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Civil Rights Complaint Against Executive Branch Filed With FBI In SF.

Civil Rights Complaint Against Executive Branch Filed With FBI In SF.

News summation: (Jose Padilla / Enemy Combatant Civil Rights Complaint Against the Executive Branch Filed With FBI Civil Rights Enforcement Division In San Francisco.)

Activity: In accordance with Department of Justice procedures for filing a civil rights complain on behalf of someone who’s civil liberties have been violated ( I filed the following civil rights complaint with the FBI in San Francisco on Friday October 7th 2005 as a civil rights complaint.

Grounds: This civil rights complaint addresses several unique civil rights angels of the Jose Padilla and enemy combatant detentions, as well as broader governmental constitutional authorities and criminal liabilities of Government conduct. While many previous discussions have centered on the detention aspect of Jose Padilla’s incommunicado detention, this complaint focuses largely on the incommunicado aspect of it and his 1st Amendment privileges, and the necessity of preserving free speech rights of unacused American citizens as well as other enemy combatant designees.

Purpose: 1) Political. The use of torture authorized by political office holders and appointees, coercive interrogations, political grandstanding by law enforcement personnel, including Department of Justice officials, Senate advice and Consent on judicial nominees related to enemy combatant cases, all political fall out from the discussion of human rights and our policies on torture can not be debated while the victims are incommunicado indefinitely. To act now on appointments, nominations, and elections, we need to know now, and that means we need to hear from these “enemy combatants” now. Chertokoff (Homeland Security,) Gonzales (Attorney General, DOJ,) Jay Bybee (9th Circuit Court of Appeals,) Roberts (Chief Justice, USA,) are all torture memo/detainee related people, and all ascending to greater power while we still don’t have the full story.

2) Democratic. To be publicly accused in the media by grandstanding politicians, often engaging in fear mongering or politicizing the war on terror, the “evil doers” should be able to respond as accused, in the press, in the courts, etc., but the administration wants to keep it one sided.

3) Legal. Jose Padilla has rights as a US Citizen that existed prior to the Supreme Court Hamdi decision, and the Hamdi decision re-affirmed the requirement of due process, habeas corpus before a neutral decision maker, status as either a POW or criminal, and if a POW, non-penal detention.  The administration continues to defy existing US law and the Supreme Courts re-affirmation of it, and is seeking through judicial activism of friendly lower courts to overturn the Supreme Court’s majority decision.  Through Judicial activism, the judicial lawmaking the claim to so vehemently appose, they seek to qualify Habeas Corpus to apply only to those the President deems worthy (an argument the Supreme Court in Hamdi rejected, noting is was for protection from the Executive branch Habeas existed,) and make the entire Bill of Rights optional.  Further, the administration argues that foreign “enemy combatants” with no US Citizenship enjoy no Bill of Rights or legal protections.  This civil rights filing introduces another perspective on that.  As human beings, they can be victims of crimes including kidnapping, torture, war crimes, and more.  The President is not above the law, and if these people have been subjected to any criminal treatment, they become protected as material witnesses.  To isolate them by force, to deprive them of access to tribunal of records, lawyers, and the press, the Bush administration may be involved in obstruction of justice.  Hiding away information related to any criminal activity, such as say information related to Iran Contra when it was discovered, would be obstruction of justice.  People, foreigners or not, as witnesses and victims of crimes, can not be held incommunicado by the very people who may have committed such crimes.  While campaigning upon the War on Terror, the skeletons can not be hidden. In Latin Habeas Corpus means “show me the body” yet hiding the skeletons is precisely what the administration is doing to protect the image of its actions, and possibly conceal criminal activity.

4) Democratic.  Most constitutional rights are based upon the citizen, and are citizen dependant.  Freedom of the press, freedom of speech, prior restraint, these may be unique in some regards.  Particularly in the case of speech, the source of the speech is most likely irrelevant, citizen or not.  Philosophically, this makes sense.  To contest and debate the US Government’s positions, it may well be necessary to hear from foreign sources of information and foreign government’s and their perspectives. As is relevant in the case of detainees, to debate the government’s actions, it may be necessary to hear from those effected by the government, including foreign citizens.  To interfere through prior restratint the sources of reporting, freedom of the press may be abridged. There may be lateral precedent for this.  Free speech has been ruled applicable to entities..corporatioins, etc., Corporations do not have citizenship, yet are still entitled to free speech. Foreign presses, presses printed abroad but distributed in the US, foreign citizens in the US engaging in journalism, all may well be under the umbrella of free speech/freedom of the press because such rights relate more to the Government’s lack of justification for suppressing debate.

Other key legal grounds: The Bush administration has argued that it was the Judicial Activism of the 1940’s in a case called Ex Parte Quirin that placed limits upon Habeas Corpus, the separations of powers, and due process of law in time of war. New in this filing, I raise the issue of the War Powers Act, not yet argued within the Hamdi/Padilla related cases, which anticipate and defeats attempts at Presidential power grabs as Commander in Chief in times of war, and re-affirms the binding nature of the laws of Congress and existing Constitutional authorities.

About myself: I have no connection to Jose Padilla, yet that appears to be no basis for disqualifying my complaint on his behalf.  I really rather wouldn’t have done this, and would especially like to avoid publicity.  Nevertheless, lower key efforts to have a positive and democratic impact on this development in our democracy seem unlikely to register without seeking to get the Department of Justice on record regarding legal interpretations to this locus point of our democracy so that it can be held accountable for its positions publicly, should the conflicts of interests between the political appointees of the Department of Justice and its charter mission professional staff in fact exist, or the potential cover-up and conflict of interests I speculatively assert may exist in fact be born out.

Ed Donegan
50 Blair Terrace
San Francisco, CA 94107
Helpful news articles
From Georgtown law professor David Cole, widely regarded to be a modern day Clarence Darrow in preserving democratic processes in the war against terrorism.

Another article ..

And my own “holding bin” of documents, some of which were drawn from for this complaint, and others which go beyond it in related discussions.
(complaint follows below)

More data on the actuall location a copy of the complaint will be available from will be posted soon.

Posted by: Ed
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