Monday, July 12, 2004

Ja: The usual suspects spouting the usual drivel

I wonder what is Baugh's take on the Israeli defence wall? Here's his take on the Patriot Act.

WESTERN BUREAU - A former United States defence attorney Friday urged the Jamaican Government to oppose the US Patriot Act, saying it had severely limited the constitutional protection of foreigners and Americans, if they were classified by the US as supporting terrorist activities.

"The Jamaican Government should oppose this Act either by demanding treaties with the United States or say, for instance, that no Jamaican charged under this statute will ever be extradited to the United States," said David Baugh, who has worked as a US Government defence lawyer for more than five years.

At the same time, Baugh called on the US Government to repeal the Patriot Act which was passed after the 9/11 attacks on the US.

"I am in favour of the constitution of the United States, and this Act is against that constitution because it diminishes the protection of the constitution," argued the noted lawyer, who has been in the profession for almost 30 years. "I believe it (the Act) is "un-American". I believe it limits the freedom of people around the world and should be repealed," he told the Sunday Observer.

Baugh is among the more than 80 high profile African-American judges and lawyers attending the 10th anniversary conference of the Jamaica Sunset Continuing Legal Education (CLE) in Negril, and is one of the presenters at the conference.
The last I looked, the U.S. Constitution was not a suicide pact.

There is no such animal as a U.S. government defence lawyer. There are federal prosecutors. Cities hire Legal Aid lawyers to defend poor criminals. If an individual in government requires a lawyer, he hires one. The White House has legal counsel, however, I do not believe that such lawyers might be termed "defence lawyers." Therefore, Baugh's relation vis a vis the government is questionable. I am inclined to think that Baugh is one of those notoriously liberal Legal Aid lawyers for whom the U.S. can do no right.

What is absent from Baugh's rant is any rationale for his beliefs. Thus, one is left with a host of assertions minus any proof. In other words, Baugh has no argument.

The irony of the brouhaha over the Patriot Act is that it takes much of the legislation oriented towards drug dealers and mafiosi and applies it towards terrorists. If the PA is good enough for the former, it ought to be good enough for the latter. Yet, many who did not object to the person-tapping (rather than wiretapping) part of the law wrt to mobsters, are up in arms over the same as it relates to terrorists who would come to these shores to do Americans harm.

It seems that Baugh and his ilk believe that America should not defend itself against external or internal threats.


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