I have a hard time understanding some Republicans.  The same people who don’t trust the government to do, well, anything somehow find it perfectly acceptable for that the same government to lock people up and throw away the key (no trial, no due process) as long as those people are “terrorists.”  Because that isn’t a system susceptible to abuse.

WASHINGTON [08 Oct 2008]—An appeals court in the U.S. capital has blocked a lower-court order to release 17 ethnic Uyghur detainees held at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay camp without charge since 2001.

The ruling Wednesday, by the U.S. Appeals Court here, temporarily freezes an order earlier this week by a federal judge who said the Bush administration was wrong to keep holding the men because it lacked evidence against them.

The men, all members of the Muslim Uyghur minority concentrated in China’s northwesternmost region, Xinjiang, were cleared for release in 2004 but could face persecution if they are repatriated to China, according to U.S. officials and human rights groups.

If you missed it, these men were cleared for release four years ago, but they are still in custody.

And, just in case you thought you needn’t worry because you’re an American citizen and not part of some Chinese ethnic minority whose name you can’t pronounce.

The Maryland State Police classified 53 nonviolent activists as terrorists and entered their names and personal information into state and federal databases that track terrorism suspects, the state police chief acknowledged yesterday.

. . .

[Police Superintendent] Sheridan said protest groups were also entered as terrorist organizations in the databases, but his staff has not identified which ones.

. . .

“I don’t believe the First Amendment is any guarantee to those who wish to disrupt the government,” he said.

There was “no evidence whatsoever of any involvement in violent crime” by those classified as terrorists.  I think we have been stretching the definition of terrorist for some time, but now, apparently, protesting the Iraq war or the death penalty is enough to get you labeled with the “T” word.

You’re probably still OK though.  These were “fringe people,” and you’re not a “fringe person” are you?

[An audio recording of the oral arguments in the Supreme Court case, Boumediene v. Bush, is available for download at the Oyez Project or on iTunes.]

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