Thursday, October 05, 2006

Letter to the Editor

Arash Aramesh - Prof. Clive Leeman teaches English at Moorpark college. During my years at Moorpark,
I took every course offered by the good professor. His classes were always open to discussion
and he allowed everyone to speak his/her mind. Here is a letter Clive wrote to the Los Angeles

Letter to the Editor:
Los Angeles Times Demeans the Rule of Law

All nations which subscribe to the rule of law conform to a fundamental
principle--that nobody accused of a crime can be convicted and
sentenced without being charged and tried in a court of law.

The Bush administration has treated this principle with contempt im
Guantanamo and other places ever since 9/11, and a failure to be vigilant about
upholding this legal axiom is not only impugning the reputation of Congress but
beginning to permeate other institutions, including, regrettably, the Los Angeles

David Wise, in his article "Now who's leaking the secrets?" (Los
Angeles TImes, October 1, 2006), is critical of President Bush for his legally reckless
leaking of state secrets to suit his own purposes, but Wise is himself legally careless when
he describes one of the suspects recently moved to
Guantanamo, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, as "the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks,"
unfortunately omitting the ever necessary adjective alleged "mastermind."

In other words, the Los Angeles Times, like the Bush administration,
has already tried and convicted Shaikh Mohammed before he's even been
charged, let alone appeared in court.

If I had been that negligent when I was a cub reporter on a large metropolitan daily
newspaper many years ago, I would have been
seriously pilloried by my irate news editor for such an egregious breach of legal and
journalistic ethics.

Clive Leeman

Ironically, just after I sent off my letter to the Los Angeles Times yesterday, NPR did a quick correction in another case on Talk of the Nation. A Lebanese journalist being interviewed on the show referred to the crimes committed by Rep. Mark Foley, and the interviewer said: "Hold it right there. Mark Foley is simply accused of these crimes." Somehow I don't think the interviewer would have rushed to the defense of the Muslim Shaikh Mohammed's legal rights as quickly as she did to defend the Republican Mark Foley's. Thanks and blessings, Clive

Bullshit, with all due disrespect
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