Ashcroft May Be Sued for Rights Violation

In a stunning federal court decision with far-reaching ramifications, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco last week ruled that former Attorney General John Ashcroft can be sued personally for violating the civil liberties of a Muslim American in the immediate aftermath of the 911 attacks.  The man suing the former attorney general is Abdullah al-Kidd, a former star football player at the University of Idaho.  Al-Kidd was arrested in 2003 at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, DC, strip-searched and shackled, transported to various detention facilities, and detained for more than two weeks.  Even after his release, his ability to travel was curtailed and he lost his job. 

The government never charged al-Kidd with any crime.  Moreover, even though he was initially arrested and detained as a so-called “material witness,” he never testified in any court proceeding.   Al-Kidd has alleged his detention and mis-treatment was the result of the Department of Justice mis-using the broad, material witness statute as nothing more than a pretext to “take suspected terrorists off the street” even though the government lacked evidence on which to properly charge them.  (At least several dozen other individuals were similarly detained as “material witnesses,” according to civil liberties lawyers.)

While government officials, including the attorney general, normally enjoy broad immunity from being sued for actions undertaken in their official government capacity, the court of appeals concluded the actions by Ashcroft in this case went beyond what could be considered legitimate, official duties as the attorney general. 

Interestingly, of the two appeals court judges who decided against Ashcroft, one was appointed by President George W. Bush and the other by President Ronald Reagan.  The former attorney general will have a hard time arguing the court’s decision was an example of “Bush bashing.”

64 comments Add your comment

jt

September 18th, 2009
6:25 am

” strip-searched and shackled, transported to various detention facilities, and detained for more than two weeks. Even after his release, his ability to travel was curtailed and he lost his job.

The government never charged al-Kidd with any crime. Moreover, even though he was initially arrested and detained as a so-called “material witness,” he never testified in any court proceeding. ”

That sounds just like thousands of un-employed child support obligers EVERY day. Except you don’t get released. There IS a debtors prison in America.

clyde

September 18th, 2009
7:08 am

I’ll withhold on this one until I learn more particulars about Al-Kidd.

SuperB

September 18th, 2009
7:15 am

Another example of the total incompetence of the Bush Administration– from the top down. There was a reason the fine people of Missouri fired Ashcroft as their senator– for a man that had passed away. Ashcroft was an incompetent AG appointed by an incompetent president

M Anthony

September 18th, 2009
7:30 am

Lets see Al-Kidd is being compared to people who owe child support although it does not state the man has kids but he did have a job. What particulars is clyde looking for? The man is an American, went to college, had a job but maybe you dont like the way his name is spelled. Thats it. Detain anyone with a hyphen in their name.

sharecropper

September 18th, 2009
7:34 am

Do not make the mistake of believing America is a tolerant nation. We don’t like people who look different or act differently.

Tea

September 18th, 2009
7:53 am

jt, you must really love your kid(s).

Tea

September 18th, 2009
8:07 am

Ashcroft, Chaney, Rumsfeld and others appear to believe that whatever they have to do to defend rightous, patriotic (and superior) Americans is justified. There are many reasons why such thinking is fallacious. Adolf Hitler thought the same way about his Germans (non-Jews of course).

David S

September 18th, 2009
8:13 am

This is what america has become, and way too many republicans blindly support these actions. There is no way this country will ever find true freedom again until the republican party acknowledges the crimes of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, Ashcroft, Gonzales, etc. and also admits their complicity in helping to perpetuate them.

The investigations must begin in haste, and the list should cover everyone alive who has ever served in the Executive branch of government. No reason to leave any administration out. They are all criminals.

Balance

September 18th, 2009
8:17 am

We can’t pass judgment on the court’s finding until we know what Al-Kidd did. Stop throwing around radical statements until you know the full story.

jt

September 18th, 2009
8:31 am

Tea-

How is having Uncle Sam as a daddy or husband working out for you?

Bob

September 18th, 2009
8:39 am

This reminds me of the Fulton County Jail, people that should have been released are jailed weeks after the release date.

Jackie

September 18th, 2009
9:23 am

Thank goodness for the courage of this court. It remains to be seen if any further appeals will be heard in this case.

It is time all those in the Bush Administration be held accountable for their perceived and actual criminal activities. This perception starts at the top and flows down.

Let the rule of law prevail.

Jackie

September 18th, 2009
9:34 am

More Ashcroft tidbits:

“On July 26, 2001, cbsnews.com reported that John Ashcroft had stopped flying on commercial airlines.

Ashcroft used to fly commercial, just as Janet Reno did. So why, two months before Sept. 11, did he start taking chartered government planes?

CBS News correspondent Jim Stewart asked the Justice Department.

Because of a “threat assessment” by the FBI, he was told. But “neither the FBI nor the Justice Department … would identify what the threat was, when it was detected or who made it,” CBS News reported.”
Heads-Up To Ashcroft Proves Threat Was Known Before 9/11

Partisay

September 18th, 2009
9:41 am

Balance
September 18th, 2009
8:17 am

“We can’t pass judgment on the court’s finding until we know what Al-Kidd did.”

This happened 6 years ago. At what point in time do you think we will “know what Al-Kidd did”? It’s kinda obvious he did nothing. If he had, I think they would have let us know by now.

jt

September 18th, 2009
9:51 am

Bob

September 18th, 2009
8:39 am

“This reminds me of the Fulton County Jail, people that should have been released are jailed weeks after the release date.”

Nobody really cares about the civil liberties of POOR young boys in Fulton County Bob. It is just not sexy enough for the ACLU .

Every AG since the War on Drugs started should be prosecuted. And they might be.

William

September 18th, 2009
10:11 am

The ninth circuit of appeals in san francisco! Is this the court that gets overturned by the supreme court every week? Hey, if you want to prosecute the former AG–go for it. I can not wait until the present AG is brougth up on civil right charges. His ideology will surely cross the legal line soon. We all know he is a bigot.

Ray Pugh

September 18th, 2009
11:18 am

William,

Thank you for gracing us with your learned opinion this morning! I’m sure you are an astute legal mind with a lawyerly grasp over these most pressing issues! (sarcasm font off)

Jefferson

September 18th, 2009
11:26 am

Just wait if their is a pig flu epidimic….

Jefferson

September 18th, 2009
11:27 am

s/b “there”

Beowulf

September 18th, 2009
11:39 am

Jackie, with all due respect, why does Ashcroft switching to flying charter mean that he knew about 9/11? He was the AG, a highly visible (and often rather detested) position, lawyers always make somebody unhappy. There may have been buzz about targeting US officials, that had been called for by terrorists long before 9/11. As to how much Ashcroft knew about the possibility of the attacks, the AG is not in charge of any intelligence agencies. I am sure he was briefed on security issues, but if the ball was dropped anywhere, it would have been within the CIA. They are not perfect, but when you consider the number of leads they pursue every day, and most turn out to be nothing, let’s be fair. It is only the government, what do we expect? And we want to turn over our health care to these people?

Scott

September 18th, 2009
11:40 am

This is a bad decision. Who is to say that a few years from now that some folks will not want to sue PresBO for killing the pirates. After all, if it is a crime (or a tort) to pour water on someone in an attempt to save thousands, surely it is a crime to kill 3 people w/o a trial in an effort to save one merchant marine captain. And, yes, I am a lawyer with a grasp of the pressing issues.

Sunshine and Thunder

September 18th, 2009
11:47 am

The ninth circuit is the court with an agenda. Is there any more information about this guy?

BTW, does this mean that I can sue John McCain and Russ Feingold and the entire congressional delegation for “passing a law abridging the freedom of speech”?

Ray Pugh

September 18th, 2009
11:52 am

“Torture” is of an enemy combatant is a violation of the Geneva Convention Accord; the debate has been whether waterboarding and other tactics are in indeed “torture” and thus illegal. No law, domestic or international, criminalizes the manner in which the pirate situation was handled. No, the decedents of the Somali pirates will not sue President Obama, and no, the Ninth Circuit’s holding is not a “bad decision.”

Jackie

September 18th, 2009
11:56 am

@Beowulf

I would disagree with you on that point.
The Daily Intelligence Brief includes all members of the Cabinet.
It appears to me, if someone says in the brief that Osama Bin Laden plans to fly airplanes into buildings in the USA, with this information being complied, condensed and presented by the National Security Agency, CIA, DIA and other intelligence agencies of the US and foreign governments, should one conclude there is a MAJOR event about to occur?

Secondly, “these people” have control of MediAid, MediCare, VA, TriCare and other medical care administration that is reported to use only 3% to 4% of each dollar for overhead. Sounds pretty impressive to me given this is “government work.”

Ray Pugh

September 18th, 2009
11:57 am

Sunshine,

The holding only applies to members of the Executive Branch, dumb@$$.

Jackie

September 18th, 2009
12:00 pm

@Scott

If you are a lawyer, why not bring the case to court?
Wonder if you would be sanctioned for the frivolity of your suit?

Rightwing Troll

September 18th, 2009
12:01 pm

Lawyer Scott,
Were these “pirates” unarmed and complying with the authorities?

Your supposition is flawed. They were in the act of committing a crime and when confronted they did not submit or comply to the authorities. I can’t imagine that even the most liberal court of the land would consider this as an actionable offense.

Ray Pugh

September 18th, 2009
12:02 pm

Also look up “defense of others.”

Hint hint: he’s not a lawyer.

Beowulf

September 18th, 2009
12:09 pm

Ok, Jackie, let’s just say he did know that a major attack was a high probability? What is the AG supposed to do? CIA and FBI in such a case could have done more I suppose. AG has control of detaining and interrogation, maybe he could have interrogated more, but given the tone of what has been done thus far, I don’t think anyone would have been happier.

Some people think that the gov’t should immediately tell us (the citizens) about all such threats. That is an extremely bad idea, it does not take much to create absolute pandemonium. There was definitely a failure in intelligence, but it was not Ashcroft’s fault that 9/11 occurred, nor even the intelligence agencies. Why are we so eager to blame them (even if they missed something), when we should be fully blaming and holding accountable the terrorist organizations that perpetrated the attacks.

As for Medicare/Medicaid, etc., just ask the people who have been denied services or who have to file stuff back and forth ad nauseum to get things paid for. Low overhead means in this case they are probably paying incompetents.

Rightwing Troll

September 18th, 2009
12:10 pm

Jackie,
No sanctions for lawyers unless it’s REALLY REALLY bad. I had my exe’s attorneys drag out our divorce for over a year after the child custody raping, er… I mean mediation…

They did all kinds of crazy stuff, didn’t return calls submitted original documents when they were supposed to be submitting revised docs, show up at meetings uninformed, cancel meetings on short notice leaving me and my lawyers sitting there running up the tab at 475.00/hr even more…

At trial, when we were finally able to force a trial, it was revealed that they did this to make our “marriage” extend to 10 years so she could collect a % of my social security.

I owed my attorneys 7000.00 after the Custody mediation, from that point moving forward the lawyerly shenanigans ran up about 44,000.00 in bills. I wanted sanctions or something on opposing counsel for this bullshiite.

So the answer to your question is no, it’s next to impossible to have a lawyer sanctioned.

William

September 18th, 2009
12:17 pm

Ray Pugh

September 18th, 2009
11:18 am
How far along are you in law school “pugh”? I bet the DNC gave you talking points about 7am this morning did they not? As for as me, I am just a rugged American and I vote. I will express my opinion and in your face if that is what it takes.

On Fox News last night a former CIA analysts described the vital information received from water boarding from two terrorists. It uncovered two plots one in the US and one in Great Britain. Of course if you get your news from the DNC you would be told not to talk about this. Right, Mr Intelligent “pugh”

joe matarotz

September 18th, 2009
12:17 pm

Instead of taking Bob-o-link’s somewhat ambiguous stance on this, here ie the link to read the case and the decision, along with partial dissenting opinion from Judge Bea:

http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2009/09/04/06-36059.pdf

Be warned – it’s 94 pages of legalese, but it’s a pretty good read and gives insight into how judges apply the law to a case.

Hey, Bob, you should read it too.

Jackie

September 18th, 2009
12:28 pm

@Rightwing Troll

In GA, the lawyers have practical immunity in civil cases.
Look at the GA code for lawyers and judges and you will find that the judge can “ignore” evidence presented in a civil case and find that person “guilty” of civil offense presented.

Sanctions in a civil case are much different from sanctions in other cases.

ldc dallas

September 18th, 2009
12:29 pm

Enter your comments here The ninth circuit court of apprals is the most overturned court in the country. Nobody takes these liberal idiots seriously.Don’t worry, they will be overturned on appeal.

jokerman

September 18th, 2009
12:37 pm

“On Fox News last night a former CIA analysts described the vital information received from water boarding from two terrorists.” Blah, blah, blah!

Would that have been Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly etal?

Fox news….where to go to get your dis-information.

Jackie

September 18th, 2009
12:39 pm

@Beowulf

If he is an Officer of the Court and sworn to uphold The Constitution of the United States, does he not have a responsibility to offer any means to not only protect himself but the citizens of this country?

He did not have to proverbially yell “fire” to get our attention, but, he could have done many things behind the scenes to mitigate the situation. After all, he is the boss of the FBI and is supposedly independent of the White House.

Secondly, what denial of services are you speak of? If one has Medicare, MedicAid, VA or Tri-Care where does denial of service occur?

I think you understand that reform is more about reforming the insurance conundrum than about reforming medical services. Why should the insurance company make a determination as to what type of service you can obtain and how much medical service you will recieve?

There are exclusions, deductibles, co-pays and caps on costs built into insurance policies. On top of that, private insurance carriers usually have an overhead rate of more than 30%. What do they bring to the table but paperwork?

Incompetence

September 18th, 2009
12:40 pm

As sad as it is, the incompetence of the Bush administration has been surpassed by the Obama administration.

Beowulf

September 18th, 2009
1:01 pm

Jackie, I am not sure we have had an AG independent of the White House in quite some time. Sadly, of course. Maybe he did stuff we don’t know about, but ultimately more responsibility fell on other agencies. Maybe he could have done more. Either way – I stick by the idea of blaming terrorists first and foremost!

Denial of services with Medicaid/Medicare – well the services usually get done anyway, but then payment process is where it breaks down, with individuals and most often the providers (doctors and hospitals) having to eat the cost.

I absolutely agree that the insurance is what needs reform. Precisely. So we need to draft some basic rules and guidelines, even offer some protections. My concern is the idea of simply shifting the insurance provider from private companies to the government. There is a happy medium, I think, that neither side wants to look at because it will not give them the votes with their grass-roots bases. Unfortunately it has turned into a power struggle, like everything else Congress touches.

Let’s replace all incumbents, it would be a good start!

jconservative

September 18th, 2009
1:05 pm

WP news story:

Abdullah al-Kidd, a U.S. citizen who was taken into custody at a ticket counter at Washington Dulles International Airport in 2003, while he was on his way to Saudi Arabia to study Islamic law and Arabic.

Ashcroft, the attorney general at the time, asserted that authorities would take “suspected terrorists off the street” and engage in “aggressive detention of lawbreakers and material witnesses” to disrupt possible al-Qaeda plots. FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III cited al-Kidd’s detention in testimony to Congress about the bureau’s success in protecting national security

But Judges Milan D. Smith Jr. and David R. Thompson disagreed, writing that Ashcroft was not entitled to absolute legal immunity and that authorities had detained al-Kidd in part to conduct an investigation of his activities, without probable cause. Judge Carlos T. Bea wrote a partial dissent. All three judges were appointed by Republican presidents.

Al-Kidd, a Muslim convert who had been a standout running back on the University of Idaho football team, was confined in a high-security cell lit 24 hours a day, according to the opinion. He was strip-searched and transported, in shackles, across three states for 16 days before a court ordered his release. Authorities could not offer evidence of criminal wrongdoing by al-Kidd, and he never testified in a court proceeding.

At the time, authorities said they wanted al-Kidd to testify in connection with a visa fraud case against Sami Omar al-Hussayen. Al-Hussayen ultimately was acquitted of charges that he provided material support to terrorists. Other charges against him were dismissed after a jury failed to reach agreement.

The opinion bemoaned that some “confidently assert that the government has the power to arrest and detain or restrict American citizens for months on end, in sometimes primitive conditions . . . because the government wishes to investigate them for possible wrongdoing or to prevent them from having contact with others in the outside world. We find this to be repugnant.”

We do this in this country. Like locking up US citizens in 1942. We really get scared & say d**n the Constitution.

Those who willingly give up their liberties in the name of security, deserve neither.

Jackie

September 18th, 2009
1:10 pm

@Beowulf

Those that planned and participated in this heinous act are to blame, first and foremost!

Of course, payment for services are where the breakdown occurs. Why should the CEO of United HealthCare make a reported $700 million dollar salary in 10 years. What does he do for that amount of money?

If one wants to remain with their private carrier, so be it; if one wants to save money and be covered by all medical contingencies, then we should have that option, don’t you think?

We spent approximately $2 trillion dollars yearly on health services. If we were to formulate a plan that each of us had to pay a graduated tax to cover this cost, would it not be less expensive and more comprehensive?

Australians pay a 7% tax annually for their health care. No if, ands or buts. Everything at anytime is covered.

Jackie

September 18th, 2009
1:13 pm

@jconservative

The Jose Padilla case is more egregious.

algonquin J. Calhoun

September 18th, 2009
1:17 pm

Abdullah al-Kidd, formerly known as Lavoni T. Kidd, is an American citizen. He was born in this country. Mr. al-Kidd, a Muslim convert, was on his way to Saudi Arabia to pursue a doctorate in Islamic studies when he was taken into custody as a ‘material witness.’ As Bob noted, he was never called in any case. The government offered as some sort of vindication that Mr. al-Kidd was flying on a one-way ticket. This was not true, he had purchased a round-trip ticket. Apparently, Mr. al-Kidd had come under scrutiny for the following reasons: Mr. Kidd’s having listed on a Web site jihad as an interest; the FBI interpreted this as a reference to a holy war.
Mr. Kidd’s having “sold tapes and books containing the teachings of radical sheikhs” when he lived in Idaho.
Mr. Kidd’s owning a video that “had to do with the hijacking and terrorist events on September. 11, 2001.

Without a doubt his rights as an American citizen were violated by Ashcroft and the government of the United States under George W. Bush. Mr. al-Kidd has company.

After the anthrax attacks of 2001, Steven Hatfill was identified, by Ashcroft in the flesh, as being a”person of interest.” Hatfill was subjected to intense scrutiny and was found guilty in the press. He was never formally charged and on June 27, 2009 the government announced it was paying Dr. Hatfill 4.6 million as compensation for ruining his life without any legitimate reason for doing so. Of course, one of the things the government didn’t do was admit wrong doing. So, why did they pay the money?

On the morning of July 27, 2008 Dr. Bruce Ivins was found unconscious in his home. He passed away two days later. The cause of death was listed as an intentional overdose of Tylenol. Dr. Ivins, a microbiologist, was a senior biodefense researcher at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. In late July of 2008 FBI investigators say they told Ivins he was about to be arrested for the anthrax attacks and that the death penalty would be sought. When does the FBI tell someone they are about to be taken into custody? If they have evidence they arrest! On August 6, 2008, a federal prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor, fingered Ivins as the person who manufactured the anthrax and mailed it. He acted alone Taylor said. However, there are a couple of problems with that statement. Firstly, the anthrax used in the attacks was weapons grade and Ivins didn’t have access to any equipment sophisticated enough to have produced it. Secondly, security at the facility he worked at was lax. If the anthrax came from there, which is damn near impossible, at least one hundred people could have been the source. The case is now closed. The perpetrator is deceased!

Then there’s the case of Brandon Mayfield. Mayfield, an attorney living in Portland, Oregon got onto Ashcroft’s radar when he represented a man named Leon Battle in a child custody case. Battle was later convicted, along with six other defendants of trying to get to Afghanistan to help the Taliban.

Mayfield is married to an Egyptian woman and they have three children. When he became seriously interested in his wife, Mona, he converted to the Islamic faith. No doubt Ashcroft took note of this fact.

In March of 2004 a serious bombing attack took place at a train station in Madrid, Spain. One hundred ninety-one people were killed senselessly. A baggy, containing detonating materials was found. On that baggy was one-half of a thumb print. The Spanish government asked the FBI for help in identifying the owner of the print. The print was identified as belonging to Brandon Mayfield, who had not been out of the continental United States for eleven years. The FBI took Mayfield into custody as a ‘material witness.’ He was held under false names, denied representation and not allowed to communicate with his family. After two weeks, Mayfield was released. The thumb print was identified as belonging to an Algerian. The patriot Act was used to justify the government’s going into the Mayfield home when no one in the family was there. Numerous items were confiscated. One of these, identified as ‘Spanish Documents’ was, in fact, the Spanish homework of Mayfield’s oldest son.

Brandon Mayfield, of course, had nothing to do with the bombings in Madrid! He was held, illegally, for two weeks for what amounted to absolutely nothing. Mayfield sought recompense and the government gave him two million bucks and a full apology. As a result of this case, provisions of the Patriot Act were found to be unconstitutional.

There are, without a doubt, many other cases of this sort of abuse out there. However, the great thing about this nation is our Constitution! It is the only thing between us and government terrorists such as Ashcroft. I hope al_Kidd gets millions for having his life ruined by the singing assassin!

Beowulf

September 18th, 2009
1:49 pm

The CEO of United Health Care is paid by the board to make its shareholders money. I assume he did well at that task or he’d be out.

So the company itself makes high profits, and as a capitalist I don’t have any problems with that. Now if they are denying people coverage to make that profit, that is wrong. Hence the need to provide a list of guidelines. The problem with a public option (or whatever you want to call it, it changes daily!) is that the government-run plan would certainly be cheapest. Thus it would become the choice option for most individuals and companies. Eventually this will run the private corporations out of business, and then a monopolistic government-run organization will be the only option. Since government-run organizations don’t tend to raise prices much (which I like) the quality tends to decrease as expenses get higher (inevitable). Amtrak is a good example. Except that we do have other transportation types to turn to, and most people do, especially when you can fly for almost the same amount of money. Health care does not offer that potential, if the government corporation controls the doctors and hospitals, where do you turn if you do not like their decision? I am not going as far as the whole “Death Panel” thing, that is a bit extreme. But I think we would see a lot less of the cutting-edge newest-technology medical procedures that often wind up becoming the norm. No country is even close to the US when it comes to these procedures, but they would be in serious jeopardy with a system in which all citizens are served by a single payer. These procedures are currently funded by the more forward-thinking insurance providers, and there are tremendous incentives for all parties involved.

I don’t know what would work best, honestly. I have heard some ideas in the right direction, but I personally don’t like the idea of paying an extra 7% to Uncle Sam. I already pay enough in taxes, and I am firmly middle class. I guess I’d like to see some sort of contractual solution between existing insurance providers and Medicaid to cover the basic health costs of all citizens, with a set of guidelines on procedures that cannot be denied. I’d also like to see people have the choice to pick their coverage restrictions a la carte, say like auto insurance, where you can pick your deductible and limits. Ultimately those with more money can get better insurance. I don’t think we can change this without damaging the notion of freedom, and I for one am not willing to give that up. Even at the sake of my own health…my ancestors fought for that freedom, I am not willing to throw it away for empty promises of greater security.

jconservative

September 18th, 2009
2:01 pm

Beowulf—
“…damaging the notion of freedom, and I for one am not willing to give that up. Even at the sake of my own health…my ancestors fought for that freedom, I am not willing to throw it away for empty promises of greater security.”

Well said Beowulf. Somebody say amen. Amen.

Jackie

September 18th, 2009
2:21 pm

You often hear many say that the Bush Administration “…protected us from the terrorist.”

I have asked the question many times “if the Administration is protecting us from the terrorists, who is protecting us from the Administration?”

gloom and doomer

September 18th, 2009
2:39 pm

It’s not like this hasn’t happened before. Just ask any number of older Japanese-Americans living in California. I once saw a picture of an older J-A being transported to one of the camps, fully decked out in his WW1 uniform, covered with the medals he had won in France when fighting for the US of A.

Go team.

algonquin J. Calhoun

September 18th, 2009
2:44 pm

Jackie, there, thank god, are still some good people in this country who revere the Constitution of the United States and try to preserve our rights as citizens. The hated ACLU is one organization that is vigilant.

dw

September 18th, 2009
2:56 pm

To Gloom and Doomer and Algonquin J. Calhoun and the like,

You are right. The U.S. is a terrible piece of garbage, treats their citizens poorly, harbors “war criminals” that kept more 9/11s from occurring here, and should be disbanded and turned into something wonderful like Iran, Iraq, China, Kenya, Ethiopia…, France. In fact I agree with you so strongly that all people except Native Americans should be repatriated to their original ancestral countries. Only then can this be a good place. This is laced with sarcasm if you can’t figure that out.

pd

September 18th, 2009
3:04 pm

Jailed for two weeks, lost his job, and was prevented from traveling based on his ethnicity.

Yeah, I’d say he should definetly be allowed to sue. He deserves a check and a big fat apology.

Jefferson

September 18th, 2009
3:09 pm

Why doesn’t public schools run private schools out of business? Many in Germany have private healht insurance, although public heath insurance is available (it is much less expensive than our private).

So why when cities run cable companies that’s ok? Why when cities or states give millions to lure in companies that kind of wellfare is ok.

Why not have all private toll roads?

A little socialism can go a long way. (not to be confused with communism –although many don’t seem to know the diffference)

Dave

September 18th, 2009
3:59 pm

Would you right wing nut jobs also defend Obama for doing the same to the nut who called for for death of Obama, his wife, and children at a rally with a sign. Some of you don’t give a crap about individual rights unless it is the other side who abuses them. Maybe one day you will understand if they take you away. My father served 20 years in the Navy and was a chief in charge targeting nuclear missiles. after leaving the Navy he worked for a company that built the original communication computers for the internet the ARPA network and fixed them. He went to NSA and the CIA all the time . On one occasion he went to the bathroom on his own and was called out by someone who was afraid he might have heard the wrong thing. They told him you do realize we could make you disappear for good. He did nothing wrong. Was this an empty threat I don’t know my Dad has since passed away and did nothing wrong, but was threatened as you may one day be for being in the wrong place at the wrong time Maybe it will be using the same infringement of liberties championed by Bush and Cheney and it will be president Hilliary Clinton doing it to you..

Jackie

September 18th, 2009
4:04 pm

@algonquin J. Calhoun

We all have a civic responsibility as citizens of this country to be vigilant in our administration of our rights.

@dw

What is that truism about “throwing a rock into a group and the one that yells is the one that has been hit” or something along those lines.

Jackie

September 18th, 2009
4:30 pm

@Beowulf

Only 2 countries in the industrialized world allow profits for health care companies, the USA and New Zeland.

Private companies do not have to go out of business, they will be forced to provide a service for those who want it, at a reasonable price.
They have private insurance companies in all the other countries with “socialized medicine.”

As our system dictates, those with money are able to afford what they want. We should allow those with limited or meager resources to have access to health care, food and shelter.

MB

September 18th, 2009
4:33 pm

I just don’t see any way that “wake me up when it’s time to vote” Thomas and “whatever the majority want is fine by me” Scalia along with the other Bushbot Neocons on the USSC will ever let this ruling stand although I totally agree that the jerks from the previous administration should be liable for their illegal actions after 9/11.

MB

September 18th, 2009
4:34 pm

As much as the Bush administration would like for it to be so, the U.S. Constitution didn’t suddenly become void and non-applicable the morning of 9/12/01.

algonquin J. Calhoun

September 18th, 2009
6:43 pm

dw must stand for dimwit.

AmVet

September 18th, 2009
7:06 pm

Ashcroft being the good fascist he is, took his marching orders dutifully from his “leaders” – Less than Curious George and DickHead.

I still find it utterly amazing that these conned shuck and grin for the most serially impeachable administration in American history.

The ONLY good news is the results these criminals have brought to bear:

In the past two national elections the misnamed “conservatives” have 5 wins and 67 losses.

A jaw dropping 94% failure rate.

Karma…

Tech man

September 18th, 2009
8:24 pm

Jackie,

As a benefits professional for 25 years I can safely say your democratic talking points on health care are wrong.

Gman

September 18th, 2009
8:42 pm

“Benefits professional” = health insurance mouthpiece

Deborah Fetkovich

September 18th, 2009
9:49 pm

The decision isn’t much of a surprise from the 9th Circuit — aka “The Rogue Court” or “The Court That Flagrantly Ignores the Constitution”. The 9th Circuit holds the record for most rulings overturned by the Supreme Court.

Several years back there was much discussion on how to fix this problem, including breaking up the Court into 3 distinct jurisdictions. So far, nothing has been accomplished and the 9th continues to outrage legitimate jurists and the public alike.

Jackie

September 18th, 2009
10:26 pm

@Tech Man

As a 25 year benefits professional, point out my errors if you can?

Please don’t use rhetoric, give me hard, precise facts that bolsters your point and discredits my point.

clyde

September 19th, 2009
6:35 am

M Anthony,
I also read that Al-Kidd had ties to a known terrorist and was detained as he was trying to leave the country for Saudi Arabia.The terrorist was involved in a fraud case and Al-Kidd was detained as a material witness.
There is little doubt that Al-Kidd’s rights were violated.That they were is obvious,but there is probable cause that Al-Kidd isn’t entirely innocent either.This looks like a case of government bungling.Done differently,and that means right,this incident may have had a different outcome for Mr.Al-Kidd.

jconservative

September 20th, 2009
6:08 pm

clyde September 19th, 2009 6:35 am
“M Anthony,
I also read that Al-Kidd had ties to a known terrorist and was detained as he was trying to leave the country for Saudi Arabia.The terrorist was involved in a fraud case and Al-Kidd was detained as a material witness.”

Clyde – The “known terrorist” you refer to was found not guilty on some charges & other charges were dropped by the government.

There is no law that says booking a flight to Saudia Arabia is a crime.
Thousands do it ever year.

lolikou

October 5th, 2009
1:14 am

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