How Do They Deceive You?

Let me count the lies—the building blocks of Bush's 'democracy'

Liptak described a hearing last December before a federal judge in Washington, Joyce Hens Green. Using hypothetical questions, Green pressed a Justice Department official, Brian Boyle, for a clearer, more specific explanation of who could be detained as an enemy combatant under the government's definition.

The judge first asked if it would include "a little old lady in Switzerland who writes checks to what she thinks is a charitable organization that helps orphans in Afghanistan but really is a front to finance Al Qaeda activities."

She next asked: What about a resident of Dublin "who teaches English to the son of a person the CIA knows to be a member of Al Qaeda?"

Finally, "What about a Wall Street Journalreporter, working in Afghanistan, who knows the exact location of Osama bin Laden but does not reveal it to the United States government to protect her source?"

Boyle replied that the military could detain all three people as enemy combatants.

There is no compromise—or reality—in the "bold" Bush government. Only secrecy and prevarications.

(Almost forgot. Yes, the reporter in the third hypothetical should be shackled in the stocks for life—but for intentional stupidity, not as an enemy combatant.)

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