Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not Getting Along

After the years just past of watching media get along by going along with gross injustice, a breath of fresh air is welcome to the point of hysteria. So may I announce I have a new hero.

Judge Leon showed that he is worthy of his office, and of several other offices that desperately need some one worth his/her salt in them.

An exasperated Federal Judge issued a scathing opinion, chastising government prosecutors for insisting that GITMO detainee Abd al Rahim Abdul Rassak was part of the Taliban, when all the evidence against him pointed to his innocence. In a 13-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ordered Rassak’s immediate release.

Rassak is from Syria and was forced by Taliban members to perform menial duties for the group. When Rassak tried to leave, he was brutally tortured for months, accused of being a Western spy and imprisoned for over a year, said Rassak’s lawyer Steven Wax. The Taliban then left the guesthouse and abandoned Rassak.

When Rassak attempted to help the U.S. by providing information about his Taliban torturers, he was taken into custody and transported to GITMO as a suspected terrorist.

Videos of torture and suicide bombings found in the shared al-Qaeda/Taliban safe house, were thought to depict Rassak involved in terrorism. However, once the videos were reviewed, it was discovered that the videos actually showed Rassak being tortured by al-Qaeda members.

Government prosecutors claimed Rassak still owed an allegiance to his Taliban captors, despite being tortured and imprisoned by the group.

Judge Leon rejected government’s arguments of Rassak’s guilt, saying their claims amounted to “taking a position that defies common sense.” To make sure the government understood the seriousness of his opinion, ordering Rassak’s release and his rejection of government claims of the detainee’s guilt, Judge Leon exclaimed in his opinion, “I disagree!”

This is the kind of judge I would have liked to see in Federal Court in Dallas when DOJ prosecutors insisted that freedom of speech didn't apply to the Holy Land Foundation defendants. It's the kind of judge I hope sits on their appeal court. It's the kind of judge I would have liked to see on the Supreme Court yesterday instead of the kind that think it's worth
raping our earth
to save a business some of its legitimate operating costs.

Our court system has been badly eroded by the past maladministration that wanted to end government's role, that of protecting the public. A remaining judge of this calibre is encouraging.

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