Leon’s Book of Law

Glenn Greenwald and Adam Serwer already hit this part of 60 Minutes interview with Leon Panetta yesterday. But I wanted to tie Panetta’s comments about how, “in his book” a citizen who wants to attack our people and kill Americans is first and foremost a terrorist.

If someone is a citizen of the United States and is a terrorist who wants to attack our people and kill Americans in my book that person is a terrorist. And the reality is that under our laws that person is a terrorist. And we’re required under process of law to be able to justify that despite the fact that this person may be a citizen, he is first and foremost a terrorist who threatens our people. [my emphasis]

Now, Panetta suggests that if someone who, in Leon’s book, is a terrorist is here in the US, that person will get due process.

But the logic of the Fourth Circuit’s Padilla decision the other day defies that. As I read it, the Fourth Circuit argued that once Padilla became an enemy combatant–once Leon’s predecessors decided that, in their book, he was a terrorist, then he lost access to the legal means to (for example) seek redress for torture, much less to anything but habeas corpus–on the schedule the government chose, which effectively nullified it.

So while it sounds odd that all it might take is the CIA Director or the Defense Secretary to say, “in my book, he’s a terrorist,” that is actually how things are functioning.


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7 Responses to Leon’s Book of Law

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel Q: Where in grand jury materials does it talk abt Brown's fingerprints (or not) on Wilson's gun?
bmaz @mild7 Yes, I have followed @froomkin since before Twitter
emptywheel @nittacci No prob.
JimWhiteGNV Prediction: the Wildcats will win this basketball game.
bmaz @gideonstrumpet @BlanksSlate You are being kind to Cassell
emptywheel @nittacci Yup. Michigan. But I suspect you're just trolling!
bmaz To be honest, my recollection is that the media, as a whole, yes it was all smaller scale then, was far better in the 60's.
bmaz But maybe the media are now just as recalcitrant and blinded as they were in the 60's and just don't have the cognizance to realize it.
emptywheel @theurbansherpa Native plants. Need far less water and every 5 years you get to burn them down.
bmaz Ferguson and Brown/Wilson is one. Treating it falsely, as the media is doing is as short sided as their idiocy during Vietnam.
bmaz I was alive in the late 60's. And the 70's. There are turning points. The Financial meltdown should have been one, but sadly wasn't.
emptywheel Wonder what cons will do when they realize my funny boy-on-girl-no-kids MI marriage is one last bastions of unthreatened-by-gays marriage?
January 2012
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