In America, it’s now guilty until proven innocent

June 21, 2003

Nat Hentoff, writing in the Village Voice, comments on a report that the Justice Department released a few weeks ago detailing the abuses by the Justice Department under the auspices of the PATRIOT Act, a story that has been much under-covered in the mainstream press.

As for Inspector General Glenn Fine’s report, the essence of his extensive evidence against the attorney general is that Ashcroft and some of the members of his senior staff deliberately established a policy that, as New York Times legal affairs reporter Adam Liptak noted—paraphrasing the report—replaced “ordinary rules” with “no rules or perverse ones.”

Liptak continued, “The report says that the usual presumptions of the legal system were turned upside down in the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001. As a result, people detained on immigration charges were considered guilty until proved innocent and were often held for months [without bail] after they were ordered [by judges] released [or deported].” (Emphasis added.)

They’re coming after the immigrants now. Some other group, maybe even one you belong to, will be next.

Speak out!

One Response to In America, it’s now guilty until proven innocent

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