Court Watch

Hawai'i trial attorneys and appellate court attorneys


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Trial Lawyers Need to Support Due Process for Everyone

Unless we believe due process of law and our system of advocacy don't really work, or are only PR gimmicks to placate the "do gooders," a recent Newsday article should be a wake-up call to the American trial bar.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Badr Zaman Badr and his brother Abdurrahim Muslim Dost relish writing a good joke that jabs a corrupt politician or distills the sufferings of fellow Afghans. Badr admires the political satires in "The Canterbury Tales" and "Gulliver's Travels," and Dost wrote some wicked lampoons in the 1990s, accusing Afghan mullahs of growing rich while preaching and organizing jihad. So in 2002, when the U.S. military shackled the writers and flew them to Guantanamo among prisoners whom Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared "the worst of the worst" violent terrorists, the brothers found life imitating farce.

The article goes on to point out that some official at the Pentagon made the decision that the two writers were "terorists" based on inaccurate information which led to the following "arrest."

In the midnight chill of Feb. 9, 2002, ISI officers led Badr and Dost, blindfolded and handcuffed, onto the tarmac of Peshawar International Airport. When they heard airplanes, "we knew they were handing us to the Americans," Badr said.

Beneath the blindfold, he stole glimpses of smiling Pakistani officers, grim U.S. soldiers and a cargo plane. "It was a big festival atmosphere, as though the Pakistanis were handing over Osama bin Laden to the United States," Badr said

The question that is really facing the American Justice System is "How long is this type of conduct going to continue?"

There is no due process whatsoever, once someone is targeted for arrest.


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