Monday, September 22, 2008

Group Members Discover Civil Liberties

Wahneema Lubiano. Her authorship of the guilt-presuming Group of 88 statement (something “happened” to Crystal Mangum; “thank you” to protesters carrying “castrate” signs; the signatories would hold firm “regardless of what the police say or the court decides”) didn’t exactly identify her as a friend of civil liberties.

Based on their attitudes and actions since 2006, Lubiano and her Group colleagues would be about the last people expected to stand up for due process or the rights of the accused. Yet this self-described “post-structuralist teacher-critic leftist”—who views part of her job as “engaging in politics (including strategizing)”—has found a new crusade to occupy her time. In 2006, a former Brooklyn College(!) student named Syed Fahad Hashmi was arrested in Britain on charges of providing material assistance to Al Qaeda. At the time of his arrest, Hashmi sought to travel to Pakistan, carrying with such items as a large amount of cash, night vision goggles, and sundry military apparel. Hashmi is currently awaiting trial in the United States, which is holding him without bail.

Lubiano’s not the only faculty member going to the barricades for Hashmi. A petition from a group calling itself “Educators for Civil Liberties” has attracted the signatures of more than 500 professors. While denying that their words take a position on Hashmi’s guilt, the “Educators” maintain that the U.S. government has denied the civil liberties of this citizen of Pakistani descent, who the petition curiously describes as a “Muslim American.” (I guess that the new standards of political correctness dictate calling me not an Irish-American but an “Agnostic-American.”)

Given the Bush administration’s record on civil liberties in terrorism-related cases, it’s possible to believe that Hashmi has suffered improperly. Yet the petition’s presentation of the case is so one-sided—and its comments about the case’s effects on the academy so off-the-wall—as to make any undecided reader less, rather than more, likely to embrace the signatories’ position.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, a non-partisan, non-ideological journal that covers college and university issues, produced an article that appropriately described the case against Hashmi as “murky.” No items in the Chronicle article, the few other publications on the case, or any public statements by the signatories point to even one specific violation of Hashmi’s civil liberties.

Nonetheless, the signatories confidently affirm, “The prosecution’s case against Hashmi, an activist within the Muslim community, threatens the First Amendment rights of others. While Hashmi’s political and religious beliefs, speech, and associations are constitutionally protected, the government may attempt to use them as evidence of his criminal intent.”

Well, yes: at trial, for instance, the government may point out that Hashmi’s praise of John Walker Lindh (the “American Taliban”) provides insight into his state of mind in allegedly seeking to aid Al Qaeda. Similarly, in the 1960s, it was perfectly appropriate for federal prosecutors in trials of KKK members to use their (constitutionally protected) racist statements or memberships to provide insight into the Klansmens’ mindsets. There isn’t anything unusual about such a trial strategy, and it’s absurd to say that such an attempt “threatens the First Amendment rights of others.”

(By the way, I assume that each of the “Educators” supports repeal of all hate crimes laws—since such legislation is based on the premise of using “constitutionally protected” “political and religious beliefs, speech, and associations . . . as evidence of . . . criminal intent.”)

Accoding to the “Educators,” Hashmi’s civil liberties also have been violated because “under a plea agreement reported in the media, [alleged Hashmi confederate Junaid] Babar will receive a reduced sentence in return for his cooperation.”

It’s true that (based on what we know from press reports about the evidence), the government’s case aggressively uses testimony from Hashmi’s former confederate. And it’s possible—as with every criminal who enters into a plea bargain—that Babar is lying. But it’s very strange indeed to claim that all testimony obtained as a result of a plea bargain automatically violates the civil liberties of a suspect. If the “Educators” really believe this point, however, perhaps they should petition the court to overturn convictions of such figures as Martha Stewart, Enron executives, or WorldCom executives. After all, each of those cases (like the Hashmi case) involved testimony obtained from plea bargains.

The statement’s two authors stretch credulity even further when they discuss the case’s alleged effect on the academy.

Brooklyn professor Jeanne Theoharis: “It’s particularly significant in a moment when we are seeing the criminalization of Muslim students. I think that he is a devout and practicing Muslim who is very political. If he can be treated like this, it sends a message to other young people, particularly other Muslim young people, that you know you are not protected. I think it is crucial in terms of students thinking they can be who they want to be and espouse the politics that they want to espouse.”

Brooklyn professor Corey Robin: “The classroom is supposed to be a kind of sacred space where students can express their beliefs, and faculty are obligated to push them. It’s chilling to me to think that that whole process, which is the essence of what it means to be an educated person, could suddenly become an item of scrutiny in a court of law.”

The signatories present no evidence that the government has even investigated Hashmi’s utterances in the “sacred space” of the “classroom,” or that the government intends to make the classroom “an item of scrutiny in a court of law.” Nor do the signatories present any evidence to suggest a pattern of “the criminalization(!) of Muslim students.”

That hundreds of professors could sign a statement associated with such claims says more about the rush-to-judgment attitude of the academy than any violations of civil liberties by the government. More remarkably, Lubiano isn’t the only Group member to have suddenly discovered civil liberties. In fact, the list of “Educators for Civil Liberties” includes no fewer than eleven members of the Group of 88.

It’s not clear what has caused Lubiano’s sudden interest in due process. I would have asked her directly, but Lubiano previously had instructed me not to e-mail her.

Joining Lubiano as “Educators” members are Group of 88’er Rom Coles (Political Science)—perhaps best known in the case as husband of the infamous Kim Curtis—the Literature Department’s Michael Hardt, Ariel Dorfman, and Walter Mignolo; English professor Priscilla Wald; and Caroline Light of Women’s Studies.

Likewise, Group of 88 historians Pete (“floating phallus”) Sigal, Irene Silverblatt, Jocelyn Olcott, and Claudia Koonz all have apparently become born-again civil libertarians. Here’s how Koonz’s website describes her research agenda: “How does it happen that citizens who consider themselves deeply moral can believe that some of their fellow citizens embody a danger so lethal that they must be eliminated? . . . I am less concerned with fanatics’ hate speech than with the subtle prejudices common in generally liberal milieus.”

A naïve person might wonder if the Lubiano cohort learned from the Mike Nifong case. Having not only remained silent during the highest-profile modern case of prosecutorial misconduct but joined in an effort that even some signatories (privately) conceded mirrored Nifong’s viewpoint, Lubiano, Koonz, and the other eight Group members might have decided to stand up for due process rights whenever and wherever possible.

A less charitable—if more realistic—person might suppose that, as in April 2006, the civil libertarianism of Lubiano & Friends begins and ends with the limits of their race/class/gender worldview.

[Parts of this post originally appeared, in a modified form, at Cliopatria.]


Anonymous said...

A very learned and renowned professor-friend of mine once lent me a book she thought I would enjoy.

It was impenetrable.

While discussing it I asked her (she, a linguist) what was it that made the writings of so many academics so jargon-laden and otherwise obtuse.

Her answer, "Much of what occurs today in academia is 'performance' and has little to do with scholarship."

So too, here.

For the Group of 88 the Hoax had little to do with real people, real consequences, truth, justice, or morality.

Again, the rallying around (or behind) Hashmi is more of the same.

Empty. Nihilistic. Cynical. Performance.

Gutless, too.

Just sayin'.


Anonymous said...

When I see something like this I have to marvel at the excuses academia made for NOT signing petitions in the lacrosse case.

Hollow, every one of them. . .

Anonymous said...

Is Lubiano a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Once again, we hear from the "educators". I use this term loosely since I am an educator, not a protester professor. I never cease to be amazed at how some people can obtain PhD's yet have absolutely no clue.
Are these people bent on the destruction of the free and democratic world. It seems that they cry freedom but what they really want is total control by radicals. Of course, that would make sense when we look at the group members and their radical stances.
It is no wonder there is no scholarly effort coming from this group. All talk and no thinking. Deliver us from this evil.
At what point do we, as taxpayers and supporters of our university systems, say enough is enough. Clean house and make the universities about teaching and education not propoganda and triple threats (race/class/gender).
Another day in Wonderland.
And no, they are not Communists. They're worse, they are radical educators.

Tim G said...

"Yet this self-described “post-structuralist teacher-critic leftist”—who views part of her job as “engaging in politics (including strategizing)”—has found a new crusade to occupy her time. "

If this is the case, then should Duke lose its non-profit status?

Anonymous said...

Any opinions on New AAAS head to join Duke in July, J.Lorand Matory (Harvard)

Debrah said...

So glad KC revisited this issue after having read the post at Cliopatria.

Of course this group's decisions begin and end with their race/class/gender view.

And in many cases an anti-Semitic view.

Imagine if this former student had expressed a Zionist agenda as strongly as some openly express their pro-Muslim beliefs. This group wouldn't have touched this issue and would probably be speaking out against him.

There's still a fear among many Americans that discussing radical Islam honestly will get them labeled as intolerant and anti-Muslim by people like Lubiano and company.

Many want to attempt to piggyback the faded civil rights issues onto a new agenda of making excuses for radical Muslims.

It's all part of the same "cause".

What people like Lubiano do not understand is that many Muslims look down on black Americans as much, or even more, than the those "intolerant and bigoted" Americans from the past whom she loves to revisit with embellished tales rivaling the Tyson show.

Many well-educated Muslims who migrate to the U.S. are not happy that some black Americans try to be a part of Islam.

Wonder how Lubiano would respond to an honest conversation with one of those "intolerant" people.

These campus clowns have one agenda, and it is a collage of expression damning anything Western, white, and pro-Israel.

The particulars of the case are insignificant.

Anonymous said...

Just as in the lacrosse case these "educators" likely have no idea about the true facts of the case. They don't know Hashmi or what his intentions were.

The credibility of Lubiano and those like her is less than zero.

Anonymous said...

I think the situation may be different than described.

Specifically, I think those folk are simply enamored with being activists for "causes". It matters less what the subject may be than that it has become labeled as a "cause".

The "Chicago 7", the Vietnam War, fur, animal rights, global warming ... it does not matter! They NEED a cause to rally themselves into a purpose-focused group. They probably feel the most alive when they are demonstrating against ... SOMEthing, marching in their little groups, waving their signs, squealing about the injustice of ... whatEVER.

Some folk do volunteer work. Some do pro bono style work. Some clean up road sides of litter. These folk demonstrate.

So, in this case, I'd not be surprised that one of their own simply ID'ed this guy as a good CAUSE, and off they went ....

Anonymous said...

As an independent and watching the left's performance in the LAX case and now this, I have to wonder if Obama is cut from the same cloth, given Wright etc. Obama is very much a product of a political system on the hard left that pushed him over Hilary. Imagine Labiano as president me the shudders. That is the prime reason I'll probably vote Republican.
A concerned independent.

Debrah said...

Here is a personal testimonial from Hashmi's friend.

This guy supposedly dropped him at Heathrow just minutes before he was arrested.

This commentary doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

Emotional tidbits about the guy as if it were written by his mother or some other relative.

Notice how he describes the way Hashmi treats others in the community who are not his "brothers".

A vivid look into the mindset. As if treating non-Muslims kindly is a task that deserves a reward.

This is so ridiculous.

Debrah said...

More information and reasons for Hashmi's arrest .

AMac said...

> Is Lubiano a Communist?

Well, I don't know if that's the exact word. But perhaps close enough for the good Professor to need a handkerchief to hand, were she ever to read today's post by Agnostic at, Graphs on the death of Marxism, postmodernism, and other stupid academic fads.

Those graphs are clear enough to bring many a comrade to the brink of tears.

--- begin extract ---

...the sudden decline of all the big-shot theories you'd study in a literary theory or critical theory class is certainly behind the recent angst of arts and humanities grad students. Without a big theory, you can't pretend you have specialized training and shouldn't be treated as such -- high school English teachers may be fine with that, but if you're in grad school, that's admitting you failed as an academic. You want a good reputation. Isn't it strange, though, that no replacement theories have filled the void? That's because everyone now understands that the whole thing was a big joke, and aren't going to be suckered again anytime soon...

Also, as you sense all of the big theories are dying, you must realize that you have no future: you'll be increasingly unable to publish articles -- or have others cite you -- and even if you became a professor, you wouldn't be able to recruit grad students into your pyramid scheme, or enroll students in your classes, since their interest would be even lower than among current students. Someone who knows more about intellectual history should compare arts and humanities grad students today to the priestly caste that was becoming obsolete as Europe became more rational and secular. I'm sure they rationalized their angst as a spiritual or intellectual crisis, just like today's grad students might say that they had an epiphany -- but in reality, they're just recognizing how bleak their economic prospects are and are opting for greener pastures.

--- end extract ---

Anonymous said...

And yet there are people who cannot fathom the suspicion by the average US voter about the actual intellect of "intellectuals."

Gary Packwood said...

Waheema Lubiano is once again trying to establish a political beachhead. It is what she does. It has nothing to do with scholarship or students...and Duke is paying the bills.

And now she is a member of a Gang of 500 signatories.

I suspect that many of these 500 people are part of the original beachhead that was gearing up to lynch Reade, Collin and Dave as justification for a new worldview curriculum for wealthy universities across the country.

This is just one more beachhead effort to push their race/class/gender worldview.

Attorneys for the Duke lacrosse team members would do well to investigate these 500 people for possible connections back to the failed 2006 beachhead attempt.

Anonymous said...

"I live a few miles from Santa Monica High School, in California. There, young men and women are taught that America is “a terrorist nation,” “one of the worst regimes in history,” that it’s twice-elected leader is “the son of the devil,” and dictator of this “fascist” country. Further, “patriotism” is taught by dragging an American flag across the classroom floor, because the nation’s truest patriots, as we should know by now, are those who are most able to despise it.

This is only high school, remember: in college things get much, much worse.

Two generations, now, are being raised on this poison, and the reason for that is this: the enemies of this city cannot come out and simply say, “Do not defend the city.” Even the smartest among us can see that is simple treason. But they can say, “The City is not worth defending.” So they say that, and they say that all the time and in as many different ways as they are able.

If you step far enough back to look at the whole of human history, you will begin to see a very plain rhythm: a heartbeat of civilization. Steep climbs out of disease and ignorance into the light of medicine and learning — and then a sudden collapse back into darkness. And it is in that darkness that most humans have lived their lives: poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

The pattern is always the same: at the height of a civilization’s powers something catastrophic seems to occur — a loss of will, a failure of nerve, and above all an unwillingness to identify with the values and customs that have produced such wonders.

The Russians say a fish rots from the head down. They ought to know. It may not be factually true that Nero fiddled while Rome burned, the saying has passed into common usage because the image as the ring of truth to it: time and time again, the good and decent common people have manned the walls of the city, and have been ready to give their lives in its defense, only to discover too late that some silk-robed son of a bitch has snuck out of the palace at midnight and thrown open the gates to the barbarians outside.

Anonymous said...

Lubiano and Friends need to learn first hand about due process. They need to be sued. They need to answer for their lies, libel, and slander in a court of law and they need to be put at extreme financial risk.

A number of them have made slanderous statements post "Duke settlement" and they need to answer for their statements. This is the only way the record will be put straight.

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic, but I see that Ms. "Forthcoming" Lubiano is getting a new boss -- J. Lorand "Inflam-matory" Matory from Harvard. The guy who got Larry Summers fired and led the "divest from Israel" movement. Another great diversity hire for Duke.

Anonymous said...

I am deeply dismayed that so many contributors to K.C. Johnson's excellent and courageous blog assume that all Liberals and Obama backers must ipso facto be allies of the Gang of 88 and the race-class-gender extremists.

Many of us main-line Democrats consider ourselves -- proudly -- to be Liberals. We oppose enforced race-class-gender thought control, slander, and coercion in the name of nutty "meta-narratives" fully as much as you Conservatives do. We too are repelled by the intellectual garbage and tantrum-throwing of the Angry Studies departments that passes for "scholarship" at elite universities like Duke.

Like you, we stand foursquare for the rule of law and people being held accountable for their actions. Like you, we stand for limits on government actions and power, and enforcement of these limitations in the courts and in Congress.

Remember Watergate?

Like you, many of us look forward to that time when the much-maligned Duke lacrosse team members will have their day in court. We await that day when those responsible for the shameful treatment of these young men are hauled before the bar of justice to answer for their ugly deeds. (And we note that a few of the major players in this sad and sorry drama have already gotten their comeuppance -- more or less.)

So -- please don't tar Liberals with broad-brush criticism that should be aimed at the Gang of 88 and their fellow meta-narrative blow-hards.

And we too want justice visited upon those in positions of authority who failed to do their duty and stand up to the Gang of 88 and others at Duke who trampled on these young men's rights. We too want to see them reap the fruits of their actions (and inactions).

Keep hitting with the truth, K.C.!


Anonymous said...

It has been six months since I have dialed into DIW. I am impressed with the "stick to it" approach employed by KC. As the parent of a Duke Grad student, I appreciate someone, anyone, who will serve as a single handed check on the nonsense that goes on at one of America's leading educational institutions, and across all educational institutions. I will have to put this site back on my frequent read list.

One Spook said...

KC writes:

"The Chronicle of Higher Education, a non-partisan, non-ideological journal that covers college and university issues, produced an article that appropriately described the case against Hashmi as “murky.”

How on earth can you agree with the CHE's conclusion that the case against Hashmi is "appropriately described ... as murky."? The prosecution has said very little about its case. That does not mean it's "murky" in fact, it could very well mean that it is quite strong.

The only comments I've read are from Hashmi's attorney and one would expect him to downplay the government's case.

One Spook

kcjohnson9 said...

To O.S.:

I agree with you completely. By "appropriately murky," I only meant to say that the facts known publicly--facts largely, as you point out, framed by the defense--don't point to any clear case of either civil liberties violations or likely innocence.

N. T. Katt said...

K.C. - I can imagine that at some point you will be anxious to return to some more substantive historical issues. However, it would be so instructive and helpful if you used your vast knowledge of the approach taken by Group of 88-type faculty accross America to expose the problem with the acadame even further.

You have credibility, knowledge, fabulous research skills, and the ability to fend off incoming arrows and bombs because you know the truth. I only hope you have the time and inclination to write the opus on the state of the faculty in leading American universities.

Thanks so much for all your hard work over the past few years. It has enriched and educated us all.

Chris Halkides said...

I beg to differ with most of the posts I have read here. We are all agreed that the Group of 88 and Tim Tyson have zero credibility on the subject of civil liberties. Their motives are at best suspect. However, from what I have read, I see little doubt that his civil rights have been violated (I would take Michael Ratner’s comments in CHE very seriously; his organization has been on top of Guantanamo for most of its existence). For one thing, he has been in captivity since 2006 and probably will not be tried until 2009. This is not my idea of a swift and speedy trial.

More serious is the nature of his confinement: the use of “special administrative measures” against him is very troubling, especially since he has not been convicted of anything. According to the Wikipedia entry on Hashmi, he is being held in solitary confinement. Differing websites describe his relationship with his lawyer differently. Some say that his lawyer cannot tell his client about some of the charges (this is depressingly similar to what we have done to other detainees). Other sites indicate that the government can listen in on his conversations with his lawyers. Both statements may be true. His access to outside news is circumscribed, and he can only write one letter a week (three pages long) to one family member. How can Hashmi get a fair trial when he does not know what is happening in the world, and when his lawyer cannot communicate with him in private?

Moreover, extended time in solitary confinement is known to bring about mental deterioration: This might impair Hashmi’s ability to assist his counsel, the same issue that Padilla’s lawyers raised at his trial and will probably raise at his appeal.

I could argue the question of his innocence or guilt, but I not sure that there is a point in doing so. John Grisham’s “The Innocent Man” has a telling anecdote. When judge ruled that Ron Williamson should receive a new trial, a friend asked him if Williamson were a murderer. The judge replied that we would not know until he receives a fair trial. So also it is with terrorism suspects.

With (little) respect to the Group of 88, even a broken clock is right twice a day.


Anonymous said...

Anon 5:33 - Your comments are brilliant, insightful and spot on.

Anonymous said...

In other news, lawyers defending the Durham in the Duke Lacross case have sent the city an initial bill for $1.2M.

Ironically, the lawyers are from AIG. Seems like AIG would have received more than adequate funding lately...

Debrah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Chris, at 9/23/08 1:44 PM

Very well said.

Unfortunately you will not get much traction with this crowd with your information. The truth is treason in the empire of lies.

Chris Halkides said...

I realize that one aspect of my earlier post was unintentionally misleading. The SAMs apparently allow for monitoring of attorney-client conversations:, but, I have no specific knowledge that Mr. Hashmi's conversations have been monitored. My apologies. His lawyer cannot discuss the case with outside experts, however, on the basis of security clearance issues that I would question.


One Spook said...

halides writes @ 1:44 PM

" ...from what I have read, I see little doubt that his [Hashmi] civil rights have been violated (I would take Michael Ratner’s comments in CHE very seriously; his organization has been on top of Guantanamo for most of its existence)."

And, I would beg to differ with that statement and others you made in your comments, Chris.

Perhaps it is fair for you to conflate the nature of Hashmi's detention with that of enemy combatants incarcerated at Guantanamo. But in both instances, I submit that many reasonable people (I would not term the Group of 88 and Tim Tyson "reasonable" as you do not either) who are "troubled" by the nature and terms of the confinement of individuals charged with terrorist-related crimes simply do not consider, fully understand, or agree with the seriousness, nature, or scope of the threat of terrorism and crimes related to it.

These people are not charged with participating in check-kiting schemes; they are charged with participating in activity that is a significant threat to our country. While all citizens should cherish and uphold our laws respecting the civil liberties and civil rights of individuals, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson argued in a 1949 dissent that “There is danger that, if the court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact." (My emphasis) The phrase also appears in the same context in a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court decision written by Justice Arthur Goldberg.

In a book he wrote in 2006, Judge Richard Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and professor at the University of Chicago Law School, argues that “terrorist activity is sui generis—it is neither "war" nor "crime"—and it demands a tailored response, one that gives terror suspects fewer constitutional rights than persons suspected of ordinary criminal activity.”

And while you offer no proof that Hasmi’s conversatons with his attorney are monitored, perhaps they are, and for good reason. In 2005, attorney Lynne Stewart (practicing in the same district in which Hashmi is held) was convicted on charges of conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists and sentenced to 28 months in prison. Her felony conviction led to her being automatically disbarred. She was convicted of helping pass messages from her client, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian cleric convicted of planning terror attacks, to his followers in al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, an organization designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States Secretary of State.

And, many of the special administrative measures (SAMs) were instituted for very good reasons --- organized crime figures in the 60s and 70s actually bragged about, and in fact were quite able to continue to run their crime organizations while behind bars --- by frequent and lengthy communication with visitors at the prison and fellow inmates, and by keeping abreast of news reports.

Of course, in Hashmi, professors Lubiano, Theoharis and Robin have found yet another “perfect victim.”
This “devout Muslim” an “… energetic student who took frequent advantage of his professors' office hours …” and who “… loved a good discussion with his fellow students, … also took a keen interest in civil liberties …” possesses the necessary qualifications of victimhood for those whose world view is dominted by the unbquituous triumvirate of race, class, and gender plus far left extremist political views.

Professor Theoharis reminds us that “Mr. Hashmi … wrote his final paper for her class on the contradictions between basic American freedoms and ideals and the U.S. government's treatment of citizens since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.” What she fails to mention is that a year earlier on May 12, 2002, just eight months after the September 11 attacks, Hashmi gave a public Constitutionally protected speech wherein he stated, “America is directly involved in exterminating Muslims," said Hashmi. "America is the biggest terrorist in the world."

If these professors wish to cite Hashmi’s beliefs and “keen interests” in his defense, then let’s examine all of those beliefs on record.

If anyone doubts these extremists’ real perfidy for the US Constitution, consider this: Suppose that a former Brooklyn College student, a White male who was a devout evangelical Christian and after graduation joined an Arayan Nation fringe group and then was later charged with possession of illegal weapons and imprisoned under exactly the same circumstances as Hashmi.

Does anyone believe that Lubiano, Theoharis, and Robin would rise to that student’s defense and successfully organize their like-minded academic colleagues as “Educators for Civil Liberties” to defend him? Please.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

Off topic.

CGM's memoirs apparently were never destined for conventional publication. I ran across this low key, straightforward appearing interview with "Ed" Clark:

Which includes the following:

In addition to Mangum's story, Clark also had access to Angel Heredia, the man who supplied Marion Jones and other elite-level athletes with performance enhancing drugs. "We were trying to figure out how to do documentaries on both stories and the prodcution cost would have been crazy," Clark explained. "We had both of their stories in writting so it was a no brainer to turn both into books." The strategy is for fire! to produce an electronic edition of The Last Dance for Grace to sell through their own website, which will include video footage and other supplementary materials; Clark is currently in the process of choosing a print-on-demand service for a print version. He had originally hoped for both books to come out sooner, he said, but Mangum preferred to finish work on her college degree before making her book publication-ready, while Heredia's story took a while to play out—he has been a witness for the prosecution in trials against Jones and track coach Trevor Graham. Clark expects, though, that fire! will be able to publish that memoir by the end of the year.

So- there will be an 'electronic edition' you can buy through his web site and an on-demand (read the old vanity press) if you want it. Not exactly a real book by my definition. More like a subscription, one entry blog.

I was actually more than willing to pay a publisher for an actual book conventionally edited and with all the formalities (Library of Congress and all the other designations). I'm not so sure I'm willing to give slick Eddie my credit card information or any of my money by any other means either .........

decisions decisions (assuming anything comes out at all anyway. I've seen more than one "There is NO book" comment around the web).

RL alum '75

Anonymous said...

Sorry One Spook, your argument gets no traction, including the straw man argument about how the 88 woulda, coulda, shoulda, reacted to violation of civil rights of a white supremacist, and especially your reference to Richard Posner fails to justify. Sorry, I usually agree with you.

From wiki:
Contention in a 1999 Raritan article that the rule of law is an accidental and dispensable element of legal ideology

He famously opposed the right of privacy in 1981, arguing that the kinds of interests protected under privacy are not distinctive.

He has written several opinions sympathetic to abortion rights, including a decision holding "partial-birth abortion" constitutionally protected in some circumstances.

He is in favor of torture.

One Spook said...

halides 1 writes @ 5:40 PM:

" ... I have no specific knowledge that Mr. Hashmi's conversations have been monitored. My apologies. His lawyer cannot discuss the case with outside experts, however, on the basis of security clearance issues that I would question.

Thank you for that clarification and apology. I suspect that you also have no "specific knowledge" of "security clearance issues" either.

I do. What is it that you “would question?”

One Spook

Thank you for that clarification, and I suspect that you have no "specific knowledge" of "security clearance issues" either

One Spook said...

Anon @ 4:55 PM writes:

"Unfortunately you will not get much traction with this crowd with your information. The truth is treason in the empire of lies."

Speaking only as one member of "this crowd," allow me to extend to you an invitation to bring us the "truth."

One Spook

One Spook said...

Anon, the "Traction Person" writes @ 13:32 PM

"Sorry One Spook, your argument gets no traction ... Sorry, I usually agree with you.

Don't feel any need to apologize, Traction Person. Over the years, people all over the planet have disagreed with me and I continue to sleep at night without the need for meds.

I'll not enter into a debate on all of Posner's opinions with you, as it is woefully off topic. His view in the context of this discussion thread was suitable.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing there are lawsuits pending against Duke because clearly without them, nothing will change. It will, in fact, continue to get worse.


Chris Halkides said...

One Spook,

Your quotation of Mr. Hashmi’s speech to defend the harsh conditions of his imprisonment makes me wonder what you are thinking. We could almost throw Stuart Taylor into the slammer for writing recently in Newsweek, “Dark deeds have been conducted in the name of the United States government in recent years: the gruesome, late-night circus at Abu Ghraib, the beating to death of captives in Afghanistan…” I realize, of course that Mr. Hashmi is accused of more than uttering angry words, but I would point out that many have harshly criticized our nation’s policies without becoming terrorists.

Your defense of Mr. Hashmi’s isolation is not convincing. Your comparison with organized crime leaders held in prison is inappropriate for several reasons. First, they were convicted, but Mr. Hashmi has not been. Second, no one has implied that Mr. Hashmi is the leader of a terrorist cell or anything else. Third, the facts of Mr. Hashmi’s arrest and the justification for his having been made subject to the SAMs are not the same as you put forth.

"He was extremely violent," Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Baroni said, describing the outburst last June 6 at Heathrow Airport. "He repeatedly shouted at his arresting officers that he hoped they would be killed."

My first observation is that there is no indication in Ms. Baroni’s description of any physical violence. My second is that there is no evidence that Mr. Hashmi was violent during the year of his detention in Great Britain. My third is that there is no connection between Mr. Hashmi’s shouting and the rationale for isolation, which is to keep criminal communication from taking place.

Your comparison between Mr. Hashmi and a hypothetical white supremacist having illegal weapons is also flawed. Mr. Hashmi was arrested for allegedly supplying night vision goggles and rain gear to Al Qaeda. To the best of my knowledge, these items are not illegal. On the subject of attorney Lynne Stewart, I read the Wikipedia entry for her case and do not see this case as a black-and-white example of passing along terrorist messages as you seem to.

You wondered why I do not take the government at face value when it prevented Mr. Hashmi’s attorney from discussing his case with other experts on the basis of security clearance. I have been following H. Candace Gorman’s posts in which she describes the difficulties she has had in defending her client, Mr. Al-Ghizzawi, who has been detained at Guantanamo for a number of years. One cannot read them without taking a very skeptical view of what the government classifies as a secret in terrorism cases:

After rereading these posts, I conclude that the government wished to make Ms. Gorman’s job as difficult as possible, not protect any legitimate secrets.

Let me expand a bit on why I find the argument that solitary confinement etc. is needed to prevent further terrorist acts to be so dubious. Information in a terrorist organization is generally dispensed on a need-to-know basis. If Mr. Hashmi were a terrorist, any knowledge he had would cover a time prior to June 2006. By late 2008, any information he could convey would be stale. It is even harder to fathom a legitimate reason to restrict information coming to a prisoner held in solitary confinement (what could he do with it?). On the other hand, there is evidence that our government censors correspondence sent to detainees for reasons that have nothing to do with safety or security. In his indispensable book “Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power,” Joseph Margulies tells of a father of five children held at Guantanamo whose letters from his family were censored in the places where they said that they loved him and they missed him. Why? Having read Jane Mayer’s “The Dark Side,” Andy Worthington’s “The Guantanamo Files,” Clive Stafford Smith’s “Eight O’Clock Ferry to the Windward Side,” and Alfred McCoy’s “The Question of Torture,” I might hazard a guess. However, I would rather hear your professional opinion.

Let me recast my argument: If the government has the power to abrogate attorney-client privilege, it has a chilling effect on those communications, whether or not it uses that power in every instance. My central thesis is that a detainee such as Mr. Hashmi is unliketly to be able to mount a thorough defense when conversations with his attorney may be monitored, when his access to political when his ability to converse with his family or fellow detainees (who may share stories or be able to provide legal advice) is cut off, and when his attorney may not be able to see professional consultation. Nothing you have written indicates any solution to this problem. As far as I can determine, your position is not that Mr. Hashmi’s civil rights were not violoated, but rather that it is necessary to violate them, that terrorism suspects do not deserve a fair trial.

You take the Posnerian stance that terrorism is sui generis, and it poses a uniquely grave threat to our country. This sounds like the Cofer Black wing of the CIA speaking. I don’t buy the argument that 9/11 changed everything. Terrorism has been with the world for at least four hundred years, probably much longer. Our nation tried and convicted Timothy McVeigh in a regular court proceeding. On the other hand our present policies and principles are sometimes in conflict with international law, as discussed by Professor Jordan Paust in his book “Beyond the Law.”

My own views have been strongly influenced by Ron Suskind’s “The Way of the World.” We cannot stop terrorism with actions that open up fissures between our words and our deeds. We can at least limit terrorism by doing things to regain our moral leadership in the world. Stuart Taylor’s suggestion for a truth commission (in the same Newsweek article quoted above) might be a good place to start.


Debrah said...


I have not been allowed to post my real response to you; however, let me just say that you know as little, or even less, about the way Hashmi has or has not "been treated" as rest of us.

Please dismiss with the emotional outrage equivalency.

It makes a mockery of the thousands of innocent American people who were murdered on September 11, 2001......and how Americans continue to be stalked all over the globe.

Some of us had relatives who perished inside the Twin Towers.

One has to make sure that one's quest for decency does not assist those who wouldn't be even remotely concerned with the rights of a captive.......

.......or even whether his head remained attached to his body.

Given the circumstances of Hashmi's past, I'd say we need to allow the process to run its course.

Anonymous said...

Sorry KC, comments posted by Diva Debbie and the Spook have only hurt the image of the Lax supporters being interested in the rule of law.

I suggest you filter posts a bit more to avoid tainting your blog with what used to be the city of Durham's proud mottos:

Justice Just For Us


Durham NC: A Constitution Free Zone

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 3.43:

I do not "filter" comments based on viewpoint. As the blog's comments policy (on the blog sidebar) states, "Comments are moderated, but with the lightest of touches, to exclude only off-topic comments or obviously racist or similar remarks. My clearing a comment implies neither that I agree nor that I disagree with the comment."

Anonymous said...

Does anyone believe that Lubiano, Theoharis, and Robin would rise to that student’s defense and successfully organize their like-minded academic colleagues as “Educators for Civil Liberties” to defend him? Please.

Come on Spook. Sure they would. They would come to his defense with Castrate signs and listening statements. Did you notice that this "group" was too cheap to back up their "statement" with their own money? Maybe cheap is not correct, maybe dishonest is better. The Gang of 88 only considers these situations to be worthy of their support if and only if the situation perfectly. We have guaranteed Hashmi's right to spew anti-American comments. Why should we support his wrong to instigate attacks against Americans?
If you don't like America, find another country. If you don't agree with supporting the safety of Americans, go somewhere else. I support your right to speak. I even support a university's right to hire idiots. It's their money--provided the university is private (as is Duke) and not public. When public dollars are used to support, it should be to promote the education of students, not indoctrination.

Anonymous said...

One Spook,

It is interesting to compare and contrast Professor Posner’s views with his colleague Geoffrey Stone, the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago and a former Dean and Provost there:

I would characterize Professor Stone’s position not as being opposed all times to the abridgement of civil liberties, but rather of keeping necessary abridgements within the framework of the checks and balances that naturally arise when the branches of government abide by the philosophy of the separation of powers. Professor Stone’s book “War and Liberty,” and Pulitzer prize winner Charles Savage’s book “Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency,” are two valuable sources of background information.

Among its manifold deficiencies, the order that Attorney General Ashcroft issued on October 31, 2001 that allows monitoring of attorney-client conversations does not meet Stone’s criterion:

Georgetown J. Legal Ethics 145 (2003-2004), Government Surveillance of
Attorney-Client Communications: Invoked in the Name of Fighting Terrorism,
Podgor, Ellen S. & Hall, John Wesley.


Anonymous said...


My position on civil liberties is close to that of Geoffrey Stone’s (see my comments to One Spook). Implicit in your comments is the notion that those of us who did not lose a relative or close friend on 9/11 cannot fully comprehend the pain of those you did. Your implicit point is well taken (though I am curious whether you had anyone in particular in mind). All I can say is that I hope never to ignore, let alone to exacerbate, their suffering.

Best regards,