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Rule of Law vs. Rule of War.

From: Jeff Cohen, FAIR
Date: 21 Sep 2001
Time: 06:54:36
Remote Name: 66.110.6.89

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~Are Media Missing the Lesson of Oklahoma City?

Published on Thursday, September 20, 2001.

Many media voices are enlisting in the push toward war. CBS anchor Dan Rather seemed more soldier than reporter on Monday’s Letterman show when he endorsed the war drive and added: “George Bush is the President…. Wherever he wants me to line up, just tell me where.” It’s worth remembering that a similar push followed the last dreadful act of terrorism against America on our soil, Oklahoma City. Many in the mass media immediately began goading us toward retaliation against a presumed Arab, Islamic enemy. Columnist Mike Royko called for the overseas bombing of civilian infrastructures: “If it happens to be the wrong country, well, too bad.”

The bellicose rhetoric came to a stunning halt as soon as it was learned that the anti-American terrorists were not from the Mideast. In fact, one was from the Midwest -- Michigan. The leader was Timothy McVeigh, who went to his death believing himself to be at war against the U.S.

Perhaps the lesson to be learned from Oklahoma City is that our country did not take the bait. The U.S. did not declare war on McVeigh and his network of extremist fellow-travelers. The Bill of Rights and civil liberties were not trampled on the path to increased security.

Instead, McVeigh and his accomplices were dealt with as a democracy deals with mass murderers. They were apprehended, prosecuted and punished after being given trials, lawyers, the right to confront witnesses and challenge evidence. The armed fanatics who sympathized with McVeigh were not all hunted down and destroyed, but they’ve certainly been quieted. Many of us abhor the death penalty that was given to McVeigh, but the rule of law prevailed.

The terrorists behind the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon are more numerous, perhaps more dangerous and better protected than McVeigh and friends. Still, it’s appalling how little mainstream media have discussed relying on the rule of law -- international law -- to pursue the foreign terrorists.

Few news reports have pointed out that there is one body under international law that can authorize military action: the United Nations Security Council. If the U.S. has strong evidence against Osama bin Laden and associates, and Afghanistan continues to refuse extradition to the U.S., the two countries could negotiate surrender of the suspects to a neutral country for trial (as happened with Libyan agents tried for the Lockerbie explosion). If that approach fails, the U.S. could present its case to the Security Council, which could authorize the equivalent of an international arrest warrant.

That the United States of America should uphold and adhere to international law is seen as preposterous, un-American and weak. In a piece titled, “To War, Not to Court,” Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote: “Secretary of State Colin Powell’s first reaction to the day of infamy was to pledge to ‘bring those responsible to justice.’ This is exactly wrong.”

Fox News Channel offered a rare interview with an actual expert in international law, Francis Boyle of University of Illinois, who offered a step-by-step legal process for pursuing the terrorists -- which provoked an indignant Bill O’Reilly to decry “empowering the U.N.” Days later on his show, one of the most watched on cable news, O’Reilly advocated bombing and destroying the civilian infrastructures of Afghanistan and Iraq, followed by attacks on Libya.

Listening to the Krauthammers and O’Reillys and leaping into unilateral action does more than undermine the rule of law. It isolates the U.S. instead of isolating the terrorists. Much of the world will see an excessive or misdirected U.S. military action as a tragic rerun of adventures that have callously injured innocent civilians from Panama to Iraq to Sudan.

And a new misstep will breed ever more anti-American terrorists.

Jeff Cohen is the founder of FAIR: <http://www.fair.org/> a national media watch group based in Manhattan, and a media critic on the Fox News Channel.

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EL REGISTRO de PADILLA.

From: Oscar Alarcon Nuñez.
Date: 24 Jul 2003
Time: 19:59:38
Remote Name: 12.174.232.24

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Los Temas que surgen cada vez que hay Elecciones son los mismos desde hace muchos años y desde entonces tampoco pasa nada. A comienzos de Siglo también la gente se quejaba (“me cansé de quejarme”, como se diría hoy). Y entonces la mayor critica era por tanta polítiqueria. Por eso para el sexenio de 1904 a1910 surgió la candidatura del general Rafael Reyes con la consigna de “menos política y más administración”.// Ayer como hoy también existian los Caciques politicos y para salir electo el general Reyes requirió de uno de ellos. En la provincia de Padilla, del Magdalena Grande, mandaba y de qué manera!, el general Juanito Iguarán. Era el Valencia Cossio de la época. Cuenta Eduardo Lemaitre que no se movía la hoja de un árbol, ní el polvo de las arenas guajiras soliviantábase del suelo, sin que Juanito lo ordenase previamente desde su Casona de la Plaza de Riohacha.// En esa época al presidente no se elegía de manera directa como hoy, sino que había una votación de segundo grado. Los candidatos eran el general Reyes y Joaquín F. Vélez. El cacique Iguarán era quien podía ordenar por quién votar. No lo hizo. Y sólo después de beber unas copas con los electores reunidos en su casa, tomó la determinación de hacer que ellos firmaran en blanco el Acta de Elección correspondiente de la provincia de Padilla, reservandose él la facultad de llenarla.// No había Registraduria eficiente, razón por la cual los resultados no se conocían con la Rápidez de hoy. Según cuenta el historiador Lemaitre, el general Iguarán se fué a Barranquilla y en el entierro de un comerciante de la Ciudad, un amigo, el marqués De Mier, le preguntó sobre los resultados electorales en su provincial. Y Juanito, palpándose con disimulo el legajo que llevaba en el bolsillo de la Americana, le confesó paladinamente: “Traigo aqui -le dijo- el registro de mi circunscripción, firmado en blanco. Soy dueño de llenarlo como me convenga”.// De Mier, Diego de Castro y el gobernador José Francisco Insignares, todos Reyistas decididos, no descansaron hasta convencer al General Iguarán para que votara en favor del candidato de sus preferencias. Al día siguiente de aquel entierro -un sufragio que se convirtió en votos- el registro electoral de la provincia de Padilla estaba arreglado en favor del general Reyes. Este logro 994 votos, el doctor Joaquín F. Vélez 984 y 1709 el general Ramón González Valencia, como Vice-Presidente de ambas listas.// Gracias a esa triquiñuela política triunfo quien anunciaba combatir a los políticos para hacer más administración.// ~ Tomado del Articulo: “El 8.000 y el Registro de Padilla”, escrito por Oscar Alarcon Nuñez.// >Colaboración de: D. Edgardo R. Palacio Castillo, Saltacerca del I Conde de Premio Real.