Glass Houses

Glenn Greenwald notes the irony of Fred Hiatt's WaPo lecturing anyone on the damage done to US diplomatic and human rights credibility. Hiatt writes:

According to State's latest report on Egypt, issued Feb. 25, "the government's respect for human rights remained poor" during 2008 "and serious abuses continued in many areas." It cited torture by security forces and a decline in freedom of the press, association and religion. . . "We issue these reports on every country," [Secretary of State Clinton] said. "We hope that it will be taken in the spirit in which it is offered, that we all have room for improvement."

. . . Ms. Clinton's words will be treasured by al-Qaeda recruiters and anti-American propagandists throughout the Middle East. She appears oblivious to how offensive such statements are to the millions of Egyptians who loathe Mr. Mubarak's oppressive government and blame the United States for propping it up.

It is a fair critique, but Fred Hiatt and the WaPo Ed Board can not deliver it after supporting the Bush foreign policies and violation of civil liberties so slavishly for 8 years. Save it for someone with some credibility on these issues Mr. Hiatt.

Speaking for me only

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    glenn also takes a nice swipe (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Turkana on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 12:34:39 PM EST
    at susang- who has been deserving some, of late...

    Missed that. (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 03:38:59 PM EST
    Maybe she was auditioning for Maureen Dowd's gig?  

    I wasn't a Caroline Kennedy fan, but I don't think she deserved that treatment!


    Last week (5.00 / 6) (#3)
    by NYShooter on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 12:41:42 PM EST
    I visited a life-long friend's mentally disabled son in an upstate NYS prison. He is finishing up a ten year sentence for a crime that the prosecuting DA was willing to plea out for time served. (65 days) The evidence against him was so flimsy, it bordered on non-existent. The legal aid attorney assigned to defend him was so overloaded with indigent clients; he kept asking the DA the name of the defendant during the pre-trial hearings. My friend's son, who tested at a ten year old comprehension level, vehemently protested his innocence, and refused the plea deal.

    Now, you would think that with every participant in this tragedy accepting the fact that the boy was retarded, that he would not be allowed to make such a self-destructive decision. But you would be wrong. The well-meaning, however myopic, civil rights organizations, won the right for mentally incompetent people to overrule mental health professionals.

    Until you personally witness the sadistic treatment, physical, as well as psychological, that sick inmates endure in our prisons, you couldn't understand the depraved irony of us lecturing other countries on "civil rights."

    Where was the judge? Was (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 01:10:33 PM EST
    the defendant competent to stand trial?

    I wasn't there. (none / 0) (#7)
    by NYShooter on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 08:12:29 PM EST
    The defendant probably passed the test. As you know, the legal test for competence is quite difference than what you and I would employ. I'm not arguing that he was denied "due process." However, any reasonable person witnessing his performance would come away with the same conclusion I had.....he was poorly represented and he made a choice that few "competent" people would.

    He certainly got really poor advice (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 08:19:54 PM EST
    from his attorney if the attorney advised him to reject the plea bargain and take the case to trial.

    no, his attorney begged (none / 0) (#9)
    by NYShooter on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:24:24 PM EST
    him to accept.

    My point was/is, that this boy, in spite of the legal definition of "capable to stand trial," was not. He could not comprehend the risk to himself, that by "telling the truth," and proclaiming his innocense, he would undoubtedly spend the next ten years in a maximum security Hellhole.

    Under Koch and Dingle, mentally compromised, homeless people (formerly mental hospital clients) had a legal "right" to sleep in the gutters, defecating on themselves. Mental health professionals, who used to pick them up and bring them to a safe place refuge, were found to be violating their civil rights.

    I, sure as Hell, don't have the answer. The only thing I do know is that the current system doesn't work, and is morally wrong.


    Very sad. (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:38:58 PM EST
    I once prosecuted a young man who, against the advice of his attorney and badgering by the judge, insisted on going to jury trial.  He was convicted of a misdemeanour.  Immiediate sentencing.  A witness, who was a high school coach, had identified defendant as the person he warned not to hang around outside the playing field fence calling to the kids.  The person returned after the warning, according to the witness.  However, at the sentencing, the witness stood up, got the judge's attention and sd., I don't want to take away from the prosecutor's case, but the young man I warned isn't the young man who came back after the warning.  I made a mistake.

    Besides having to endure (none / 0) (#11)
    by NYShooter on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 01:02:31 AM EST

    all the endless lawyer jokes, being an attorney must be a really stressful, and draining job.

    The mental picture most people have of our legal system, for the most part, is a delusion: "You have the right to a speedy trial;" "In the end, justice prevails;" " Everyone is equal under the law," zzzzzzz.    


    Hand me a brick... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by oldpro on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 01:05:38 PM EST

    Re International Criminal Court (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 12:23:00 PM EST
    in the Hague:  Last night at tutoring my fifth grader student brought Time magazine's kid mag.  His assignment was to read this article and write a five-paragraph essay on the article, concluding with his opinion.  Here's the article:  Child soldiers

    To my amazement, the article gives not hint the U.S. is not a signatory to the treaty which gave birth to the ICC.