December 13, 2006

Not a kangaroo Court

I accidentally stumbled across Executive Order of the President 13224 today. An interesting find. It essentially bans people from interaction with a list of organisations and ensures that bad things happen to you if you do help out with these organisations. It offers no evidence against any of the organisations, and don’t specify what crimes have been committed by the organisations.

Some of these are obviously worth of inclusion, the list begins with Al-Qaeda. Some of the other organisations don’t appear to have had any serious offences proved against them in a court of law and are in fact charitable in nature. There being a difference between a claim being satisfied within a court of law and someone pointing a finger and screaming terrorist at the top of their voice.

Worst of all some of the organisations seem to have a large number of people in Guantanamo, not because they have committed a crime, but in relation to this claim that the organisation should be banned. Aside from the fact that I don’t believe that someone can be proved to be a terrorist by applying the law of transitivity to known terrorist entities, its even worse to be applying it to organisations on a list where some charities are simply being convicted in something with less respect for law and order than a kangaroo court.


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  1. Robert O'Toole

    Good entry.

    A further consideration:

    Some of these are obviously worth of inclusion, the list begins with Al-Qaeda.

    If Al-Qaeda was a formal organisation with clearly identifiable members and a physical headquarters somewhere, then this would be OK in the same way as having a connection with the Nazi party may once have been a bad thing. However, Al-Qaeda is actually a loose and vague network of people and ideas.

    So for example, if Person A once met with Person B in a mosque in Pakistan, and Person B were some kind of associate of Bin Laden, and you then developed a connection with Person A (perhaps you are interested in Wahabist Islam), would that mean that you have interacted with Al-Qaeda?

    If it were to serve the political purposes of the Bush/Blair alliance, then the answer is likely to be: yes, go straight to Guantanamo. Clearly the policy has been constructed to provide powers unlimited and undefined by law.

    Worse still it seems that much of the intelligence upon which Bush/Blair and the security forces are basing their arguments is based on similarly vague connections.

    14 Dec 2006, 00:13

  2. “So for example, if Person A once met with Person B in a mosque in Pakistan, and Person B were some kind of associate of Bin Laden, and you then developed a connection with Person A (perhaps you are interested in Wahabist Islam), would that mean that you have interacted with Al-Qaeda?” – I think this is my point about transitivity of connections, but explained with an example.

    I think my point was more fundamental than that. At least if someone is in contact with Al Qaeda one would consider them worthy of investigating. This executive order allows people to be convicted of crimes for associating with organisations that have potentially done nothing demonstrably wrong. This is typical of the irrational policies being passed here, there and everywhere in the so called ‘war on terror’.

    14 Dec 2006, 09:33

  3. Tim

    Look, Mullet, we convicted Pablop in a Kangaroo court, so don’t mock them. They come in very useful.

    17 Dec 2006, 22:09

  4. Bob Loblaw

    Haha, how right you are Tim. Although, as his ‘defence attorney’ I loved the way he decided to turn on the only person who was sticking up for his side.

    18 Dec 2006, 19:31

  5. Dan

    What a victory for due process that evening was.

    21 Dec 2006, 10:09

  6. Dan

    Hmm, somehow I’ve managed to miss some boys brigade-related internet activity. (The above comment was by Dan the Second)

    I think we all know by now the reason Pablo turned on you, ‘Bob’ – the same reason he disapproved of your interracial coupling with Naomi. APAR!

    28 Dec 2006, 18:19


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