Homeland Theater

Brooklyn's Abu Ghraib

Attorneys for former post-9-11 detainees at New York's federal Metropolitan Detention Center call it "Brooklyn's Abu Ghraib." The detainees—none of whom were ever charged with anything related to terrorism—say in sworn affidavits and interviews with Justice Department officials that correction officers at the facility in the Sunset Park neighborhood:

New DNC head fought indigenous rights in Vermont

Those truly naive enough to think Howard Dean's ascendency to the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee shows a progressive agenda should look no further than the ex- Gov. of Vermont's terrible record in denying the indigenous rights of fellow Vermonters the Abenaki people. That and his sub-courageous flip-flopping for daring to suggest the US have a more "even-handed" approach to the Israel-Palestine question.

Freedom House: US mosques promote "hate ideology"

The conservative Freedom House think-tank has released a new study (with an introduction by ex-CIA chief James Woolsey) finding that Saudi-produced Wahhabi literature promoting "hate ideology" is flooding American mosques. The following account is from the Alt.Muslim web site:

First Amendment battle in Chicago

Chicago anti-war activists are waging a First Amendment battle in two courtrooms, the Chicago Tribune reported Feb. 3. In federal District Court, activists are seeking class-action status for a suit brought after police shut down a protest on Lake Shore Drive on March 20, 2003, the day the war on Iraq was launched. The case contends protesters were herded into an area cordoned off by riot police, and that hundreds were arrested without justification, sometimes with excessive force. Meanwhile, in a city courtroom yesterday, the Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism appealed the denial of a permit to march again on this coming March 19 to mark the anniversary of the invasion. Coalition spokesman Andy Thayer said it is "essentially unconstitutional" to prohibit the right to protest on "hot-button issues." The city Transportation Department, in turn, denies that content is at issue, and says that the proposed march route would snarl traffic.

Supremes deal blow to Fourth Amendment

They did it again. On Jan. 24, the Supreme Court ruled 6-2 that police sending a drug-sniffing dog into a car in a traffic stop is constitutionally permissible, even in the absense of any evidence of drug use. The ruling reverses an Illinois Supreme Court decision in the case of Roy Cabelles, who was stopped for going six miles over the speed limit and now faces marijuana charges.

Jihad in Jersey City?

The recent slaying of a Coptic Christian family in New Jersey is being linked by many (on somewhat specious evidence) to Islamic extremists (typical headline: "Jihad in Jersey City"). An attempt by Newsday to shed some historical light on Coptic-Muslim tensions gets an E for Effort, but definitely not an A for Accuracy, prompting me to write the following letter (published in the Jan. 26 edition):

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