So many outrages packed into one little ol’ year

Sometimes I worry that SF becomes a place where we blow off a little too much steam, as if all we do is complain. So instead we’ll let Dahlia Lithwick of Slate do the complaining for us. Last week she published her Bill of Wrongs, which are the 10 most outrageous civil liberties violations of 2006. I wonder how she whittled it down to 10.

Here are a few highlights:

10. Attempt to Get Death Penalty for Zacarias Moussaoui
Thankfully, a jury rejected the notion that Moussaoui could be executed for the crime of merely wishing there had been a real connection between himself and 9/11.

9. Guantanamo Bay
The lucky 75 to be tried there will be cheered to hear that the Pentagon has just unveiled plans to build a $125 million legal complex for the hearings. The government has now officially put more thought into the design of Guantanamo’s court bathrooms than the charges against its prisoners.

5. Government Snooping
Take your pick. There’s the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program wherein the president breezily authorized spying on the phone calls of innocent citizens, in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The FBI’s TALON database shows the government has been spying on nonterrorist groups, including Quakers, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and Veterans for Peace. The Patriot Act lives on. And that’s just the stuff we know about.

3. Abuse of Jose Padilla
The Bush administration supported his motion for a mental competency assessment, in hopes that will help prevent his torture claims from ever coming to trial, or, as Yale Law School’s inimitable Jack Balkin put it: “You can’t believe Padilla when he says we tortured him because he’s crazy from all the things we did to him.”

Lithwick encourages you to send CL outrages that she’s forgotten to her at

Andy in the HBG

2 thoughts on “So many outrages packed into one little ol’ year

  1. This is slightly off topic, and I apologize for that. It’s a documentary I would like to see made, like a Michael Moore film done in the Borat style.

    You know those guys that knock on your door, have you heard the word of God, nice young men in black suits and white shirts with name badges. Annoying as all heck, ignorant of the world outside their white bread background, peddling their theories of how to live your life.

    The first part of the film follows some of them, nothing confrontational but just films them candid camera style as they go door to door annoying the heck out of people.

    The rest of the film follows a definite foreign gentleman, maybe Middle Eastern, knocking on doors in Utah bringing the word of Islam to the nice people there, the type of people that send their children out to spread the word.

    Would the good citizens of Utah extend the same courtesies to an Islamic missionary that they hope would be extended to their Christian missionaries?
    How long till our guy gets arrested? You know that would happen. The potential is there for many Keystone Kops moments, especially if it went all the way to the courts.

    Just a thought.

    Cheers, Neil.

  2. Hello all.

    Just a thought. Even if Jesus Christ never existed but multitudes of people strived to live a life with:

    No Stealing, No Killing, No Adultery, Forgiveness, Mercy, Honesty

    Would the US not be a better place? Look at schools since prayer was taken out?? Our kids believe they are evolved monkeys with no future ahead of them. Last I checked I have not seen a monkey turn into a human

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