by GEF @ 7:02 PM MST
“WE WILL NOT PERISH WITHOUT A FIGHT!”
THE COMMON PEOPLE
It took common people – farmers, brewers, printers, silversmiths – to write the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights some 218 years ago. And it looks as if it’s up to the common people to try to defend those principles.
Somebody has to step up here.
The Bush administration mocks each provision of the Bill of Rights that protects private citizens from their government, and likewise pushes past constitutional constraints that protect other branches of government from the presidency.
Meanwhile, most federal courts equivocate their way to approve most of these actions, and Congress, even though in control of the opposition party, dithers and compromises away our basic rights for fear of accusations of being soft on terror. The media, meanwhile, fawns and yawns its way through this immense power grab, distracted by the search for another faux pas by Britney Spears or startling new evidence about who killed Princess Diana.
The good news comes out of 12 jurors in a Dallas courtroom on Monday. The jury sat and listened for two months to the testimony of federal agents, Israeli intelligence officers, wiretaps, videotapes and saw thousands of documents produced by government prosecutors. They worked their way through 197 counts of charges against a charitable fundraising organization called the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a Muslim organization that says it directs funds to the construction of hospitals and providing food for the poor in Palestine.
The Bush Administration closed the group down and froze its assets in December 2001 for supposedly financing terror attacks and murder around the world. The case against the Holy Land Foundation was the largest prosecution case by the U.S. government against an Islamic fundraising group.
Instead, a jury of common people told the judge, after two months of testimony and 19 days of sifting through testimony and evidence, that they were ready to acquit three of five defendants on almost all charges and could not reach a verdict on the other defendants or charges. The judge declared a mistrial and threw the case out.