Thursday February 19th 2004, 12:00 am
Filed under: Tech
Electronic voting has been promised as the solution to the 'hanging chad' problems seen in the last presidential election. Of course, anyone who reads Greg Palast's work knows that 'hanging chad' was irrelevant but it made for good head lines. A much more serious threat to the integrity of our voting system are new electronic voting systems that do not include a paper trail. These systems, known as Direct Recording Electronic (DRE), take one's vote, usually through a touch screen and then record the result in their memory. If that memory or the software that processes it is tampered with or if the software has a bug, there is almost no way to detect it.
Padilla Gets a Lawyer
Wednesday February 18th 2004, 12:00 am
Filed under: Etc
As I discussed previously, Jose Padilla is an American citizen arrested on American soil and held without charge, without right to see a council, without right to a court hearing or any other rights that are supposedly guaranteed by the American constitution for almost two years now on the exclusive order of President Bush. In President Bush's America if the president declares you an enemy combatant then you can be arrested and held without charge, lawyer or due process for as long as the "war on terror" continues, in other words, forever.
A Federal appeals court ruled on 12/18/2003 that President Bush did not have the right to hold Padilla prisoner without charge and ordered Padilla released from Army custody within 30 days. However the Bush administration asked for and in January received a stay of the release order while the ruling is appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. On 2/11/2004 the Pentagon did agree to let Mr. Padilla see a lawyer, the first non-government employee Padilla will have seen in almost two years, but the Pentagon was quick to point out that it did this only because it wanted to and was under no obligation to do so. The issue is now on its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, you can track the case's progress here.