the law and able to make a mockery
of the Geneva Convention. What is value of terror laws from those,
whose Office of Legal Council (under Justice Department),
determines that the Geneva Conventions
legally do not apply to the vague “war on terrorism.” The
famous Gonzales' memo says that the terrorist threat rendered
''obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy
prisoners,'' who are not even granted POW status.
importantly, the proposed changes in the existing laws and the new
laws for terrorism are not at all about terrorism as such. They
are mostly for harassing Muslims
(Colbert King, Washington Post, 20-08-2005),
to hold them from practicing Islam and change their school
curriculum (Paul Watson, LA Times, 18-08-2005)
and their way of life altogether. These are the new
targets of the proposed laws, which were so obvious from the
beginning of the war on Islam under the label of war on terrorism.
As far terrorism is concerned, the US doesn’t
have a legal definition of terrorism in the first place. There is
no organized body of legislation one might call the law of
terrorism, and there is no inherent crime of terrorism. Terrorists
are charged with other offenses. There is a long-standing
legal code called Title 18, Part I, Chapter 113B, Section
2331 which is entitled "Terrorism" and
attempts to define it, but it is essentially all about
international terrorism and represents America's version of
outlawing internecine conflict on its soil.
Ninety percent of the time, suspected terrorists
do nothing wrong until they commit an indictable act.
Indicted terrorists are charged with other crimes -- planning for
violence, raising funds illegally, and carrying out a violent act.
The most common criminal charges against terrorists include
bombing, arson, hijacking, assault, kidnapping, murder, theft, and
sabotage. For terrorists who are captured before completing
an act, the most common charges are illegal possession of
explosives and weapons, illegal raising of funds, and conspiracy.
All the new additions are only and only concerned with racial
profiling and justifications for discrimination against the
particular group: Muslims.
According to the
proposed terror laws, the right to freedom of speech only applies
to discussion or explanations of doctrines or ideologies that urge
the overthrow of government declared evil by the United States.
Speech that urge overthrow of the most favored, pro-West dictators
and kings is not protected.
To qualify as an
indictable enemy of the West, a person must not necessarily take
some concrete steps toward harmful action. Merely criticism of the
policy of the US and UK in particular is good enough. Most of the
intelligence agents and other security officials consider
themselves as one with the US and one does not necessarily condemn
the rest of the Western countries directly. Mere criticism of the
US and UK is good enough to charge someone under the twisted
definition of extremism.
The most absurd new
laws put the burden of proof on the alleged “terrorists” and
“extremists.” They have to prove it in a situation, in which
they are indefinitely detained, have no right to know the charges
against them and have absolutely no access to evidence of their
alleged crime. Yet they have to prove themselves innocent from
their cold, claustrophobic prison cells.
effectively violate all international laws and treaties and kill
as many people as they may like for achieving their ever changing
objectives according to the gradual exposure of their lies.
Powerful states are no longer bound by any law. However, when it
comes to dealing with the perceived terrorists, states are allowed
to pass anti-terrorism laws which are extensions of international
treaties to consider whole populations as potential terrorists.
students can be deported for their alleged engagement in
“suspicious” activities, where evidence supporting such claims
is presented in secret, or not presented at all. It shows, there
might be no evidence at all. But mere suspicion is good enough to
treat any one (read Muslims) the way any allied government may
According to the new
laws, states can be providing billions of dollars and full
military support annually to the regimes involved in oppression,
occupation and terrorizing millions of people. Yet, any moral or
financial support to the oppressed, resisting these illegal
occupations would be instantly labeled as terrorist fund raising.
These measures must be
“laws” and legislation for those who
propose mass deportations of Muslims in the New York Times.
But for those who may not even have a lion’s share of
commonsense, these steps are reflective of the pervasive tyranny.
How can one justify indefinite detention of a person on the basis
of mere suspicion, without any right to see the evidence or due
process of law?
reporter Dana Priest reported on January 02, 2005 that US
administration is “preparing long-range plans for indefinitely
imprisoning suspected terrorists whom they do not want to set free
or turn over to courts in the United States or other countries,
according to intelligence,” (See full report: Long-Term Plan
Sought For Terror Suspects). Even mass murderers are not be
punished like that, let alone mere suspects.
Tyranny is too mild a world
for such life time detentions in violation to all the legal
principles and processes known to human beings so far. In this
drama of law and terror, it seems that
justice, fairness or law is not the objective at all. Dana Priest
reports that the CIA “has been scurrying since Sept. 11, 2001,
to find secure locations abroad where it could detain and
interrogate captives without risk of discovery, and without having
to give them access to legal proceedings.” According
to the report, the suspect held in these facilities include high
profile terrorist in Washington's view: " Khalid
Sheik Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh, Abu Zubaida and the lead
Southeast Asia terrorist, Nurjaman Riduan Isamuddin, known as
shows the leading terrorists are kept away even
even from the shadows of law. So, for
whom do we need all these new laws?
so-called laws are for the ordinary citizens to
make them toe the line, to stop
questioning the official stories about the
terrorist acts, the logic and reason
for going to wars and all associated
policies. Andrew M. Greeley, a Roman Catholic priest,
equated such measures to a “whiff of fascism American style in
the air” (Daily Southtown,
Chicago, November 25, 2001). He wrote it long before
the real face of the new laws regarding terrorism was exposed. Mr.
Greeley concluded: “The
closet fascists among us, however well-intentioned they may be,
are far more serious threats to us than the followers of bin
Laden. They would, given half a chance, destroy the American
bottom-line is that law has become a mean in the post 9/11 world
to consummate and exercise tyranny. That is not fault of the law.
It is fault of the law-makers and practitioners
who are exploiting the law by hiding behind it for justifying
their crimes against humanity.
Ullah Jan <email@example.com>
is author of The End of Democracy and A War on Islam. His book,
challenging legitimacy of Afghan occupation will be released soon.
See, for example, Colbert I. King’s article, “Muslim
Converts, Meet the FBI,” in Washington Post, August
See The Nation Pakistan, August 20, 2005, lead story:
“US concerned over 'inciteful' material in Pak textbooks,”
or Paul Watson’s front
page story on the same subject in LA Times,
August 18, 2005.
See Blair’s statement that if Muslims have to live in UK,
they have to live by our values and way of life.
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