Institute for Public Accuracy
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
JUNE 29, 2004
|CONTACT: Institute for Public Accuracy
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020
David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
* Iraq "Sovereignty Scam" * Supreme Court Detainee Decisions
WASHINGTON - June 29 -
- DENIS HALLIDAY, firstname.lastname@example.org
Halliday is just back in New York City from his native Ireland, where he spoke at a public meeting protesting Bush's policies during the president's visit in Ireland. The former head of the U.N. oil-for-food program in Iraq and a former U.N. Assistant Secretary General, Halliday said today: "Continuing U.S. occupation of a somewhat 'sovereign' Iraq is a prescription for disaster; the Iraqi people cannot be expected to focus on resolving their differences and building on aspects of unity when aggressive, intrusive and controlling alien occupation continues."
- RAHUL MAHAJAN, email@example.com, www.empirenotes.org
Mahajan is the author of the book Full Spectrum Dominance: U.S. Power in Iraq and Beyond and has been to Iraq twice this year, most recently during the Fallujah siege. He said today: "What took place two days earlier than announced was not 'transfer of sovereignty' but a sovereignty scam. To make it clear who will remain in charge, Paul Bremer promulgated a series of last-minute edicts covering a vast array of policies, including installing for five-year terms handpicked people to key positions such as national security adviser, national intelligence chief, and inspectors-general of all 26 ministries of the Iraqi government, creating an election commission with the power to bar political parties from the electoral realm, and outlawing participation in politics for parties that have an associated militia -- which would include most major political parties in Iraq today. These add to his earlier orders, still in effect, of capping tax rates at 15 percent, allowing for full foreign ownership of most Iraqi companies, and granting immunity from Iraqi law to all military and civilian members of the coalition forces. The rules installed by Bremer also make it very difficult for these edicts to be overturned by the incoming government."
Mahajan added: "While Iraq's oil revenues are nominally under control of the new government, the CPA promulgated a rash of last-minute decisions that leave uncommitted discretionary funds extremely low, locking the new government into the existing pattern of spending. More important, the transfer is to an unelected government headed by a man, Iyad Allawi, with a long record of brutality in the service of power, first as an agent of Saddam's Mukhabarat, later as an instigator of terrorist attacks in Iraq backed by the CIA and Britain's MI6. Most important, the continued presence of 138,000 U.S. troops, in addition to others, with full discretion in military operations and immunity from Iraqi legal processes, makes a mockery of the notion of sovereignty."
- SANAR YURDATAPAN, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.hrw.org/press/2002/11/hrdefender-turkey1112.htm
A recipient of a Global Rights Defenders award from Human Rights Watch, Yurdatapan is participating in demonstrations as Bush visits Istanbul.
- ED BICE, email@example.com, www.thepop.org
Executive director of the People's Opinion Project, Bice said: "Today's handover of 'full sovereignty' occurs in a relative vacuum of public support for both parties involved in the transfer. The most recent polling, commissioned by the CPA and leaked to the press June 14, indicates the uprising is popular and the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA approval 11 percent) and Governing Council (GC approval 28 percent) are not. Other significant numbers: 92 percent of those surveyed saw the Coalition Forces (CF) as occupiers, and 55 percent believe they would feel safer if the CF left immediately." [The poll results are available in slide form at: www.thepop.org/L/D42A4C668E62AAEDE7BF1071F7/687973/H]
- MARJORIE COHN, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forum/forumnew135.php
Professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and author of the article "The Concentration Camp at Guantanamo: Wrong Treatment in the Wrong Place," Cohn said today: "In a blow to the Bush administration, the Supreme Court today upheld the separation of powers doctrine enshrined in our Constitution. While the court unfortunately held that the President has the power to detain U.S. citizens and foreign nationals without charges or trial, it gave the detainees the right to challenge their detention in U.S. courts. The Court held that 'a state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens.'"
- DAVID COLE, email@example.com, www.thenation.com/directory/bios/bio.mhtml?id=32
Author of the book Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism and coauthor of the book Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties for National Security, Cole is professor of law at Georgetown University. He said today: "Today's decisions are a resounding rejection of the Bush administration's claim that it is above the law in the war on terror. The administration had argued that it could lock up anyone it chose, with no meaningful review, simply by labeling them an 'enemy combatant.' As Justice O'Connor wrote in rejecting that view, 'a state of war is not a blank check for the President.' These decisions are all the more astounding given the history of judicial deference to the executive in times of war, and the fact that the Supreme Court is itself overwhelmingly conservative and Republican. The fact that the administration could get only Justice Thomas's vote in the Hamdi case only underscores how extreme the government's claims of power were."
- KIT GAGE, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ncppf.org
Gage is president of the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom and executive director of First Amendment Foundation. She said today: "While the Supreme Court has decided to allow the government to hold both U.S. citizens and non-citizens as 'enemy combatants,' it has taken the reins to that determination by keeping the courts in charge through the hearing process even when those people are held outside formal U.S. land. The Executive Branch may label someone but the courts get to decide if the person is detained properly. Court oversight gives us hope that due process will eventually prevail."