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Lone Wolf Tickets

A question. Has anyone yet attempted to leverage yesterday’s tragedy at Fort Hood into a defense of the Patriot Act’s “lone wolf” provision? Maybe the question is not if, but when. I’m thinking of starting a pool.
Of course it may not be necessary. Yesterday* the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to extend three provisions: roving wiretaps; section 215, or the “libraries provision” diminishing privacy rights; and the “lone wolf” provision, which should probably be renamed the “pack of wolves” provision, for its potential (arguably inevitable) future misuse against political “radicals”, as defined by whatever pack is in power.

[*correction: the House Judiciary Committee voted on Nov. 5 to allow the LW provison to expire; the Senate Judiciary voted last month to extend all three]

update: Speaking of grassroots terrorism, if the Seattle police are right, a man now in critical condition who was shot and arrested earlier today for the assassination-style killing of a Seattle police officer was waging a terrorist campaign of his own (with at least one accomplice) against the city’s police department. According to police, Christopher Monfort, an Obama-lookalike with a similar biracial background, is also a suspect in an arson case involving the torching of several police vehicles at a motor pool. The arsonist left a note promising to kill police officers. Monfort is a University of Washington graduate and sometime activist:

Monfort received a bachelor’s degree from the UW in March 2008, according to the university’s degree-validation Web site. His major was in Law, Societies and Justice.

Last year, Monfort belonged to the McNair Scholars Program, part of the university’s office of Minority Affairs and Diversity. The program aims to steep undergraduate students in sophisticated research, preparing them for graduate work.

Monfort provided this title for his project with the McNair program: “The Power of Citizenship Your Government Doesn’t Want You to Know About: How to Change the Inequity of the Criminal Justice System Immediately, Through Active Citizen Nullification of Laws, As a Juror.”

In an abstract of his project, Monfort said he planned to “illuminate and further” the scholarship of Paul Butler, a law professor at George Washington University. Butler is a proponent of jury nullification, a controversial principle whereby jurors feel free to disregard a judge’s instructions and acquit a defendant no matter the strength of the evidence.

Butler has argued that such nullification may be particularly appropriate in cases where black defendants are charged with nonviolent crimes.

“It is the moral responsibility of black jurors to emancipate some guilty black outlaws,” Butler wrote in a 1995 Yale Law Journal article, adding: “My goal is the subversion of American criminal justice, at least as it now exists.”

update II: Seattle police now claim to have found bomb-making materials and more evidence linking Monfort to the arson and the murder, and have declared him a “domestic terrorist.”

update III: After initially speculating Monfort had one or two accomplices, police are now saying he acted alone.

update IV: Looks like the above-mentioned Professor Butler, proponent of jury nullification, has a new book out, reviewed uncritically in the NYRB, Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice.

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