Sunday, April 02, 2006

Welcome to June 14, 1215

That is, the day before the Magna Carta was signed into law. Among the many provisions it puts in the mouth of King John we find the following:

38. No bailiff, on his own simple assertion, shall henceforth any one to his law, without producing faithful witnesses in evidence.

39. No freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or disseized, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way harmed--nor will we go upon or send upon him--save by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

40. To none will we sell, to none deny or delay, right or justice.
We need to drag Dubya to Runnymede.

Courted as Spies, Held as Combatants
U.S. and British efforts to infiltrate Britain's Islamic underground went into high gear after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the documents show. The two men, acquaintances of the radical cleric Abu Qatada, were singled out by MI5 for threats, cajoling and offers of cash and protection if they would channel information. Although one of them offered some assistance, MI5 wanted more.

Rawi, 38, and Banna, 43, remain at Guantanamo. They have told their attorneys that U.S. and British intelligence operatives have visited them repeatedly there and in Afghanistan, renewing demands that they inform, offering them freedom and money in exchange. Both men say they have refused.

A review of hundreds of pages of documents recently released by the U.S. Department of Defense, a British court and the men's attorneys illustrates how the U.S., British and Gambian governments worked together in an operation that circumvented their judicial systems and, through a process known as extraordinary rendition, had two men incarcerated who had not been charged with breaking any law.
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