Brad Messer Commentary
Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Justice Turned Upside Down

Its own Inspector general reports that the Justice Department turned U.S. law upside down after the 9-Eleven attacks.

Some of the hundreds of foreigners detained were mistreated. According to the New York Times:

"At times, the ordinary rules were replaced by no rules or perverse ones, the report said. Some detainees were given the names of lawyers to call but inaccurate phone numbers for them, or the names of lawyers who were unwilling to represent them. They might be given one try to reach a lawyer per week, and a busy signal or wrong number sometimes counted."

Both the Justice Department and the FBI, which also was criticized, are defensive about the report and generally indicate that they did their best under the circumstances.

Whether egregious perversions of law were willfully carried out, history will decide. I have criticized the Justice Department, from the time of the first detentions, for being excessively heavy-handed.

But what a wonderful country where (a) we can complain if we want to, and (b) a branch of the government investigates itself and finds itself abusive. It is still the best system on Earth, and we are a bunch of lucky ducks to be here.

Brad Messer, commentary, KTSA.


NY Times 6/3/03
For Jailed Immigrants, a Presumption of Guilt

Orlando Sentinel 6/3/03
Report Slams 9-11 Abuses

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