Category Archive 'Treason and Sedition'
03 May 2008

Released Guantanamo Detainee Identified as Suicide Bomber in Mosul

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Another satisfied customer of Shearman & Sterling LLP

International Herald-Tribune:

Al-Arabiya television reports that a former Guantanamo detainee carried out a recent suicide bombing in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

A cousin says Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi, a Kuwaiti released from Guantanamo in 2005, was reported missing two weeks ago and his family learned of his death Thursday through a friend in Iraq.

The cousin, Salem al-Ajmi, told Al-Arabiya on Thursday that the former detainee was behind the latest attack in Mosul, although he did not provide more details.

Three suicide car bombers targeted Iraqi security forces in Mosul on April 26, killing at least seven people.

Mosul is believed to be the last urban stronghold of al-Qaida in Iraq.

His Wikipedia entry lists the US Military’s Administrative Review Board’s Summary of Evidence

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Abdallah Salih Ali Al Ajmi’s Combatant Status Review Tribunal, on (redacted) . The memo listed the following allegations against him:

The allegations against Al Ajmi were:

a. The detainee is a Taliban fighter:

The detainee went AWOL from the Kuwaiti military in order to travel to Afghanistan to participate in the Jihad.

The detainee was issued an AK-47, ammunition and hand grenades by the Taliban.

b. The detainee participated in military operations against the coalition.

The detainee admitted he was in Afghanistan fighting with the Taliban in the Bagram area.

The detainee was placed in a defensive position by the Taliban in order to block the Northern Alliance.

The detainee admitted spending eight months on the front line at the Aiubi Center, AF.[sic]

The detainee admitted engaging in two or three fire fights with the Northern Alliance.

The detainee retreated to the Tora Bora region of AF and was later captured as he attempted to escape to Pakistan.

On September 2, 2003 (just under two years after 9/11), four of Shearman & Sterling‘s finest Thomas Wilner, Neil H. Koslowe, Kristine A. Huskey, and Heather Lamberg Kafele filed a Petition for writ of Certiorari on behalf of Al Ajmi and eleven others.

Mr. Wilner wrote:

All these prisoners have asked for is a fair hearing, one in which they have the chance to learn the charges against them and to rebut the accusations before a neutral decision maker.”

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Subsequently, the prisoner denied everything:

Al Ajmi denied participating in Jihad.

Al Ajmi stated he went to Pakistan to learn and memorize the Koran — he never traveled to Afghanistan.

Al Ajmi denied any contact with the Taliban. He acknowledged that he had previously confessed to the allegations he was being asked to comment on — but those were false confessions:

“These statements were all said under pressure and threats. I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t bare [sic] the threats and suffering so I started saying things. When every detainee is captured they tell him that he is either Taliban or Al-Qaida and that is it. I couldn’t bare [sic] the suffering and threatening and the pressure so I had to say I was from Taliban [sic] .”

Al Ajmi denied participating in military operations against the coalition.

Al Ajmi denied being placed in a defensive position by the Taliban:

“I am not an enemy combatant. I said this only because I was under pressure and threats and suffering.”

In response to the allegation that he admitted spending eight months in the front line at the Aiubi Center in Afghanistan, Al Ajmi responded:

“I never entered Afghanistan. I never fought with anyone. My intentions were to stay four months only but under the circumstances I had to stay for eight months. I never fought. My intentions were never to go to Afghanistan my intentions were to go to Pakistan.”

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Appearing again before an Administrative Review Board, he responded to board member questions:

Al Ajmi My role was [sic] in this Tabligh [sic] to call people to pray, to do good. To let people know that there is an end to this world so they can pray and do well.

Board Member Is it a religious organization?

Al Ajmi Yes it is.

Board Member Al Ajmi I believe that your dedication to your religion is genuine, what direction or path will that dedication take should you be released?

Al Ajmi For peace.

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Al Ajmi was repatriated to Kuwait November 3, 2005, where he was freed on bail, while he awaited trial. His trial began in March 2006, and he and five others were acquitted on July 22, 2006.

On April 26, in Mosul, seven members of the Iraqi security forces were killed by suicide car bombing, thus proving the excellence of the legal services provided by leading American law firms like Shearman & Sterling.

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Hat tip to Major DRH.

22 Feb 2007

“Unparalled Perfidy”

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Investors Business Daily condemns the House democrat leadership’s “slow bleed” strategy

As chairman of the House panel that oversees military spending, (John) Murtha plans to advance legislation next month attaching strings to the additional war funds Bush requested on Feb. 5.

Murtha plans to stop the Iraq War by placing four conditions on combat funds through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. The Pentagon would have to certify that troops being sent to Iraq are “fully combat ready” with training and equipment, troops must have at least one year at home between combat deployments, combat deployments cannot be longer than a year, and extending tours of duty would be prohibited…

It’s not that the Democrats think we’re losing or that the war is unwinnable. They simply don’t want to win it. As House Minority Leader John Boehner said of Murtha’s proposals: “While American troops are fighting radical Islamic terrorists thousands of miles away, it is unthinkable that the United States Congress would move to discredit their mission, cut off their reinforcements and deny them the resources they need to succeed and return home safely.”..

Neville Chamberlain’s naivete may have helped bring on World War II, but at least he supported his country when war began. Norway’s Vidkun Quisling and France’s Vichy government under Marshal Petain may have collaborated with the Nazi enemy, but after their countries’ defeats, not before.

We’d have to go back to Benedict Arnold to find Americans as eager as Murtha & Co. to see an American defeat on the battlefield.

Read the whole thing.

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But Robert Farley argues that these kinds of accusations have serious implications.

IBD seems to be claiming that the vast bulk of the Democratic Party (and no small part of the Republican) are the equivalent of the most notable traitor in American history, a man who undoubtedly would have been hanged or shot if he had been caught. The editorial has been linked to approvingly by Captain’s Quarters, Powerline (sic), Instapundit, and the Gateway Pundit. Reynolds further notes:

To some people, Vietnam wasn’t a defeat, but a victory. To them, the right side won. And lost. Naturally, they’re happy to repeat the experience.

Undoubtedly, the Perfesser and his ilk will claim that they aren’t actually calling for treason trials and executions of members of the Democratic Party. But why not? If Democrats really are the equivalent of Benedict Arnold, and if opposition to the war and the Surge is traitorous, then why shouldn’t we be tried and executed, or at least imprisoned? The rhetoric leads only one place. Either Glenn Reynolds believes that Democrats are traitors, or he doesn’t. If he doesn’t, he should tell us why, and should explain why he so often suggests that Democrats have committed treasonable offenses. If he does believe that Democrats are traitors, then he ought to step up and start calling for arrests. Treason is a capital offense; there’s not really a middle ground. We’re guilty, or we’re not.

Sadly, but perhaps fortunately, Reynolds et al are too gutless to pursue the logical consequence of their accusation. So far, anyway..

The problem is that the current administration has tried to make war while neglecting this particular line of logic. America’s Vietnam experience demonstrated the capacity of the radical peace movement to use its relations with the academic clerisy and the media to turn treason and defeatism into a de rigeur fashion statement of membership in the American elite.

During WWI and WII, the wars which America won during the last century, preaching defeatism and rendering aid and comfort to the enemy were simply not tolerated.

The US Government has the obligation to the members of its armed forces whom it sends into harm’s way to prevent their service and sacrifices being made futile by the domestic demoralization of the American public by a defeatist minority of radical leftists and pacifists.

01 Feb 2007

Telling Off the Troops

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The entire right-side of the Blogosphere is howling for the blood of Washington Post National and Homeland Security columnist William M. Arkin, who recently vented his irritation at soldiers serving in Iraq who have the temerity to criticize the people Arkin regards as the real heroes and defenders of American freedom: the anti-war opposition operating at home in the United States.

Some highlights from Arkin.

The Troops Also Need to Support the American People…

I’m all for everyone expressing their opinion, even those who wear the uniform of the United States Army. But I also hope that military commanders took the soldiers aside after the story and explained to them why it wasn’t for them to disapprove of the American people…

These soldiers should be grateful that the American public, which by all polls overwhelmingly disapproves of the Iraq war and the President’s handling of it, do still offer their support to them, and their respect.

Through every Abu Ghraib and Haditha, through every rape and murder, the American public has indulged those in uniform, accepting that the incidents were the product of bad apples or even of some administration or command order.

Sure it is the junior enlisted men who go to jail, but even at anti-war protests, the focus is firmly on the White House and the policy. We just don’t see very man “baby killer” epithets being thrown around these days, no one in uniform is being spit upon.

So, we pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?

I can imagine some post-9/11 moment, when the American people say enough already with the wars against terrorism and those in the national security establishment feel these same frustrations. In my little parable, those in leadership positions shake their heads that the people don’t get it, that they don’t understand that the threat from terrorism, while difficult to defeat, demands commitment and sacrifice and is very real because it is so shadowy, that the very survival of the United States is at stake. Those Hoover’s and Nixon’s will use these kids in uniform as their soldiers. If I weren’t the United States, I’d say the story end with a military coup where those in the know, and those with fire in their bellies, save the nation from the people.

But it is the United States and instead this NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary – oops sorry, volunteer – force that thinks it is doing the dirty work.

The notion of dirty work is that, like laundry, it is something that has to be done but no one else wants to do it. But Iraq is not dirty work: it is not some necessary endeavor; the people just don’t believe that anymore.

I’ll accept that the soldiers, in order to soldier on, have to believe that they are manning the parapet, and that’s where their frustrations come in. I’ll accept as well that they are young and naïve and are frustrated with their own lack of progress and the never changing situation in Iraq. Cut off from society and constantly told that everyone supports them, no wonder the debate back home confuses them.

America needs to ponder what it is we really owe those in uniform. I don’t believe America needs a draft though I imagine we’d be having a different discussion if we had one.

Mr. Arkin, recognizably a radical leftist extremist, is mistaken in supposing that he and his fringe group, deviant, and perennially protesting ilk constitute the American people or have been authorized in any way shape or form to speak on their behalf.

Go walk into a public place frequented by normal American people, Mr. Arkin, like a bar, and repeat what you wrote for the Post, and you discover very quickly what the American people think of you and your kind. Be sure that your health and dental insurance are in order first would be my advice.

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Who is Arkin?

Hugh Hewitt explains:

Arkin is a veteran of four years in the Army (he served from 1974 to 1978) and many of his bylines from the past two decades described him as a “military intelligence analyst” during his service (his rank and units are not readily apparent). He received his BS from the University of Maryland.

His employment since leaving the service is easier to trace. Arkin cut his teeth with the lefty Institute for Policy Studies, and went from there to positions with Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Human Rights Watch. He has been a regular columnist for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. In recent years he has taken more mainstream work as a senior fellow at the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (he appears to do most of his writing not from the SAIS campus, but from his home in Vermont).

He is also the regular military affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

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Having become, not altogether surprisingly, after advising US troops serving overseas that they should be grateful that no one is spitting on them, the object of a good deal of criticism, Mr. Arkin today responds with self righteous indignation.

Well, one thing’s abundantly clear about who will actually defend our rights to say what we believe: It isn’t the hundreds who have written me saying they are soldiers or veterans or war supporters or real Americans — who also advise me to move to another country, to get f@##d, or to die a painful, violent death.

Move to another country, get f@##d, and so on, Mr. Arkin.

28 Jan 2007

Coercive Pacifism

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Ruth Wisse, in the Wall Street Journal, comments on the contemptible exclusion of ROTC programs at the most elite American universities.

Recent surveys confirm that university faculties have been tilting steadily leftward, but I think it is wrong to assume they have been tilting toward “liberalism” as is commonly assumed. Liberalism worthy of the name emphasizes freedom of the individual, democracy and the rule of law. Liberalism is prepared to fight for those freedoms through constitutional participatory government, and to protect those freedoms, in battle if necessary. What we see on the American campus is not liberalism, but a gutted and gutless “gliberalism,” that leaves to others the responsibility for governance, and arrogates to itself the right to criticize. It accepts money from the public purse without assuming reciprocal duties for the public good. Instead of debating public policy in the public arena, faculty says, “I quit,” but then continues to draw benefits from the system it will not protect.

27 Sep 2006

EU Rules Britain Must Pay Traitor (for Violating His Human Rights!)

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The Telegraph today contains an item featuring European Union Pecksniffery at its worst.

A band of seven well-grown judicial imbeciles, sitting in Strasbourg, has ruled that “the law’s delay” in attending to the efforts of Mr. (excuse me, former KGB, now SVR Colonel of Foreign Intelligence) George Blake, convicted traitor, prison escapee, and resident (since 1966) of Moscow, to reclaim frozen royalties to his autobiography on Britain’s part had breached the EU’s Human Rights Convention. The EU judges concluded that Blake suffered distress and frustration thereby, and ordered Britain to pay him âu201a¬5,000 in damages and âu201a¬2,000 in costs.

The dozens? of MI6 agents betrayed by Blake (he was rumored to have received an unprecedentedly severe 42 years sentence, representing one year for every agent killed as the result of his treachery) were not compensated.

13 Sep 2006

The Fifth Column

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David Warren, of the Ottawa Citizen, notes that the hatred which fuels militant Islamic acts of terrorism often has little to do with Islam really, and less with real grievances. Its real animating engine is the ideology of resentment created within the West itself, and promulgated unceasingly by the Western intelligentsia.

Mr Blair’s answer to a question about British home-grown terrorists donged the bell:

“It’s not necessarily what have we done wrong, because part of the problem of what you have in Western opinion is that Western opinion always wants to believe that it’s our fault and these people want to have a sort of, you know, grievance culture that they visit upon us and say it’s our fault. And so we have a young British-born man of Pakistani origin sitting in front of a television screen saying I will go and kill innocent people because of the oppression of Muslims, when he has been brought up in a country that has given him complete religious freedom and full democratic rights and actually a very good job and standard of living. Now, that warped mind has grown out of a global movement based on a perversion of Islam which we have to confront, and we have to confront it globally.”..

We have a huge fifth column in the West, and it is not the Muslim immigrants. They become radicalized only because our “victim culture” encourages them to nurture their grievances. Yet most, despite temptation, remain good, decent people, doing their share of the West’s work.

Our real enemy is within us, in the immense constituency of the half-educated narcissists pouring from our universities each year — that glib, smug, liberal, and defeatist “victim culture” itself, that inhabits the academy, our media, our legal establishment, the bureaucratic class. The opinion leaders of our society, who live almost entirely off the avails of taxation, make their livelihoods biting the hands that feed them, and undermining the moral order on which our solidarity depends.

01 Aug 2006

Prosecutors To Access Times’ Reporters Phone Records

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AP reports:

Federal prosecutors investigating a leak about a terrorism funding probe can see the phone records of two New York Times reporters, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

A panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned on a 2-1 vote a lower court’s ruling that the records were off limits unless prosecutors could show they had exhausted all other means of finding out who spoke to the newspaper…

The case involved stories written in 2001 by Times reporters Judith Miller and Philip Shenon that revealed the government’s plans to freeze the assets of two Islamic charities, the Holy Land Foundation and the Global Relief Foundation.

Prosecutors claimed the reporters’ phone calls to the charities seeking comment had tipped the organizations off about the government investigation.

16 Jul 2006

A Photo the Times is Proud Of

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Charles Johnson has a few choice words about the New York Times’ culture of disloyalty.

Can anyone imagine a photographer employed by an American newspaper happily collecting pictures of a Jap sniper firing at US forces in WWII? (There is even worse at the beginning of the slideshow.)

05 Jul 2006

Times’ Stories Compromised Three Investigations

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The American Spectator has learned from Treasury and Justice Department officials more scarifying details about the US Government’s attempts to persuade both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times to refrain from publishing the SWIFT story.

According to Treasury and Justice Department officials familiar with the briefings their senior leadership undertook with editors and reporters from the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, the media outlets were told that their reports on the SWIFT financial tracking system presented risks for three ongoing terrorism financing investigations. Despite this information, both papers chose to move forward with their stories.

“We didn’t give them specifics, just general information about regions where the investigations were ongoing, terrorist organizations that we believed were being assisted. These were off the record meetings set up to dissuade them from reporting on SWIFT, and we thought the pressing nature of the investigations might sway them, but they didn’t,” says a Treasury official.

In fact, according to a Justice Department official, one of the reporters involved with the story was caught attempting to gain more details about one of the investigations through different sources. “We believe it was to include it in their story,” says the official….
“We thought that once the reporters and editors understood that one, these were not warrantless searches, and two, that this was a successful program that had netted real bad guys, and three, that it was a program that was helping us with current, ongoing cases, they would agree to hold off or just not do a story,” says the U.S. Treasury official. “But it became clear that nothing we said was going sway them. Whomever they were talking to, whoever was leaking the stuff, had them sold on this story.”

To that end, the Justice Department has quietly and unofficially begun looking into possible sources for the leak. “We don’t think it’s someone currently employed by the government or involved in law enforcement or the intelligence community,” says another Justice source. “That stuff about ‘current and former’ sources just doesn’t wash. No one currently working on terrorism investigations that use SWIFT data would want to leak this or see it leaked by others. We think we’re looking at fairly high-ranking, former officials who want to make life difficult for us and what we do for whatever reasons.”

The fact that this last especially outrageous violation of national security appears likely to motivate the Justice Department to get serious about catching the Pouting Spooks responsible, and bringing them to justice, sheds a single ray on sunshine on the appalling situation. The truth of the matter is, all they need to do is get one cowardly squealer to talk, and they can probably bag the whole lot. In that company, too, cowardly squealers are probably a dime a dozen.

03 Jul 2006

Another Shameful Moment for the New York Times

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I wasn’t born early enough to read Walter Duranty lying about famine in the Ukraine, and otherwise shilling for Joe Stalin, but I was around in the late 1950s, when Herbert L. Matthews helped Fidel Castro “get his job through the New York Times.”

I still vividly remember (with cold anger) the Times’ Sunday Magazine’s cover the week Saigon fell. It displayed a napping Vietcong guerilla sitting in a folding lawn chair, Kalashnikov assault rifle across his knees. The Times’ headline read: “THE BLESSED PEACE.”

And I remember the Times spectacularly studied silence, which went on and on and on, when news of the holocaust in Cambodian began appearing in the Western Press.

But it was undoubtedly, too, another grand landmark in the New York Times’ long-standing, much-celebrated tradition of dishonest journalism, when the inveterbrate sycophant Byron Calame timorously succeeded (leaving a glistening trail behind him) to the supposed Times-Ombudsman position of Public Editor.

Time Executive Editor Bill Keller’s pathological hatred of the Bush Administration recently led him to ignore bipartisan requests from government officials and proceed to publicize a key international Counterterrorism financial surveillance program. In the minds of most Americans, Keller earned himself a place on the jury in some future Broadway production of The Devil and Daniel Webster that day.

And the American public’s watchdog Byron Calame is on the job, speaking truth to power. “You were absolutely right, boss!” brave Sir Byron wrote this Sunday.

The Times, in the course of a remarkable response from its readers, heard from more than a thousand, and Calame concedes “about 85 percent of them (were) critical of the decision to publish the story and a large fraction venomous.”

But the Public Editor reflected long and hard about who paid his salary, and went right to work typing out an editorial telling the public to get lost, Bill Keller had behaved perfectly correctly, and Eric Lichtblau is a true patriot.

You see, there was no wrongdoing on the part of the New York Times at all, since everyone (including all the terrorists) already knew all about the SWIFT program. There was no news here, after all.

But, it was necessary for the Times to defy government requests and print this story, you see, because it was terribly important that the public learn of the program, so that it could receive public scrutiny. So there was vitally important news, which had to be reported, after all.

(Isn’t it great being a liberal? You have no problem simultaneously accepting as true two completely contradictory propositions.)

And, finally, you and I may have skipped over that part of the Constitution, but The (unelected) Times, a privately-owned business organization which makes its money selling processed wood-pulp and advertising, you see, has its own Constitutional function: monitoring and oversight.

You and I waste our time going out to the polls and voting to elect presidents, and congressmen and senators, but the real bosses are Bill Keller and Eric Lichtblau, who are Constitutionally empowered to supervise all of their work.

If Keller and Lichtblau feel those mere elected officials’ work isn’t up to par, their approach questionable, or their manners distasteful, it is up to the Times to decide whether efforts to apply surveillance to International Terrorism shall be permitted to continue.

If the Times dislikes the elected administration; or if the Times isn’t selling enough woodpulp that week and needs a big story; or if it’s the wrong time of the month, and the Times is just feeling a bit cranky, obviously the Times (meaning Mr. Bill Keller) is perfectly entitled to don its robes of Constitutional Authority, assert its powers as “Monitor of Government in Chief,” and disclose any national security information it pleases.

(Wasn’t General Eisenhower lucky that Bill Keller was not around at the time of the D-Day Invasion? Keller might have decided that the Pas-de-Calais was a much better landing site, or might just have taken a dislike to FDR.)

Mr. Calame finally concludes, these kinds of decisions are a judgement call, and

The best judgment of these two editors (Keller and Lichtblau) served their readers well in the case of the Swift story. In the face of intense administration pressure in a country that’s unusually polarized politically, they correctly decided to make sure their readers were informed about the banking-data surveillance.

And I’m properly grateful. I had, of course, like any other normal American citizen, been planning to transfer a large sum of money to my favorite personal charity, an illegal terrorist organization of Lithuanian fly fishermen and fox-hunters. Now that I know all about that nefarious Bush Administration SWIFT program, I’ll simply tie hundred dollar bills to the legs of migrating Houbara bustards, which will be taken by Kazakh falconer allies, and forwarded via European Eagle Owls to those fiendish Baltic fly fishers. (Thank you, New York Times!) Aren’t you glad that you too can covertly support the terrorist movement of your choice with no interference from the authorities?

25 Jun 2006

What Would Lincoln Do?

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The Republican Administration, at the present time, clearly needs to be reminded that it is the Party of Lincoln.

On August 15, 1861, a grand jury was convened in New York to investigate the conduct of a number of opposition newspapers.

The records of that grand jury state:

There are certain newspapers within this district which are in the frequent habit of encouraging the rebels now in arms against the federal government by expressing sympathy and agreement with them, the duty of acceding to their demands, and dissatisfaction with the employment of force to overcome them…

The grand jury are aware that free governments allow liberty of speech and of the press to the utmost limit, but there is, nevertheless, a limit…

The conduct of these disloyal presses is, of course condemned and abhorred by all loyal men; but the grand jury will be glad to learn from the Court that it is also subject to indictment and condign punishment.

On August 22, the newspapers named by the grand jury were suspended from the mail by order of the New York postmaster.

When their next issues were delivered to Northern cities by train, the United States marshall for the Eastern District seized all the copies, in accordance with the War Department’s General Order No. 67.

That order specified that “all correspondence and communications” which put the public safety at risk should be confiscated, and that, in future, the punishment for creating such correspondence and communications would be death.

–Robert S. Harper, Lincoln and the Press, 1951, pp.114-116.

03 Jan 2006

Hoist by Their Own Petard

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Clarice Feldman, in her latest, is experiencing schadenfreude at the plight of the New York Times.

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