Do you believe in “Innocent until proven guilty”?
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05-02-2012, 07:33 AM (This post was last modified: 05-02-2012 07:55 AM by Zat.)
Do you believe in “Innocent until proven guilty”?
Not so long ago, the answer would have been “of course” by most western citizens.

In this age it is a serious question.

It appears that now we have conditions attached to it.

If one can somehow evoke the magic word “terrorist”, then anything goes, as if terrorism were some kind of a new disease, instead of tactics used by minorities (including British, Israeli, even Americans) all over the world, all through history.

So my question to you:

If you hear that some guy (a naturalized citizen of your own country) with an Arabic sounding name, was behaving suspiciously, had traveled in Afghanistan in mysterious circumstances, applied for immigration to the US or Canada (10 years ago) with a false passport, and then was anonymously accused by a neighbor as a “possible terrorist” – what do you recommend:

A. Innocent until proven guilty
B. Give him an opportunity to explain, then check out his answers and let him go if his answers check out and make sense (like he was escaping persecution)
C. Give him a speedy trial if you think there is a case against him that will stand up in court
D. Throw him in jail, without trial, without access to information about the case against him, and then leave him there for years or decades and just plain forget that he exists (except for the constant and sadistic ‘enhanced interrogation’)
E. Send him to a third world country, famous of its torturing techniques, together with a list of questions they should ask him

Now, after you answered this question, answer it again, this time assuming that the accused person is one of your loved ones?
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05-02-2012, 08:13 AM
RE: Do you believe in “Innocent until proven guilty”?
Innocent until proven guilty is the only fair way to run a society. Otherwise you have Iran or the Taliban. Dummy Obama past a law recently that american citizens can now be jailed w/o a lawyer, if it's terrorism related. Everything we fought for in the revolution is being trampled on. With this new law anything can be considered terrorism. If you say anything obama or a future president doesnt like, they can put you in jail forever w/o a lawyer. They will abuse this new law and fit it to jail us all. When the government started the income tax, they said it would only be a few percent. It eventually went to 70% before Reagan. Give the government any new law and they will abuse it.
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05-02-2012, 09:10 AM
RE: Do you believe in “Innocent until proven guilty”?
I'd still go with option A.

First off one has to define what "suspiciously" is supposed to mean. At this point it seems rather subjective and relative. If I was in an area that looked at me with scrutiny, derision and animosity then I suppose my behavior would be looked upon as "suspicious" by those who insist on judging me.

Secondly having an "Arabic" sounding name means nothing. This point is meaningless.

Also anyone can file an anonymous report about anything, doesn't mean it is true.

Innocent until proven guilty is always the best way..or at least it should be anyways.

Basically what Satan69 said.

Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return.
To obtain, something of equal value must be lost.
That is Alchemy's first law of Equivalent Exchange.
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05-02-2012, 09:51 AM
RE: Do you believe in “Innocent until proven guilty”?
PS. For clarification...

Cases similar to what I described in the OP have been happening regularly (and are still happening) since 9/11, both in the US and in Canada. So it is not an unrealistic scenario.
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05-02-2012, 10:15 AM
RE: Do you believe in “Innocent until proven guilty”?
Hands down.

I'd be acting freaky if people hunting "my kind". Hell - I do!

I'm pretty sure there are people who feel I behave "suspiciously" in a lot of ways. At this very moment; "It's Sunday - why isn't she at church?".
It's ok though; the neighbor who would be able to see my car leave the driveway, wouldn't be able alert the authorities. Their ten year old daughter is away at a sleepover and she's the only one in the family who can translate.
So, I'm safe... for now. Dodgy

If we are all to be considered suspicious... I need innocent until proven guilty. It's the only thing that will save my ass in the long run. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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05-02-2012, 10:24 AM (This post was last modified: 05-02-2012 10:35 AM by Zat.)
RE: Do you believe in “Innocent until proven guilty”?
I while ago a passenger plane approaching New York City got diverted and landed with military escort because passengers got suspicious about a foreign (Arabic or East Indian) looking family talking excitedly among themselves (in a foreign language) and pointing at the towers of Manhattan.

It turned out they were tourists excited to see the city of their dreams.

They were let go, after hours of delay.

Now, if you add a few other circumstances (such as I described in the OP), they may still be in Gitmo.

What the heck -- they were behaving suspiciously! Big Grin

I'll see if I can dig up a link to the story.
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05-02-2012, 10:31 AM
RE: Do you believe in “Innocent until proven guilty”?
I haven't heard of any of the situations you've described occurring in Canada. Maybe I just missed it on the news or something. But regardless my answer to the question is of course innocent until proven guilty.
If only our methods for proving guilty were more foolproof. How many innocent people are rotting in jail or in the states waiting for execution while the genuinely guilty are home enjoying dinner with their families?.

It's a scary world we live in for sure so I'm not sure why people are ai quick to make it even scarier for other people by falsely accusing them of something. It's a pretty cruel game to be playing with people's lives.
I know it does happen. I wish it wouldn't.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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05-02-2012, 10:45 AM (This post was last modified: 05-02-2012 10:54 AM by Zat.)
RE: Do you believe in “Innocent until proven guilty”?
The infamous Canadian Security Certificate has been used against totally innocent people on the flimsiest suspicion since 9/11.

Quote:In addition to the three people who currently have cases pending, twenty others have been charged under Security Certificate legislation since 1991.[13]

- Hassan Almrei, a Syrian refugee who was detained in a Toronto jail in October 2001. He was transferred to the "Kingston Immigration Holding Centre" in April 2006. He has held several prolonged hunger strikes, the longest lasting over 100 days. He was ordered released under house arrest by a Federal Court judge on January 2, 2009.[14]. The Federal Court quashed the certificate in December 2009. Mr. Almrei launched a suit of the Canadian government in February 2010.

- Adil Charkaoui, a Moroccan-born Montrealer detained from May 2003 until February 2005, when he was freed on strict conditions of release. Charkaoui's Security Certificate was lifted in September 2009 after the government withdrew evidence rather than disclose it on Court orders.[15] Charkaoui is suing the Canadian government in a bid to hold government officials accountable and to clear his name.

- Manickavasagam Suresh, a Sri Lankan, first arrested in 1995 and held til 1998. He was ordered deported, but ongoing court processes kept him in Canada under conditions.[16] The certificate against him was annulled when the Supreme Court struck down the security certificate legislation in February 2007, and the government did not issue a new certificate against him when new legislation went into effect in February 2008.

See "Security certificate" on Wikipedia.

And, of course, most of us in Canada have heard about the Maher Arar case:

Quote:Maher Arar (Arabic: ماهر عرار) (born 1970) is a telecommunications engineer with dual Syrian and Canadian citizenship who resides in Canada. Arar's story is frequently referred to as "extraordinary rendition" but the U.S. government insisted it was a case of deportation.[1][2][3][4][5]

Arar was detained during a layover at John F. Kennedy International Airport in September 2002 on his way home to Canada from a family vacation in Tunis. He was held without charges in solitary confinement in the United States for nearly two weeks, questioned, and denied meaningful access to a lawyer. The US government suspected him of being a member of Al Qaeda and deported him, not to Canada, his current home, but to his native Syria, even though its government is known to use torture.[6] He was detained in Syria for almost a year, during which time he was tortured, according to the findings of a commission of inquiry ordered by the Canadian government, until his release to Canada. The Syrian government now says that Arar is "completely innocent."[7][8] That Canadian commission publicly cleared Arar of any links to terrorism, and the government of Canada later settled out of court with Arar. He received C$10.5 million and prime minister Stephen Harper formally apologized to Arar for Canada's role in his "terrible ordeal" .[9][10]

As of December 2011, Arar and his family remained on the US No Fly List.[11] His US lawyers at the Center for Constitutional Rights are currently pursuing his case, Arar v. Ashcroft, which seeks compensatory damages on Arar’s behalf and also a declaration that the actions of the US government were illegal and violated his constitutional, civil, and international human rights.

This one was a joint US-Canadian fuckup! Angry
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05-02-2012, 12:06 PM
RE: Do you believe in “Innocent until proven guilty”?
Absolutely and unequivocally I would choose 'Innocent Until Proven Guilty".

Any concept of liberty is thrown out the window in a society in which the rule of law is enforced any other way. This, unfortunately, is exactly what is being attempted with the passage of the NDAA. Labeling an individual with broad verbiage such as "terrorist" or "terrorist supporter" - for which the criteria one must meet to be considered as such can be ever shifting - to justify a revocation of that individual's due process is a frightening, frightening idea.

Right now, the masses aren't so concerned because it's not their ethnic base, religion, non-religion that's in the crosshairs. The definition of terrorist, though, is slowly broadening to include the populous of this country. I have very few doubts that this broadening of the terrorist scope, and recent legislation like the NDAA, are calculated protective measurements that our government is taking for a future crisis. Exactly what that crisis might be, I don't know for sure. Most probably, a nearly inevitable economic collapse.

Check out some of these memos sent out by DHS to local law enforcement agencies. This is what I mean when I say that the terrorist scope is slowly broadening:

"Fanatic ethnic or religious or national identifications are a little difficult to support when we see our planet as a fragile blue crescent fading to become an inconspicuous point of light against the bastion and citadel of the stars." - Carl Sagan
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05-02-2012, 12:21 PM
RE: Do you believe in “Innocent until proven guilty”?
Believe in? No. Subscribe to, yes.
That's what it says in the law books; not how it works in the parks, bath-houses, police stations, courtrooms and prisons. I wish it did, in every case.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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