A Blanket Secrecy Policy
- Is This Really America?

By Linda Gale Nolen
Just when I think I can't be more angered by the outrageous and shameful actions of our government, up pops a new one! Not that this one is actually new, but now they have made it a policy. This dangerous government policy now blankets our whole country.
Perhaps you have read other stories about the hundreds of men rounded up after 9-11-01, simply because of their ethnicity, and hauled away to .nobody knows where. But, this article should send chills down your spine because it contains the declaration that our government now has a blanket secrecy policy, which no citizen can challenge!
I realize what I'm saying may sound unbelievable to some of you. However, it is my belief that this news should be alarming to anyone thinking they still live in a free society.
Dear fellow citizens, do you know what this policy means? Do you think it won't reach into your little corner of the world? I certainly hope it won't. However, in this world, sooner or later we all get our turn for suffering at least some of the experiences we've seen happen to others. I understand that it's part of our human nature to close our eyes and hope such horrors don't touch our lives, our loved one's lives, and our friends lives.
I have copied the USA TODAY article, and have included the website address for a Reuters article on the same subject, at the bottom of this page. I them send to you, hoping that you will realize how high up the corruption has reached and how serious our situation is becoming. No, make that how serious it is NOW.
Already gone is our right to privacy, free speech, freedom to associate with whomever we wish and whatever organizations we favor. Gone is our right to call an attorney or even the once legal privilege of the one phone call to whomever we wanted to call after being taken to a police station.
Now most of us are aware that hundreds of innocent people have been hauled into some unknown detention center and not even told why or if they've done anything unlawful. Gone is our freedom to travel through out our country and beyond without being in danger of our own government's new laws and blanket secrecy policy.
If you can't get angry, if you can't believe what you read here, or if you haven't heard about what I'm telling you, at least get curious and check it out before you find out that it's your turn and you have become the victim of the blanket of secrecy policy.
I believe that we can stop these madmen who are destroying over two hundred years of constitutional guarantees that once made our country the most desirable place to live in the world. This cannot happen with our present choice of the lesser of two evils of our present type of the two party system of government.
Many times when watching politicians talking on TV, with whom I'm not familiar, I have to wait for the name and party to appear on the bottom of the screen to know in which party they are members. Democrat? or Republican? The line blurred a long time ago on many issues. But, you may know that, too.
Oh, of course the ABB Anybody But Bush is a start. However, the corruption is so wide spread and trickles into places the average American never hears about, that it may be hard for some of us to realize that if we will perhaps have a new face, a new name and a new plan claimed by the new president, if Bush is ousted, it will still be business as usual where the decent standard of living for all Americans and the repairs to our Constitution are concerned.
Remember, Bush, Cheney, et al, could not have succeed in their maniacal agenda had the congress not cooperated. We really need to clean house come the next congressional elections. But, you probably do know that, too.
Also, not to forget that there are the Corporate Giants to be taken down from their ivory towers. I believe it can be done. I do realize how they have intimidated the little people, as they regard those of us lower down on the power ladder, of their reality. You need to know that they are counting on this fear factor to keep us from daring to revolt ever!
It saddens me to know that many of our citizens are packing up and leaving our country before our government's control becomes total. These fleeing Americans are also sad to be leaving, but they see no other way, for them, to escape what they believe is certain to become of those of us who remain in our no longer free country.
Can you remember the time when our country was the place to which, millions of people fled, from other countries all over the world, to enjoy the freedoms we once had? /news/washington/2004-02-23-gov-secrecy_x.htm USA TODAY
High court won't hear challenge to government secrecy in case of waiter detained after 9/11
The Supreme Court said Monday it will not hear a challenge to government secrecy in the case of a former waiter who may have served some of the Sept. 11 hijackers.The court did not comment in turning down an appeal over public and media access to sealed court documents in the case, which has been prosecuted in near total secrecy.
Lawyers for Mohamed Kamel Bellahouel asked the justices to consider whether lower federal courts acted improperly in keeping the government's case against their client so secret that its mere existence was revealed only by accident.
"In an extraordinary set of secret cases, the courts below sealed an entire habeas corpus proceeding and appeal "including every court filing and ruling, with no public order giving any reason for the secrecy and without making any distinction between information that should be public and that which might justifiably be secret, the lawyers wrote.
"This petition raises the common law and First Amendment rights of the public and the news media, who are oblivious to the proceedings below and cannot be heard themselves," Bellahouel's lawyers wrote. Bellahouel was one of hundreds of foreigners rounded up after the hijackings in 2001.
The government has refused to release names and information about the detentions, arguing that a blanket secrecy policy is needed to protect national security. Bellahouel, an Algerian who worked as a waiter in South Florida,came under FBI scrutiny because Sept. 11 hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan al Shehhi dined where he worked in the weeks before the attacks.
It is not clear whether Bellahouel knows anythingabout the hijackers or their plans, but he was never charged with any terrorism crime.The case does not concern Bellahouel's actual treatment at the hands of the government, which arrested and detained him on immigration violation charges, but ultimately released him on $10,000 bond.
Bellahouel, identified in court documents only by his initials M.K.B., is married to an American andis trying to stay in the United States. His lawyers describe him as one of"countless innocent Middle Eastern men" secretly detained after the attacks. Large sections of his Supreme Court filing were edited out before the document was released publicly at the court, but some blank sections apparently deal with Bellahouel's interrogation by the FBI and his reported testimony before a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va.
Bellahouel's name and some details of his case were first reported by a Miami newspaper, the Daily Business Review. The newspaper learned of the case because of a clerical error at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The case was briefly listed on the court's public docket, but then removed.
The Bush administration replied to Bellahouel's appeal at the Supreme Court, but the filing is secret. The administration has argued in other cases that national security justifies the policy of blanket secrecy in post-Sept. 11 immigration cases. Release of information such as names and details of those arrested could help terrorists track the progress of the U.S. investigation, the government has said.
The Supreme Court rejected an appeal last year from newspapers that sought information about similar detentions. The case is M.K.B. v. Warden, 03-6747. * Also reported by: U.S. National - Reuters By James Vicini WASHINGTON (Reute rs) /us_/nm/court_security_secrecy_dc_2&printer=1



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