Skip to comments.Judge strikes president's authority to designate terrorist groups
Posted on 11/28/2006 4:32:42 PM PST by NormsRevenge
A federal judge has ruled that a portion of a post-Sept. 11 executive order allowing President Bush to create a list of specially designated global terrorist groups is unconstitutionally vague.
U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins, in a Nov. 21 ruling released Tuesday, struck down the provision and enjoined the government from blocking the assets of two foreign groups which were placed on the list.
The ruling was praised by David Cole, a lawyer for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Constitutional Rights.
"This law gave the president unfettered authority to create blacklists," he said. "It was reminiscent of the McCarthy era."
Charles Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, said, "We are currently reviewing the decision and we have made no determination what the government's next step will be."
The judge's ruling was a reversal of her own tentative findings last July in which she indicated she would uphold wide powers asserted by Bush under an anti-terror financing law. She delayed her ruling then to allow more legal briefs to be filed.
The long-running litigation has centered on two groups, the Liberation Tigers, which seeks a separate homeland for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, and Partiya Karkeran Kurdistan, a political organization representing the interests of Kurds in Turkey.
Both groups have been designated by the United States as foreign terrorist organizations.
The judge's 45-page ruling granted in part and denied in part a legal challenge brought by the Humanitarian Law Project, which seeks to provide training to the groups in human rights advocacy and provide them with humanitarian aid.
The judge outlined the history of Bush's Executive Order 13224 issued under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He declared then that the "grave acts of terrorism" and the "continuing and immediate threat of future attacks" constituted a national emergency.
He blocked all property and interests in property of 27 groups or individuals named as "specially designated global terrorists (SDGT)." Bush also authorized the secretary of the treasury to designate anyone who "assists, sponsors or provides services to" or is "otherwise associated with" a designated group.
Collins found that Bush's authority to designate SDGTs is "unconstitutionally vague on its face." She also found that the provision involving those "otherwise associated with" the groups is vague and overbroad and could impinge on First Amendment rights of free association. She struck down both provisions.
However, she let stand sections of the order that would penalize those who provide "services" to designated terrorist groups. She said such services would include the humanitarian aid and rights training proposed by the plaintiffs.
Cole said the Humanitarian Law Project will appeal those portions of the executive order which were allowed to stand. He said the judge's ruling does not invalidate the hundreds of SDGT designations already made but "calls them into question."
Cole said the value of the decision is it "says that even in fighting terrorism the president cannot be given a blank check to blacklist anyone he considers a bad guy or a bad group and you can't imply guilt by association."
They will have Bush naked, prostrated and re-educated by the time he leaves office. Oh well, play like a Rino, die like a Rino.
These judges should just stick to their job decription.
I guess Judge Collins thinks she's the President.
Everytime I see a judge rules against common sense, I'm reminded about the importance of having a Republican president who is strong in WoT.
God Bless America! It was nice while it lasted.
You know, one would think that you would have a little bit of concern for the country. Crap like this is going to put all of us in danger, even those of you who think Bush is a RINO.
Humanitarian Law Project
By Jean Pearce
FrontPageMagazine.com | April 14, 2004
In January, the Humanitarian Law Project scored a legal victory it had long been seeking when a Los Angeles Federal District Court judge struck down parts of the Patriot Act. The section of the Act in question barred American groups like HLP from providing advice and non-military aid to known terrorist groups across the globe.
As a result, the HLP will now be able to aid the two Marxist terrorist groups that were the subject of the lawsuit. One of the groups, the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), is responsible for over 200 suicide bombings, including attacks on mass transit and other civilian targets and the assassinations in the early 1990s of the prime ministers of India and Sri Lanka.
The other, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), fought in the name of Marxism and Kurdish nationalism, for an independent state in southeast Turkey in the 1980s and 90s. It was one of the first groups to use suicide bombers and, with the backing of Syria, the PKK engaged in the massacre of civilian villages where its dogma was opposed, eventually leaving an estimated 30,000 dead.
Despite this, most of the media described the HLP as a human rights group in its coverage earlier this year. HLP could better be described as a vehicle of the most extreme elements of the pro-terror Left and of the United Nations, which are increasingly becoming indistinguishable from each other.
As a United Nations nongovernmental organization (NGO), the HLP has consultative status, receives its funding from the UN and reports to the UNs commission on Human Rights.
For more than a decade, the American leftists who run the HLP have been monitoring their own country on behalf of the UN and making damning reports before the commission and on the floor of the UN, most of them about atrocities supposedly committed in or by the United States, particularly during both Iraq wars.
The HLP is the creation of Los Angeles real estate magnate Aris Anagnos, who has spent the last three decades bankrolling Marxist causes across the globe.
From the Nicaraguan Sandinistas to Marxist rebels in Chiapas to Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro, Anagnos seems to never have encountered a Communist he didnt admire.
In 2000, Anagnos told the Los Angeles Times that Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was one of the outstanding statesmen of the world today.
He has served his people faithfully and unselfishly and is a model for presidents to imitate, Anagnos was quoted as saying. And I'm not being funny.
No leftist cause is apparently too radical for Anagnos. The last major lawsuit Anagnos got behind, to the tune of at least $600,000, was the now infamous Christic Institute RICO case in 1985, which alleged that the CIA had dabbled in assassinations funded by drug money and that the agency was in cahoots with the Nicaraguan Contras, using drug money to finance their war against the Marxist Sandinistas and to assassinate Communists across the globe. The media quietly dropped the story after it turned out that most of the witnesses named in the case werent real people. The Institute was forced by a judge to pay the legal expenses of the high ranking CIA officials and others named in what he called a frivolous suit. Anagnos and his wife were also heavy financial sponsors of the Christic Institute itself, which was largely responsible for other well-known conspiracy theories, including accusations that the CIA sold drugs in American ghettoes, a discredited theory still widely held among American blacks, including Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
Anagnos founded the HLP the same year the Christic suit was filed, for the purpose, it appears, of helping Marxist rebels and terrorists around the globe. It shares an address with Anagnos real estate company and dozens of other loosely intertwined leftist groups in the Los Angeles Peace Center, at 8124 West 3rd Street in Los Angeles. The Center is funded by the Carolyn & Aris Anagnos Peace Center Foundation as a rent-free home for progressive organizations and has become a hub of leftist activity in L.A. It is home to the Coalition for World Peace (CWP), a member of the United for Peace & Justice Coalition. Among CWPs five member organizations is the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, a Communist Party spin-off group co-chaired by leftist organizer Leslie Cagan, head of UFPJ, longtime Communist Party member and one of the main forces behind last years national antiwar protests.
For years, Anagnos has also been a major donor to the Pacifica Radio Network, a group of donor-funded stations that advocate Marxist ideas and radical conspiracy theories like Jewish doctors injecting black babies with the AIDS virus.
At times at 8124 West 3rd Street, its hard to tell where the HLP and Coalition for World Peace end and Pacifica Radio begins. Until recently, Pacifica station KPFKs local advisory board held its meetings at the Peace Center. HLP Executive Director Lydia Brazon sits on Pacificas Board, which Cagan chaired until this week.
The Center is also the home to the West Coast offices of such groups as the Democratic Socialists of America, the National Lawyers Guild and Americans for Democratic Action.
Like Anagnos, HLPs president, University of Southern California Assistant Professor and former Freedom Rider Ralph Fertig, appears to dabble in paranoia, as well. Fertig is a supporting member of an international group called Campaign Against Criminalizing Communities (CAMPACC), a group that opposes anti-terrorism laws here and abroad. According to a statement on its website, the group believes that the crusade against terrorism is part of an international plan by the secret security state to exploit national insecurity. The group alleged this Big Brother wannabe is creating fictitious enemies in much the way the government did in Orwells 1984. The goal of this secret entity both here and abroad, they believe, is to intimidate immigrant communities from participating in the political process, harass and prosecute activists like themselves and give governments unlimited access to information on their political activities.
Over the years, the torture victims whose causes the HLP has taken up have included Los Angeles gang members targeted by the Los Angeles Police Department and jailed Whitewater figure Susan McDougal.
In 1997, Parker and the HLP called McDougal a torture victim and a political prisoner for refusing to testify against President Bill Clinton and petitioned the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Group on Arbitrary Detention to investigate McDougal's case.
The group was also behind well-publicized international accusations that the U.S. might have committed atrocities in both Iraq wars by using bombs tipped with depleted uranium. (However, HLP has never been able to produce any evidence to this effect.)
Our organization considers the Iraq situation an atrocity followed by a catastrophe, Parker testified. The international community simply must respond or risk being overtaken in every way by a power (the U.S.) that did not and does not intend to abide by the principles of humanitarian law carefully carved out since the first Geneva Convention.
In fact, the United States is the Great Satan to HLP members. Hence, it must be weakened, neutered and rendered of no effect. Hence, it should come as no surprise that chief among the HLPs aims is disarming the United States. In July of 2003, while testifying before a UN Commission on Human Rights subcommittee, Karen Parker, a Los Angeles attorney who has represented HLP before the UN for years, claimed that the fate of the whole world lies in being able to carry out the true disarmament of the U.S.
The smaller, poorer countries cannot possibly keep up with arm-chair wars or they will bankrupt themselves, she said, urging the UN to give Americas enemies a fighting chance in their war against the United States. Even the other developed countries are far, far behind this technological madness. If the United States is allowed to use and develop these weapons, all other countries are reduced to peonage at the mercy of the United States.
As Parker explained in an interview in Human Rights Action, the HLP newsletter, the group considers the World Court formally called the International Court of Justice to be the highest legal body in the world.
In addition to their paranoia about America and their hope that Third World countries will stand up to the U.S. in battle, HLPs supposedly humanitarian leaders possess and amazing tolerance for brutality when it is committed by fellow Marxists.
In 1988, before a scheduled summit between U.S. and Soviet leaders on human rights, Parker led a press conference in New York to assure Soviet leaders that despite U.S. rhetoric, the real human rights problems werent in Russia, but in America. American human rights violations had reached truly mass proportions Soviet leaders were told, including the tragedy of the starving the homeless. Meanwhile, a recent tour of the USSR by lawyer William Kunstler (founder of the Center for Constitutional Rights) had proven that the U.S. governments allegations about violations of human rights in the Soviet Union, including the persecution of Soviet dissidents, were absolutely unfounded. (Tell that to Sakharov and Solzenitsyn.)
Sixteen years later, Fertig displayed the same dismissive attitude about the trail of blood to say nothing of the human rights violations that the LTTE has left in its wake. In an interview with Sri Lankas Sunday Leader newspaper about the HLPs Patriot Act suit, Fertig said the LTTEs history of violence was quite irrelevant in this case. He then explained that the suit was really about the right of any individual to send aid for non-violent humanitarian projects of the LTTE.
According to media reports, a spokesperson for John Ashcroft said that the Justice Department is considering an appeal of the ruling in the case. Americans concerned about the threat terrorists pose to their own nation and Western civilization as a whole can only hope the decision is appealed, and HLP follows its Communist heroes into the dustbin of history.
It's more important to some people to brand Bush a RINO than it is to support him when he does something right.
The President should simply create another terrorist group by executive order: JACC....Judges Appointed by Clinton and Carter.
And who had a hand in writing that EO in such a way that it could be interpreted as being too vague? Could it have been Alberto Gonzalez? Or maybe Harriett Meiers?
I'm just sayin' . . . .
No kidding, some think this is all fun and games.
I was just thinking this. Judges who legislate from the bench should be automatically dismissed.
Judge rules that the US President has no executive powers at all! "It's all based upon a profound misunderstanding of the US Constitution, which really grants (in secret writing invisible to all but liberal judges) unlimited powers to the liberal judiciary and no powers at all to the US President."
Now tell me genius, how is Bush supposed to stop a lawsuit and the findings of a Clinton appointee.
You so called "true conservatives" hate Bush as much as the Dummies do. given your illogic.
It's interesting that you blame Bush and the people who brought the lawsuit or the Clinton judge.
It's all Bush's fault!
Couldn't you perhaps spare a bit of disdain for the JUDGE?
Another Clinton Judge at it ping
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