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Supreme Court upholds law against advising terrorists

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
This seems like a rather odd ruling, at least in some of its specifics.

Supreme Court upholds law against advising terrorists:

Quote:
In a 6-3 vote, justices say human rights advocates can be prosecuted if they advise members of a foreign terrorist group, even if they urge them to settle their disputes through peaceful means.


Quote:
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that human rights advocates can be prosecuted if they give advice to members of a foreign terrorist group, even if they urge them to settle their disputes through peaceful means.

The 6-3 decision upheld a broad anti-terrorism law that makes it a crime for Americans to provide "material support" to a designated terrorist group, including by offering them advice or training.

Does this strike anyone else a quite odd? I can see saying that it would be crime to aid and abet violence but in what way is urging someone to settle their disputes through peaceful means even in that vicinity? Don't we actually want people urging others to settle their disputes through peaceful means?


And it gets even more odd:

Quote:
The law had been challenged on free-speech grounds by several human rights advocates, including USC professor Ralph Fertig. He had worked with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known as the PKK, an outlawed group which supports independence for the Kurds in Turkey. Fertig said he firmly opposed violence and terrorism, but he believed he should be permitted to advise the groups on resolving its disputes through the United Nations.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said Fertig and the others are free to speak on their own on behalf of the Kurds. However, they are in danger of criminal prosecution, he said, if these advocates work with the PKK in giving legal advice.


As does the reasoning, which appears to be no reasoning at all:

Quote:
"Providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization even seemingly benign support bolsters the terrorist activities of that organization," Roberts said.


On this issue at least Breyer, Ginsburg and Sotomayor provide the voice of reason (and dissent):

Quote:
In dissent, Justice Stephen G. Breyer said the 1st Amendment should protect these human rights advocates from prosecution, except when it can be shown they knew they were aiding "unlawful terrorist actions." Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor joined his dissent.


Quote:
Congress strengthened the anti-terrorism law in 1996 and made it a crime to provide "material support" to terrorist groups. At first, this measure was understood to prevent Americans from sending money to groups in the Mideast whose activities included both providing education and carrying out terrorist acts.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the U.S. government has used the law to prosecute persons who traveled to Afghanistan and underwent training with Al Qaeda.

All the while, Fertig and the Humanitarian Law Project in Los Angeles had been challenging the law. They argued that the words "advice" or "training" should not be read so broadly as to forbid peace advocates from advising foreign groups to steer away from violence and terrorism.

They won before federal judges in California who said the Constitution does not allow prosecuting persons for advocating peaceful resolutions of disputes. The Obama administration appealed and won a reversal from the Supreme Court on Monday in Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project.

"We are deeply disappointed," said David Cole, a lawyer who represented Fertig. "The Court said that the 1st Amendment permits Congress to make it a crime to work for peace and human rights. That is wrong."

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #2 of 7
Peaceful resolution of disputes means exactly that: less conflict. What's the major fuel of the US economy? Warfare. Always follow the money, or take note of the action taken when that flow might be strangled or depleted.

The USSC ruled against advising peaceful ways to resolve disputes amongst designated terrorist groups, but official US government ties to some terrorist groups are still maintained.... even a middle eastern gang with alleged "ties to "al Qaeda, such as Jundullah whose leader Abdul Rigi was arrested back in February 2010.

When is terrorism "acceptable" to the powers-that-be? Presumably when it suits the US, or enriches domestic/global big business?
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Does this strike anyone else a quite odd?

Actually no; I thought it was a wise ruling from the court. Neither human rights advocates, nor pony-tailed leftist college professors, should have any contact with terrorist entities regardless what the mission is. They are the enemy (terrorists) and shouldn't be contacted in any capacity, whether to provide "material support" to terrorist groups or advise on humanitarian grounds. They are the enemy. Wise of the court to make such an obvious ruling...
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camp David View Post

Actually no; I thought it was a wise ruling from the court. Neither human rights advocates, nor pony-tailed leftist college professors, should have any contact with terrorist entities regardless what the mission is. They are the enemy (terrorists) and shouldn't be contacted in any capacity, whether to provide "material support" to terrorist groups or advise on humanitarian grounds. They are the enemy. Wise of the court to make such an obvious ruling...

Huh. Interesting. I quite disagree with you. But thanks for providing your opinion.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #5 of 7
Is Obama exempt?
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post

Is Obama exempt?

Undoubtedly.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
I do wonder, legitimately I think, whether we are in a time where we're getting dangerously close to the re-establishment, in practical reality if not in explicit legislative reality, of the Alien and Sedition Acts and, if we are, who will be our Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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