May. 30th, 2003

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The Bush administration is pushing to limit the ability of foreign nationals to obtain judgments against despots and multinational corporations in U.S. courts, arguing that such lawsuits have become a threat to U.S. foreign policy and could undermine the war on terrorism.

For the past 23 years, federal courts have allowed victims of torture and other abuse to file claims under an obscure 1789 statute for violations of human rights norms, commonly known as the Alien Tort Claims Act.

Since a 1980 lawsuit was filed against a former Paraguayan police chief accused of torturing and killing a teenage boy, lawsuits have been filed against Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and banks and other companies alleged to have profited from Nazi war crimes.

But the Justice Department, reflecting an emerging view among conservative legal scholars, argues in a 30-page brief filed this month that such lawsuits frequently have no connection to the United States and may complicate foreign policy objectives by targeting allies, including nations helping in the war on terrorism...

Solicitor General Ted "I am so conflicted by my administrations' contributory negligence in the death of my wife that I still haven't noticed that I have a muskrat on my head" Olson is arguing on behalf of the United States in court that we don't give a rat's ass what our allies do to their people, as long as we find it convenient for them to be our allies.

Mr. HItchens? Mr. Sullivan? Mr. Reynolds?
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Subject: Grow up!

Gee, can you imagine recognizing the personhood of a wondrous, living thing that has all of the physical and spiritual components in its tiny self necessary to become (if left alone and given the time to develop) a "person" possibly more intelligent and likely more kind than you. It's about time we had a real man in the White House again. You're probably still sore about Gore, huh?

practically Dorothy Parker, don't you think?
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I hope to be less dyspeptic if I get some sleep.

I'm not entirely sure when that will be.

Blogging in a less sleep-deprived mode will resume at that point.


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