Secret Tribunal

By Cole, David | The Nation, May 6, 1991 | Go to article overview

Secret Tribunal


Cole, David, The Nation


On March 12 when President Bush unveiled his domestic crime bill, he urged Congress to enact the measure as a way of welcoming home the soldiers who fought in the gulf. The crime bill's provisions for deporting foreign "terrorists" do parallel some aspects of Operation Desert Storm, but not ones Bush would like to acknowledge. Just as the Administration kept the press from observing its military effort in the Middle East, it now proposes secrecy in proceedings to expel immigrants from this country. And in both initiatives, while the Administration talks of the need to punish heinous crimes, the main victims of its actions are not criminals but foreign citizens with the wrong political allegiances.

Under the Bush crime bill, the government could decline to reveal publicly any evidence it deems confidential and which it seeks to use to deport a foreign citizen for "terrorist activity." Moreover, it can conceal the evidence not only from the public but from the foreign citizens themselves, thereby depriving them of any chance to defend themselves.

Some might consider such drastic action warranted to respond to terrorist threats. But the right to due process of law does not turn on the gravity of the government's accusations; we give as much if not more procedural protection to those charged with serial murders or treason as to those charged with income tax evasion.

More disturbing is the government's sweeping interpretation of the word "terrorism." To the Immigration and Naturalization Service, "terrorist activity" includes not only setting a bomb but also fundraising or recruiting members for any organization or government body that has engaged in unlawful violent activity. Thus the definition turns not on what a person has done but with whom he or she has associated. Obviously this treads on First Amendment rights of association. In a secret trial, who is to know if the government's "evidence" consists of illegal acts or constitutionally protected associations?

The government's definition of "terrorist activity" is so broad that, if consistently applied, it would cover all foreign citizens who have raised funds for the African National Congress, the government of Israel, the Irish Republican Army or the Kurdish rebels in Iraq. Of course, the "terrorism" label is not applied consistently. Those who use violence to achieve ends consistent with Administration policy are "freedom fighters." The likelihood of selective enforcement underscores the injustice of deportation trials held in secret. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Secret Tribunal
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.