"we are more like China then China is like us"Last year John Whitehead wrote on secret prisons in the US:
"How will you know that you're living in a police state? When law enforcement authorities are empowered to stop and search anyone they deem to be "suspicious," when citizens are being snatched up and made to disappear with no access to the legal system, and when it's your own government that is operating secret prisons—it's a safe bet you're under the auspices of an emerging totalitarian regime."
John Whitehead, his analysis of the Christian Right and the Bush administration here, also blogs at Lew Rockwell's blog, a blog that is closely linked to the Ron Paul campaign. On may 19th he wrote on the renewal of the patriot act:
"The Patriot Act drove a stake through the heart of the Bill of Rights, violating at least six of the ten original amendments – the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Amendments – and possibly the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, as well. The Patriot Act also redefined terrorism so broadly that many non-terrorist political activities such as protest marches, demonstrations and civil disobedience were considered potential terrorist acts, thereby rendering anyone desiring to engage in protected First Amendment expressive activities as suspects of the surveillance state."Peter Erlinder, Law professor, was interviewed in 2004 on the Patriot act. He was also interviewed in 2006 on his involvement as defense attorney in the Warsame case. Warsame was charged with material support for terrorism
Peter Erlinder was thrown out a Minneapolis courtroom last week defending his current client, Mahamud Said Omar, extradited from The Netherlands last week, where he was arrested at an asylum-seekers center at the U.S. government’s request in 2009, who is accused of helping outfit several Twin Cities men for their trips to Somalia, allegedly to fight with the extremist group al-Shabab. Omar's family contends he suffers from mental disorders and is not capable of aiding terrorists. Erlinder agrees that Omar lacks the mental faculties to make decisions on his behalf, and says Omar fired his Dutch attorney and essentially gave up fighting extradition.
Geert-Jan Knoops, lawyer, said in 2009 that Mahamud Said Omar could not be extradited by The Netherlands.
However, february 15th 2011 The Dutch Supreme Court rejected the final appeal Tuesday of a Somali man against his extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for allegedly aiding an Islamist terror group. The court ruled that Mohamud Said Omar has no further grounds for appeal, but his lawyer said he would urge the Dutch justice minister not to sign off on any extradition order.
Mohamud Said Omar's Dutch Lawyer Stapert also explained why he thinks this extradition was unjustified:
“There is a lot at stake and I honestly believe the Rotterdam court misapplied the law and I had hoped that the Supreme Court would correct that”Below the keynote adress "Wake Up Call for Civil Liberties" february 27 2011 by Peter Erlinder, who last year was arrested and imprisoned in Rwanda, at an event sponsored by the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms and by Friends of Human Rights.