Good evening, let's kick things off with Democracy Now!
Government Fails to Convict Palestinian Professor on Terror Charges
In a case observers are calling a major blow the Bush administration, a prominent Palestinian-American professor has been acquitted of several terrorism charges. Sami Al-Arian was accused of helping finance and direct the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Al-Arian was found not guilty on eight charges. Jurors deadlocked on nine others, leading the judge to declare a mistrial. Three other co-defendants were also cleared of most of the charges against them. We’ll have more on the Al-Arian case in a few minutes.
So what does this say about the government's cases? This was one of the big ones. This was one that John Ashcroft (J-Ass) saw as a sure thing. And the administration loses in court.
Does it make you wonder about some of the "convictions" they've had? Does it make you scared to know that a jury could look at the "evidence" the government presented and find the man innocenct? It should cause that demonstrates how flimsy the government's case was. That could be you or me, any of us. Having our lives trashed for three years.
How do you come back from that? How do you go about getting back your life?
The full weight of the government came down on him and then when it was put up or shut up time, the government can't make it to the goal line because they had no case. We should all be very bothered by what was done to Sami Al-Arian.
Democrats Split Over Iraq War
In this country, the war in Iraq is threatening to open up a serious divide within the Democratic Party. On Monday, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean told a San Antonio radio station: "the idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong." Dean’s remarks came after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi last week endorsed Congressman John Murtha’s call for withdraw US troops from Iraq within six months. Several Democrats rebuked Dean on Tuesday. Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman said: "It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge he'll be commander in chief for three more years. We undermine the president's credibility at our nation's peril."
Why is Joe Lieberman still in the party?
No one wants him. If he wasn't labeled a Democrat, you'd never know he was by listening to him. He's always tackling the "big" issues like video games. Joe Lieberman, there to stamp out your freedoms.
I'm glad Nancy Pelosi finally spoke up and glad about Howard Dean too. Hope that means Fighting Howard's back. But all Joe Lieberman has to do is open his big yap and all that Pelosi, Dean and Murtha accomplished is set back. Someone needs to tell him to get with the party or get out. He's always undercutting his own party.
I was griping about Lieberman on the phone to C.I. and C.I. told me to check out Bill Sher's thing on him. This is from "The Sunday Talkshow Breakdown:"
Sen. Joe Lieberman is a foreign policy neocon.
He is the only Dem Senator who is explicitly for permanent bases in Iraq.
He is one of the few Dems who did not vote for the Dem amendment which said troops should not stay in Iraq indefinitely.
And most recently, the Republican National Committee touted Lieberman’s recent pro-war op-ed and Bush approvingly quoted him in last week’s speech.
The guy is simply on the other team when it comes to Iraq (at minimum.)
That's just a section of it. So now let me do one more thing from Democracy Now!
Case Challenges Recruiting Access for Military on Campus
And the Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case that challenges military recruiting on campus. A coalition of over 160 law schools is contesting the 1996 Solomon Amendment, which allows the government to deny financial support to any university that does not give military recruiters the same access to students it gives to other employers. The law schools are arguing they should only have to grant the military equal access when the military allows equal access to openly-gay recruits. The Supreme Court is widely expected to rule in favor of the Solomon amendment. Chief Justice John Roberts appeared to defend it during the proceedings, saying: "It says that if you want our money, you have to let our recruiters on campus."
C.I. wrote about this case at length today and I agree with everything C.I. said. C.I. writes:
Last night, I was hoping someone else in the community would have grabbed the topic because the whole thing is something I'd prefer to avoid.
I read that and had to call C.I. because I felt bad. Recruiters is the topic I try to cover. I should have covered this yesterday when I provided a link to a story on it. C.I. said it wasn't aimed at me and wasn't griping at anyone, just that C.I. didn't want to write about it.
That's because of, read the entry, it brings up more than just recruiting. It brings up the nonsense of the Bully Boy win and all the psuedo reason the press gave for his win early on. All that crap about "values voters" is still with us. Even though we've long since found out that those "values" for the right wing didn't sway a lot of voters.
So I'm sorry that I didn't write about it last night. I agree with C.I. that it's not a free speech issue for the government. The government's trying to force themselves off on the university so it does go to whether or the university is free to make their own decisions.
It's one more battle in the right-wing's war on acadmia.
Now be sure to check out Elaine's site Like Maria Said Paz for her take on the first two things from Democracy Now! and more. And check out Kat's "White mobs do love their Bobby Dylan" and Rebecca's "peanuts & the press" because they're hilarious.
Remember my motto: The Common Ills community is important and the Common Ills community is important to me. So I'll do my part for the Common Ills community.
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