Thursday, July 28, 2005

Judge "Activates" Constitution--White House Fumes

Every once in awhile something happens that makes you think there's actually hope for this country. Today, when U.S. District Judge John Coughenour passed his sentence on the convicted Ahmed Ressam, who had plotted to bomb LAX on New Year's Eve 2000, he took the occasion to say the following, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Our system works. We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel. ... Our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart. We can deal with the threats to our national security without denying the accused fundamental constitutional protections.

Coughenor, by the way, was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1981.

We need more Coughenors and fewer Robertses.

Also note that Ressam's 22-year sentence, which he "earned" by providing some, but not enough information about terrorist plans, also means that "with credit for time served since his capture and a possible credit of up to three years' 'good time,' Ressam could be out in 14 years."

So cancel all travel plans through LAX in 2019, just in case.


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