Lying Media Bastards

December 11, 2005

Unicorns, Leprechauns and Federal Laws


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One of the honchos of the Electronic Frontier Foundation is suing the Bush administration for violating his First Amendment rights. Airlines are told by the government that passengers have to show ID to fly on an airplane, but this fellow thinks you shouldn’t have to.

Normally, I wouldn’t care about such a case. But it has a chilling Kafka twist to it.

The government won’t confirm or deny if there is such a law.

Basically, it sounds as though there is some presidential directive which tells airlines that they have to do this, but you and I are not allowed to see it. It’s so secret that apparently the government not only won’t admit that it exists, they won’t even deny that it exists.

“How do we know there’s an order?” Judge Thomas Nelson asked. “Because you said there was?”

Replied Joshua Waldman, a staff attorney for the Department of Justice: “We couldn’t confirm or deny the existence of an order.”

Well, at the end of the day they sort of admit it exists.

The Justice Department has said it could identify the secret law under seal, which would be available to the 9th Circuit but not necessarily Gilmore’s lawyers. But any public description would not be permitted, the department said.

So the judges can see the law, but the guy doing the suing can’t.

Yeah, so we’re headlong into the era of secret laws.

Skit #1
Policeman: You’re under arrest.
You: What? What did I do wrong?
Policeman: You’re wearing blue shoes on a Saturday. That’s against the law.
You: I didn’t know that was against the law!
Policeman: Yeah, most people don’t. It’s a secret law. Get in the car please.
You: Fuck!

Skit #2
Policeman: You’re under arrest.
You: What? What did I do wrong?
Policeman: I can’t tell you that.
You: What? You’re arresting me and you can’t tell me what for?
Policeman: Yes. You may or may not have broken a law that may or may not exist. Get in the car please.
You: Fuck!

Posted by Jake on December 11, 2005 4:24 pm

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