Fact v. Fallacy in the Confirmation Process

We’re thick into the Obama confirmation season and some of the commentary has moved from the surreal to the preposterous, with Fox News leading the charge (followed closely by the right-wing blogosphere). The current Obama nomination target seems to be Harold Hongju Koh, the Dean of the Yale Law School (disclosure: my alma mater), who has been nominated to serve as Legal Advisor to the U.S. State Department. Harold Koh previously served with distinction as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor under President Clinton.
In addition to the complaint that a top appointment to the State Department--the United States’ interface with the world--might be a “transnationalist”, i.e. someone who thinks international law matters (the absurdity of this critique has been discussed here [IntLawGrrls] and here [Concurring Opinions] and here [Opinio Juris]), there are several manufactured nomination “controversies” that might be of particular interest to IntLawGrrls:
  1. that Koh believes sharia law should apply within U.S. courts;
  2. that he believes we should not let a treaty dictate whether we can execute juveniles convicted of crimes;
  3. that he once called President Bush the "torturer-in-chief"; and
  4. my personal favorite: that we should abolish Mother’s Day.
I decided to try to track down the sources of these bizarre claims.

The alleged sharia law comment is elusive. Apparently, someone recalled Koh indicating in a public talk that sharia law might apply within U.S. courts. Others who attended that talk have no memory of the comment, recalling only that Koh spoke of how different legal systems, including sharia, share common legal concepts and principles. Hardly a controversial observation.

If anyone still have doubts about his position on sharia, s/he should take a look at an account of an exchange between then Professor Koh and Sayed Rahmatullah Hashmi (right), once the envoy to the Taliban when it ruled Afghanistan, and implemented its version of sharia law, who had been admitted to Yale University as a non-degree student. Prof. Koh participated in a debate entitled "The Taliban: Pros and Cons" arranged by the University. His role was to present the "con" side at the request of Prof. Gustav Ranis, then at the Yale Center for International and Area Studies. Prof. Koh publicly challenged several policies of the Taliban that marginalized and harmed women, such as the inability of women to receive medical care or to walk freely within society. Rahmatullah retorted that his wife and daughter can do those things, implying that Prof. Koh was "misguided" about Taliban policies. Rahmatullah, of course, failed to see the hypocrisy in his comments: his wife and daughter—women of obvious privilege—could enjoy such normalcies while the majority of Afghan women would risk being stoned for doing so.

The juvenile death penalty allegation comes from an article by Meghan Clyne in the New York Post, which claims that Koh believes that the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (a treaty ratified by almost all the states of the world except the United States and Somalia) should dictate the age at which individuals can be executed. It is true that the CRC at Article 37(a) requires that states parties ensure that:

No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age.

Clyne apparently missed that the issue has already been decided—by the U.S. Supreme Court. In Roper v. Simmons (2005), the Court held that the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution forbid the execution of offenders who were under the age of 18 when their crimes were committed. In so ruling, the Court found a national consensus against the practice in light of
  • the rejection of the juvenile death penalty in the majority of U.S. states (and its rare use even where it remained on the books) and
  • the consistent trend toward its abolition.
In addition, the Court invoked “the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society” to determine that such punishments were so disproportionate as to be cruel and unusual. Justice Kennedy writing for the majority noted:

It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty, resting in large part on the understanding that the instability and emotional imbalance of young people may often be a factor in the crime. … The opinion of the world community, while not controlling our outcome, does provide respected and significant confirmation for our own conclusions.

The third claim about the “torturer-in-chief” comment seems to come from a misreading (or failure to read) an article by Koh in the Indiana Law Journal in which Koh addressed the question of whether, as a legal matter, the Office of the President could constitutionally order torture. His answer was “no”:
Competing schools of constitutional interpretation all accept that the Constitution does not authorize the President to be Torturer-in-Chief. . . . [W]hen the commander in chief becomes torturer in chief, his orders have crossed the line from legal to illegal conduct. ... The President cannot, on his own constitutional authority, authorize violations of jus cogens [non-derogable] norms. ... And even in the gravest national circumstances, the Constitution does not preauthorize the President, his subordinates, or anyone else, to torture someone in U.S. custody using either a rationale of self-defense or a defense of necessity.

This position has been echoed by many others in the beltway and academia, including President Bush himself, who said as such in a 2006 interview with Bob Schieffer (CBS News):

SCHIEFFER: … [T]he question I have, Mr. President, is: Do you believe that there is anything that a president cannot do, if he considers it necessary, in an emergency like this?

PRESIDENT BUSH: That's a--that's a great question. You know, one of the--yeah, I don't think a president can tort--get--can order torture, for example. I don't think a president can order the assassination of a leader of another country with which we're not at war. Yes, there are clear red lines …

Finally, Mother’s Day. Koh — among many others — has advocated that the United States consider joining the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) —a treaty that most of the world, save the United States and a handful of Middle Eastern and African states, has ratified. Koh was invited to discuss this issue before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and also put forth his position in the Case Western Law Review (2002). A footnote from this article seems to be the source of the bizarre claim.

Koh, in debunking several misconceptions about CEDAW, wrote at note 51 that:

One such preposterous claim, for example, is that U.S. ratification of the CEDAW would somehow require the United States to abolish Mother’s Day. This claim twists a statement in the CEDAW Committee’s report on Belarus, which spoke negatively about a Belarusian holiday that discouraged women from working in the marketplace, by celebrating and encouraging only those mothers who work in the home. Rather than denigrating motherhood, the CEDAW’s central aim is to support motherhood, by promoting women’s freedom to make choices on an equal basis with men. Nothing in that goal conflicts with the American tradition of celebrating both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day every year, as expressions of this country’s commitment to full gender equality, consistent with the nondiscrimination goals of the CEDAW.

As someone who regularly enjoys breakfast in bed on Mother's Day, I say "here, here."

I have little doubt that those involved in the confirmation process will be able to separate out fact from fallacy and confirm Harold Koh as Legal Advisor to the State Department.

As the Acting Deputy Spokesperson for the State Department stated on the record to Fox:

Dean Koh is universally respected for his legal scholarship, and previously served as an Assistant Secretary of State - and was praised for his work by Republicans and Democrats alike. President Obama and Secretary Clinton strongly believe he's the right person for the job.

Koh has also received kudos from former Bush Administration Solicitor General Ted Olson. More on the Harold Koh nomination and the over-zealous right-wing attack on Koh is available here.

On April 1

On this day in ...
... 1866, Sophonisba Breckinridge (left) was born in Lexington, Kentucky. Elder by 6 years than her sister Madeline McDowell Breckinridge, whom IntLawGrrls prevoiusly profiled, Sophonisba likewise devoted herself to women's rights and other causes. A graduate of Wellesley, in 1894 she became the 1st woman to pass the Kentucky bar exam. She then moved to Chicago, where in 1901 she became the 1st woman to receive a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago -- the university from which she also earned her J.D. 3 years later. (photo credit) She began to write about women workers and to collaborate with other Chicago women, among them social worker Jane Addams, an IntLawGrrls transnational foremother. Among other activities, Sophonisba attended the 1915 International Congress of Women at The Hague, took part in the work of the Women's Trade Union League and the NAACP, and lobbied against war and for women's suffrage and juvenile justice reform. She died in 1948.
... 1979 (30 years ago today), a 2-day referendum concluded with 97% of the electorate voting that Iran would be an Islamic republic. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declared that the date should mark "'the first day of a Government of God.'"

(Prior April 1 posts are here and here.)

Nikkor ED AF-S VR 24 - 80 mm f/1.8 G

Nikon on julkaisemassa uuden normaalizoomin, jonka valovoimasta ei pitäisi olla valittamista kenelläkään. Uutuus on polttoväliltään 24 - 80 mm ja valovoima on huimat 1.8, joka päihittää monet kiinteäpolttovälisetkin. Objektiivi julkistetaan virallisesti toukokuussa, mutta pääsin käpälöimään viimeisen asteen prototyyppiä, joka vastaa käytännössä tuotantoversiota.

Nikonin optiikkaosaston tuotekehitysjohtaja Hito Maztumoto on kiertämässä Euroopassa Nikonin maakonttoreita ja poikkesi myös Suomessa. Matzsumotolla oli mukanaan uuden objektiivin prototyyppi, jota sain ihmetellä. Objektiivilla otettuja kuvia en saanut ottaa mukaani, koska tuotantomalliin saatetaan tehdä vielä jotain hienosäätöjä.

Uudessa Nikkorissa on käytetty nanokidepinnoitetta uloimman linssin sisäpinnalla. Objektiivissa on käytetty kahta asfääristä linssiä ja peräti neljää ED-lasista elementtiä. Zoomin rakenne on hyvin erikoinen, sillä polttovälin muuttaminen ei vaikuta ulkoisiin mittoihin lainkaan. Suodinkierrettä ei ole, koska etulinssin halkaisija on 95 mm. Linssin suojana on superteleistä tuttu kiinteä suojalasi, joka on erikoiskovaa optista lasia. Tarkennusmoottori on tietenkin äänetöntä mallia. Kuvanvakaaja on erityisesti tätä objektiivia varten viritetty ja Nikonin mukaan antaa 5 aukon hyödyn.

Kuvasin kuitenkin joitakin kuvia ja sain katsella otoksiani Suomen Nikonin tiloissa olleella tietokoneella. Olin vaikuttunut uutuuden optisesta pätevyydestä, sillä ainakin nopeasti ottamani testikuvat olivat terävyydeltään loistavia. Täydellä aukolla piirto ja kontrasti näyttivät todella hyviltä. Mahtava valovoima yhdistettynä tehokkaaseen kuvanvakaajaan mahdollistaa aivan uudenlaisen kuvaamisen, johon millään aikaisemmalla zoomilla ei ole ollut mahdollisuutta.

Pieni miinus tulee isohkosta koosta, joka sai oman 24 - 70 milliseni näyttämään melko pieneltä. Isot linssit kasvattavat painoa ja ulkohalkaisijaa, mutta joissakin olosuhteissa valovoimaa ei päihitä mikään. Tästä tulee monelle ammattilaiselle uusi normaalizoomi, jota ei malta kamerasta irrottaa.

Uutukaisen tulevasta hinnasta eivät osanneet ( lue halunneet ) vielä kertoa mitään, mutta ainahan valovoimasta on saanut maksaa. Kauppojen hyllyllä uutta zoomia näkynee loppukesästä. Ennakkotilauksia ei oteta eikä tiedusteluihin vastata näin aprillipäivänä. 

New Subscription Feature for Followers of IntLawGrrls

As you'll notice just below our ancient map, we've added an RSS icon (right). This enables you to use the RSS feature ("really simply syndication") in order to have the IntLawGrrls blog (and any other blogs you follow regularly) appear directly on your iGoogle or Yahoo! homepage. Simply click on the orange icon in our righthand column and tell it your preference. And if you don't have an iGoogle or other homepage, the RSS feature will help you set one up with all your preferences (world news, a clock etc.).
This feature joins other ways you can make sure to check in with us regularly; for example:
Make IntLawGrrls your homepage
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Happy reading!

Eiks tän voi jotenkin käsitellä?

Otsikon kysymys lienee tuttu ainakin useimmille valokuvia tuottaville ammattilaisille ja varmaan monelle valokuvauksen harrastajallekin. Yleinen luulo kun kansan parissa on, että kuvankäsittelyllä voi näppärästi tehdä ihan mitä vaan. Siis sillä lailla näppärästi, että ei oikeastaan tarvitse muuta kuin taikanappia painaa.

Viime viikolla olin kuvaamassa niinkin mieletöntä kohdetta kuin omakotitalon kaukolämmön säätelykeskus, tai joku vastaava vekotin kuitenkin. Laite oli asennettuna talon pannuhuoneeseen ja kuvia piti saada ilman koteloa ja kotelon kanssa. Kun laitteessa oli kotelo paikallaan, niin se muistutti hieman jääkaappia, siis vaalea laatikko ovella. Kotelon alta paljastui putki poikineen ja lisäksi jokunen metri sähköjohtoa.

Pannuhuoneesta oli vanha tekniikka heitetty pihalle ja kuvattava laite kiinnitetty seinään, joka oli puoliksi vaalean harmaa ja puoliksi tumman punainen.

Seurasi sunnilleen seuravan kaltainen keskustelu:

Minä: Kuvasta ei kyllä tuu kovin siisti, kun seinä on tuollainen. 
Asiakas: Eksä voi ton taustan jotenkin kuvankäsittelyllä muuttaa? 
Minä: Nojoo kaikkihan on mahdollista, mutta nopeammin sen voi muuttaa, kun maalaa seinän uudelleen.
Asiakas: Ahaa! Joo, joo. No tonne taaksehan mahtuu sellainen patteritela ja joo... Me maalataan tää seinä kuule... Otetaan tää kuvaus uusiksi ensi viikolla. Sopiiko sulle tiistai?
Minä: Ok, jos te tosiaan maalaatte, niin sehän on paras. Tiistai on mulle ok.

Tänään sitten kävin ottamassa uudet kuvat vastikään maalatussa pannuhuoneessa. Maalaus ei ollut kovin iso homma, mutta olihan siinä silti hyvä asenne asiakkaalla ja talon omistajalla kanssa. Olisipa aina näin helppoa. Ei tällaiseen ihan aina törmää, kun kyse ei kuitenkaan ollut mistään ison budjetin mainoskuvasta. 

Kuvaa en lämpökeskuksesta nyt tähän laita, kun en tullut kysyneeksi lupaa, eikä se nyt niin ihmeellinen kuva olekaan. Tuo Etelä-Afrikassa kuvaamani puu on paljon kiinnostavampi katselukohde ja se olisi suunnilleen yhtä helppo irrottaa taustastaan kuin mainittu lämpökeskus.

Guest Blogger: Tracy A. Thomas

It's IntLawGrrls' great pleasure today to welcome Tracy A. Thomas (left) as a guest blogger.
Professor of Law and Director of Faculty Research and Development at the University of Akron School of Law in Ohio, Tracy teaches Remedies, Women’s Legal History, and Family Law.
She was graduated Order of the Coif with her J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, where she was also Production Editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review (then called Journal). She also holds a a B.A., cum laude, from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and an M.P.A. from California State University-Long Beach.
Prior to joining the Akron Law faculty in 1998, she clerked for Judge Ferdinand F. Fernandez on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and was an attorney for Covington & Burling and Neighborhood Legal Services in Washington, D.C.
Tracy's publications include numerous articles and essays on equitable remedies, and she is newly a co-editor of Remedies: Public and Private (West, forthcoming 5th ed.). Much of her scholarship forms a part of the nascent field of women's legal history, about which she guest-posts below. Among Tracy's current research projects is a book, under contract with New York University Press, entitled Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Feminist Foundations of Family Law. Not surprisingly, she chooses to dedicate her guest-post below to her research subject. Stanton (prior IntLawGrrls posts) is depicted below in 1856 as she holds 1 of her daughters, Harriot. (credit)
Tracy writes that
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a formidable intellect, whose holistic concepts of gender equity enabled her to envision individual, collective, and systemic change. She was able to articulate legal philosophies that are much of the basis of our work today. She did all of this while mothering (single-handedly) seven children. Her radical ideas led to her historical ostracization even though it was she at the time, rather than her colleague, Susan B. Anthony, who was the familiar national figure.
Today Stanton joins other honorees (albeit, we note, not yet Anthony) on the list of IntLawGrrls' transnational foremothers just below our "visiting from ..." map at right.

Heartfelt welcome!

On women's legal history

(My thanks to IntLawGrrls for this opportunity to guest-post.)

Women's legal history in the United States is developing as a new and exciting field that provides alternative perspectives on legal issues both past and present. Feminist legal history seeks to examine both the ways in which law historically has informed women's rights and how feminist discourse has shaped the law.
A recent symposium edition of the Akron Law Review provides a sampling of the promising work underway in this nascent field. The articles found in that edition originate from a 2007 conference entitled “The New Face of Women’s Legal History” and held at the University of Akron School of Law’s Constitutional Law Center. (photo credit) As summarized in my introduction to the conference, the papers include explorations of the gendered origins of nuisance law, the feminization of criminal “problem-solving” courts, the use of trust and estates law to free Southern slave women, and the assertion of public citizenship by mixed-race women. In their articles the authors -- Professors Felice Batlan (Chicago-Kent), Mae C. Quinn (Tennessee), Bernie D. Jones (Suffolk), and Taunya Lovell Banks (Maryland) (prior IntLawGrrls post) -- draw upon the active scholarship in women’s history that may be found in the academic traditions of law, history, women’s studies, and political science.
Additional research on the broader picture of U.S. feminist legal history is being published in Feminist Legal History: Women’s Agency in the Law, a collection that I am editing along with T.J. Boisseau (below right), my colleague in Akron's Department of History. Contributing authors to this book employ the core theme -- women's use of the law for feminist discourse -- in a variety of historical contexts to reframe and illuminate such topics as: women's rights in the family; women's participation in the military; and women's role in legal activism in social justice movements.
Chapters explore women in in a variety of contexts, such as:
► marriage,
► anti-miscegenation cases,
► labor,
► temperance,
► tort law,
► suffrage,
► problem-solving courts,
► sexual harassment, and
► legal aid organizations.
Women’s historical engagement with the law is thus revealed. The collective story is one of agency, of the ability of women to gain active control over their lives and social circumstances. Rather than remaining passive as the law decided for them, or ignored their experiences and realities, women took the law into their own hands and acted affirmatively for their own benefit and for the benefit of a larger social justice. Even as the legal rules established barriers to women’s equality and denied women public and political rights, women continued to appeal to the legal process as a venue for change. They asserted their rights, demanded new legal responses to their lived experiences, and integrated their gendered notions of justice into an unwelcoming system.
Feminist legal history offers a pragmatic, or “applied,” scholarship to feminist legal studies. It is concerned with the personal, private experiences of women. Like other feminist legal theory projects it is -- to quote this apt description of the work of Martha Fineman (prior IntLawGrrls posts) -- “born of the world, responding to real lives and needs, reflecting the law and society tradition of reasoning from the world to law.” This kind of “applied legal scholarship” seeks to make history directly relevant to modern legal discourse, with the hope it will impact future changes in the law that are responsive to the lived realities of women.

On March 31

On this day in ...
... 1917, the Caribbean isles known then as the Danish West Indies and today as the Virgin Islands were formally transferred to the United States, in exchange for "a U.S. payment to Denmark of $25,000,000 in gold coin." The islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix remain part of the United States to this day.
... 1938, the eldest of what would be 3 daughters was born into "a non-political family in Punjab’s Kapurthala district." The eldest became active in politics following her marriage, and represented India at the U.N. Commission on Status of Women from 1984 to 1989. Since 1998 Sheila Dikshit (left) has served as Chief Minister, or Mayor, of Delhi, India; she also represents her area in her country's legislative assembly.

(Prior March 31 posts are here and here.)

Go On! Women in Africa & Reproductive Rights

(Go On! is an occasional item on symposia of interest) On Friday, 3 April 2009, the Washington and Lee School of Law Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice is sponsoring a symposium on "Reproductive and Sexual Health and the African Women's Protocol."
The conference focuses on the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa ("Maputo Protocol") and its implications for the health of women and girls.
Panels address such issues as declining access to health services for women, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, violence against women, the health impact of harmful traditional and modern practices, abortion, and overall sexual health.
Check out the full program and the stellar line-up of panelists from Africa and the Americas here.

Päivitystä blogiin

Laitoin näkyviin listan muutamasta hyvästä valokuvaukseen liittyvästä blogista tuonne oikeaan reunaan. 

Online: Soldier Studies

The editors of Soldier Studies are honored to present, over the next 10 months, a series of articles written by some of the leading historians and authors on the American Civil War. The focus of this series are the soldiers themselves. Though they suffered great hardships, endured battle and fatigue, through it all they left behind for posterity a wealth of correspondences and reflections that have helped historians reconstruct what it was like to have been a soldier in the American Civil War. It is our hope that this series makes a respectable contribution to the study of soldiers and their experiences. - Chris Wehner, Curator & Founder, SoldierStudies.org.

November 2008: The Blue and the Gray in Black and White: Assessing the Scholarship on Civil War Soldiers, Aaron Sheehan-Dean

Aaron Sheehan-Dean is an associate professor of history at the University of North Florida. He is the author of Why Confederates Fought: Family and Nation in Civil War Virginia and the Concise Historical Atlas of the U.S. Civil War and the editor of The View From the Ground: Experiences of Civil War Soldiers and Struggle for a Vast Future: The American Civil War.

December 2008: How Men Feel in Battle, S.H.M. Byers

S.H.M. Byers was a member of the 5th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment and wrote several articles about his experiences after the war. Byers' insights and descriptions of combat are visceral and poignant, and honest and straightforward. This selection is perhaps one of the best contributions from a soldier of the great conflict concerning what soldiers felt, didn't feel, and how they survived the mental and physical horrors of battle.

January 2009: “With a Trembling Hand and an Aching Heart" Letters of Notification of Death and Condolence, Mark Dunkelman

Mark H. Dunkelman is the author of Brothers One and All: Esprit de Corps in a Civil War Regiment and other books on the 154th New York. An artist, writer, and musician as well, he lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

February 2009: Ten Questions with Lance J. Herdegen, Chris Wehner

Lance Herdegen is the former director of the Institute of Civil War Studies at Carroll University, Lance Herdegen was an award winning journalist. He is currently a historical consultant for the Civil War Museum of the Upper Middle West. He is the author of numerous articles and books, among them, Four Years with the Iron Brigade: The Civil War Journal of William Ray and most recently Those Damned Black Hats: The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign. He took time from his busy schedule to e-chat about his latest book, Those Damned Blackhats! The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign, published by Savas Beatie, LLC. - Chris Wehner is author of 11th Wisconsin in the Civil War: A Regimental History, published by McFarland & Co. and he teaches classes online at the (i) History Network.

March 2009: Studying Civil War Soldiers: The State of the Art and Science, Michael Barton

Michael Barton is currently Professor of American Studies and Social Science at Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg. He is the author of Goodmen: The Character of Civil War Soldiers and co-editor, with Prof. Larry M. Logue, of The Civil War Soldier and The Civil War Veteran
Text Source: Soldier Studies

Extradition silly season

For the 3d time in a month The New York Times has disserved readers interested in matters pertaining to international or transnational criminal law.
1st there was the uncritical puff piece on the unprecedented anonymity of the newly sworn-in bench of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
Then there was the uncritical call for unilateral air strikes against Sudan, without any consideration of whether international law might forbid the United States or any state from engaging in such use of force.
And now there is yesterday's uncritical story on Spain and 6 Bush Administration lawyers.
This IntLawGrrl had decided the day before the Times story appeared to write nothing on this at this time, for the reason that a close read of the Spanish media on which the story is based revealed little more than a leak of a trial balloon -- a tentative signal that a criminal investigation might be opened respecting these lawyers' involvement in U.S. interrogation abuses post-9/11. Unless things have changed radically in 2 days, Spain seems far from indicting anyone. The New York Times nonetheless chose to publish the names and photographs (perhaps better described as mugshots, given the nature of the photos chosen) of all 6.
But it's not that choice that galls. What galls is the 1st clause of paragraph 23 of the Times 25-paragraph story:

The United States, however, would be expected to ignore an extradition request for former officials, ....
This declaration, made without attribution -- without even the feint of an unnamed source -- is legal nonsense.
Extradition is a treaty-based process by which 2 nation-states promise to hand over fugitives upon request; this statement of promise in the U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty is typical:

Obligation to Extradite
The Parties agree to extradite to each other, pursuant to the provisions of this Treaty, persons sought by the authorities in the Requesting State for trial or punishment for extraditable offenses.

Not every request will result in extradition, however. Such treaties often are quite detailed, and conditions for extradition vary from treaty to treaty. I have been unable to locate the text of the original and supplementary U.S.-Spain extradition treaties online. Still, certain common restrictions might well be part of the U.S.-Spain framework. For instance:
Double criminality: The offense for which the fugitive (called the "relator") is sought must have been, at the time it was allegedly committed, a felony under the laws of both countries.
Specialty: If extradited, the relator may be tried in the requesting country only for offenses properly named in the extradition request.
Political Offense: In some treaties, extradition will be blocked if the underlying offense is of a political nature.
Double Jeopardy/Ne Bis in Idem: There will be no extradition if the relator already has been tried for the same offense.
Hearing: The requested state typically will consider the relator's challenges to extradition, not only on factors like those above, but also on fundamental due process concerns, such as whether the person in custody is in fact the person sought for extradition, and whether the requesting state's statement of the bases for suspecting the relator of the stated offense is sufficient. In the United States such additional conditions are spelled out at Title 18, ch. 209 of the U.S. Code.
If the requesting state fails to meet all the requirements agreed upon in the extradition treaty and law, the requested state is fully justified in refusing the request.
Such a refusal, however, would fall far short of "ignoring" an extradition request, for it would have come after examination of the matter at hand; that is, only after the state had discharged its obligations under the extradition treaty to give due consideration both to its treaty partner's request for extradition and to the relator's challenges to same.
For the Times to suggest that the United States would do anything less evinces a lack of understanding about the law and casts innuendo where none is yet warranted.

On March 30

On this day in ...
... 1999 (10 years ago), reports were that Kosovo was in dire straits. Typical was a report for the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, which stated that: "All relief organizations have evacuated Kosovo at this time, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), which had remained in Kosovo after the NATO bombing campaign" against Serbia began on March 24; that "[o]ver 100,000 people have been displaced from Kosovo since March 24"; and that surrounding areas, such as Albania and Macedonia, and even as far away as Bulgaria and Turkey, had swelled with Kosovar refugees.
... 2001, the administration of President George W. Bush "notified state Medicaid directors that Medicaid funds could not be used to cover RU-486, the so-called abortion pill, except in cases involving rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger."

(Prior March 30 posts are here and here.)

Closing Guantánamo: Legal and Policy Issues

It was a pleasure to see so many Int’l L Grrls (and their readers) at the American Society of International Law Annual Meeting this weekend. A couple of us will be offering "reports" from the conference. Here, I’ll present a summary of one of the more eagerly awaited panels on “Closing Guantánamo: Legal and Policy Issues" chaired by Bobby Chesney (Wake Forest). The panelists were David Glazier (Loyola of L.A.), Deborah Pearlstein (Princeton), Joanne Mariner (Human Rights Watch), and Glenn Sulmasy (U.S. Coast Guard Academy). A discussion of the crux of the problem of detention in non-international armed conflicts going forward will appear in a subsequent post. (Apologies if I jhave mischaracterized anyone’s position; clarifications welcome).

Chesney introduced the panel by describing the two executive-order task forces currently at work on detainee issues.
  • One is reviewing detainee files case-by-case with an eye toward reaching individualized dispositions.
  • The other will take a longer perspective and attempt to devise a detainee policy for the future.
In the meantime, the administration has been forced to take positions (see post here) in habeas cases pending in federal courts (see post here).

Prof. Glazier (right) emphasized that the decision to close GTMO was the easy part; the “how” is where the challenge lies. Glazier identified three potential outcomes:
  1. release,
  2. prosecute (or transfer for prosecution), or
  3. continue to detain.
Of the 240 or so detainees, about 60 men have already been cleared for release. In his estimation, about 80 individuals might still qualify as “high value,” but it is likely that most are minor functionaries along the lines of Salim Hamdan. Federal courts represent the only place to credibly prosecute individuals for whom there is sufficient evidence. Anything short of an Article III process will be perceived as a shortcut. Glazier raised concerns about the transfer paradigm: if the United States can’t fairly prosecute them here (for lack of admissible evidence or viable substantive charges), then it is unlikely other states could either. To transfer detainees for prosecution would put the detainees at risk of further detention without trial or of sham proceedings that might violate international human rights protections.

He acknowledged that some subset of detainees cannot be tried (because any evidence against them was obtained by torture or mistreatment, any crime for which they might be tried was enacted after they acted, or because there is simply no or inadequate evidence available against them) but remain dangerous. For this group, the U.S. should establish a preventive detention regime that is based on the law of war (to which GTMO doesn’t come close to complying). This paradigm must reflect the model of a communal camp setting with access to the outside world, etc.

Deborah Pearlstein (right) emphasized that the problem of what to do with GTMO is to a certain degree sui generis, because our options are informed and limited by what we’ve already done (which includes the commission of acts of torture, incommunicado detention, removal from battlefield, the failure to hold GC III Art. 5 hearings, etc.). For these individuals, there may be no good options available, so we’re left to sort through the “less bad” options. In so doing, we should attempt to do as little violence to international law as possible. This process of resolving GTMO should be cabined off from the larger problem of defining a detention process going forward; we can’t let the hard case of GTMO make permanent bad law or policy for the future.
Taking off on Glazier’s three categories of detainee, Pearlstein noted that the individuals slated for release represent a diplomatic, rather than a legal, problem. Many of these individuals may not be able to be sent home because of widely-shared treaty obligations under the Refugee or Torture Conventions. For those individuals who might have been prosecutable, there were more options available upon capture (courts martial, legitimate and lawful military commissions). Now, we’re left with federal courts as the only legitimate option.

For those who present security risks and might need to be further detained, the law of war may not provide any affirmative authority to detain individuals (either combatants or civilians who directly participated in hostilities) who were captured either in the context of a non-international armed conflict (NIAC) or outside of a conflict situation entirely (such as in Zambia). In addition, the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) may not constitute sufficient domestic authority to detain these individuals. Thus, we would need express domestic authority in the form of new legislation to continue to detain them.

One positive outcome of the recent Obama administration filing beyond the welcome demise of the "enemy combatant" nomenclature is the good faith statement that the Administration intends to be in compliance with IHL. IHL quite clear and detailed on what detention authority exists in IACs. This, however, brings into sharp focus the need to look closely at the nature of the authority to continue to detain GTMO and other detainees given that the law governing NIAC provides no treaty-based authority to detain, on the presumption that domestic claw would provide the necessary authority outside of a state-to-state conflict where international law would be necessary.

Anticipating arguments by Commander Sulmasy, Pearlstein opposed the establishment of any separate national security court on the grounds that such a system won’t solve the GTMO problem and could never be established in time, given the legal challenges that would inevitably follow. She referenced a Human Rights First study demonstrating that the federal courts are sufficiently flexible to handle terrorism cases.

Commander Sulmasy (left) emphasized that even when we resolve the GTMO cases, there are hundreds of detainees at Bagram Air Base whose lawyers are also attempting to get into the U.S. court system. We still have not yet fully resolved the question of whether the situation with Al Qaeda is an armed conflict or a law enforcement problem or some hybrid of the two. The typical Al Qaeda member is part-international criminal, part-warrior.

Although he was thin on details, Commander Sulmasy advocated a hybrid national security court that would combine aspects of the military commission scheme as it was originally conceived (to dispense rapid justice) and Article III courts. (Sulmasy conceded that the military commissions, which should have begun trials in 2003, never achieved their intended purposes and that his support for the existing system eroded over time). This might involve proceedings that would be closed to the public (but not the detainee). This would not constitute preventative detention, as the process would be an adjudicative one rather than an adaptation of the Combatant Status Review tribunal system. Sulmasy questioned the ability of Article III courts to deal with terrorists and unprivileged combatants, noting that many of the terrorism cases reported on to date preceded 9-11.

Joanne Mariner (left) agreed that the immediate decision to close GTMO represented a meaningful break with the most reviled of the many unsavory Bush Administration policies. She was concerned, however, that some of the solutions being put forward are—and will be perceived to be—mere tinkering with the existing machinery. (She specifically noted the Obama Administration’s deliberate use of the term “refining” in its pronouncements). This, she emphasized, will not fool our European allies or the Muslim world for that matter, which may actually be the most important audience to convince that we’re genuinely changing our approach to fighting terrorism. In her estimation, we need the Muslim world’s support to fight terrorism effectively. In this regard, Mariner was disappointed in the most recent filing in the detainee litigation which, while it rejected the rhetoric of the Bush administration and laid to rest the controversial and unsupported term “enemy combatant”, resulted in only a slight modification to the Bush approach to preventative detention in practical effect.

With respect to the detainee categories, those who have been implicated in crimes should be prosecuted. The federal courts have already demonstrated that they are capable of this and may, indeed, have been overly harsh in certain terror cases (e.g., Padilla). The indictment of al Marri was an encouraging sign that President Obama has put some faith in the federal court system to deal with these cases.
Of the persons who cannot be tried and should be released, there is the concern that many of the GTMO conditions will be replicated overseas. Human Rights Watch researchers, for example, interviewed high government officials in Yemen, who implied that the Bush Administration had sought to create a proxy detention regime there with only a thin veneer of rehabilitation. In order to convince our allies in Europe to help us resettle these individuals, we’re going to have to set good faith example and accept some of these individuals into the United States. Immediately resettling the Uighurs, for example, would have jump started resettlement negotiations with Europe.

In terms of the problem of characterizing the current situation, Mariner noted that the Bush Administration capitalized on ambiguity between the formal war in Afghanistan and the so-called “global war on terror.” She noted that although NATO passed a resolution endorsing a military response to 9/11 (one that was focused on Afghanistan just as the AUMF), the UN Resolutions subsequent to the attacks all have Al Qaeda in mind and call for traditional law enforcement responses with no reference to war rhetoric. Indeed, Mariner noted that many of our closest allies have argued that applying a war paradigm to the global terrorism challenge is counter-productive and feeds into perception of the Muslim world that this is a war on Islam.

The rest of the panelists opposed Commander Sulmasy’s proposal for any sort of a national security court. Glazier acknowledged that terrorists have dual characteristics (criminal/warrior), but queried whether we need new law and institutions to bridge this gap. Depending on the circumstances, we can freely choose between existing bodies of law to respond to dangerous individuals, as long as we faithfully adhere to domestic and international legal standards. He is concerned that national security courts will inevitably involve departures from core due process protections that we hold dear out of mere expediency. Otherwise, why would we need them? He is also concerned that if we make arguments about why we need such courts based on the difficulty of invoking standard criminal law processes, it will be too easy to expand this “special” process to other “tough cases,” such as drug smugglers and organized crime members.

On the question of whether we need a more formal preventative detention regime, Pearlstein noted that many human rights organizations do not categorically oppose security detention. (Indeed, it is affirmatively authorized in the 4th Geneva Convention for non-combatants who post security risks). The question remains: is such a system sensible as a matter of US policy and counter-terrorism strategy? This requires a consideration of whom we are talking about preventively detaining. Where people are apprehended engaging in violent acts, they can be prosecuted for such crimes as providing material support for terrorism, even if the acts in question were committed extraterritorially. So, any preventative detention regime would likely be used for mere members of dangerous groups for whom there is insufficient evidence that they actually did anything. Detaining and thus incapacitating a marginally low-level and expendable Al Qaeda member will serve some minor specific deterrent effect. If we detain too many of his brethren, however, it might also risk radicalizing his inevitable replacements. The long-term strategic rationale for such a system is questionable.

CWL---Gettysburg Battlewalks: Herbst Woods, A Witness To Courage

Gettysburg Battlewalks: Herbst Woods, Scott Hartwig, Pennsylvania Cable Network, DVD format, 2 hours 25 minutes, 2006, $19.95.

Herbst’s Woods, popularly but inaccurately known as McPherson’s Woods, are a part of the 160 acre John Herbst farm. The northern boundary of the woods is also the southern boundary of the McPherson farm and the McPherson buildings are closer than the Herbst buildings. The western boundary of the woods is Willoughby Creek and the eastern boundary is the crest of McPherson Ridge. The wood lot during the battle consisted of about 18 acres of trees but no underbrush. Visibility in the woods was about 100 yards. Farm animals grazed through the woods and kept it clear of most vegetation and low hanging branches. The woods contained heavy fighting between the Federal Iron Brigade and the Confederate brigades of Archer, and elements of Brockenbrough’s and Pettigrew’s brigades. It also contains the location of the death of Federal Corps commander Reynolds. The 26th North Carolina and 151st Pennsylvania fought each other here.

Scott Hartwig's GNMP Anniversary Battlewalk 2006 was attended by about 300, including CWL who leaves his physical graffitti on many minutes of the film. As on that day, CWL viewed the DVD with McElfresh's watercolor map in his hands. Based on Cope's map, McElfresh's maps have the tree and fence lines, the farm buildings and crops clearly marked. The elevation lines are simple and shown by green hash marks. Among Hartwig's many fine tours, the 2006 Herbst Woods tour ranks very high in clarity of both units' arrivals and movements on the field and human interest details of the soldiers. The Harmom Farm woods and wheatfiels , through which the Confederate assault came is now (or was until January 2009) the Gettysburg Country Club. Archer's, Brockenbrough's, Pettigrew's and Fry's assaults upon the Iron Brigade and the 151st Pennsylvania of the Biddle's brigade. The 26th North Carolina and the 151st Pennyslvania met in the east section of Herbst's Woods; that fact was the basis for a 2008 Gettysburg Licenced Battlefield Guide Exam question.

Hartwig covers numerous accounts of verbal command orders, flag losses, color gaurd losses in the words of the soldiers themselves. He sets forth both the command and control issues of the engagement in Herbst's Woods as well as the testing of individuals' courage. It was a fine 2006 battle anniversary morning and it made a fine PCN Battlewalk dvd.

Image Source: Daughters of the 24th Michigan

France called on the rights-of-the-child carpet

France is famous for its bureaucracy. For decades, records were kept on oversized index cards called fiches (photo credit), which come in pretty pastel shades of green, blue, yellow and pink, as well as the ubiquitous white. And unlike the oh-so-scholastic lines one finds on index cards in the US, the standard French fiche has a neat scientific grid. Bureaucratic fiches, however, resemble disembarcation cards, with little boxes to check or fill in with specific information. I filled out 2 every year my daughter was in elementary school: one with medical information in case of an emergency, and one with general contact information. I never could understand why we had to fill them out every year - you'd think it would be simpler (and more ecological) to request that parents submit new ones only if any information had changed. Well, in its search for greater efficiency, the National Education Ministry switched in 2004 to an electronic database (middle schools and high schools began using one in 1995). Good-bye tedious little green cards, hello Big Brother! Or at least, that's how some parents and teachers feel about it. And they've been able to convince the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child they are not simply paranoid: France must explain to the Committee before April 6 "what public service purpose is served" by maintaining a database at the national level that contains among its 50 elements not only students' names, but also their nationality, year of arrival in France, medical and psychological history, and handicap. France will also have to explain why parents do not enjoy the right to oppose having such information appear in the database, or what the consequences of refusing to provide the information are. Never before was such information kept by the Education Ministry, whose business is education, not administration. Instead, the local town hall kept the rolls of who was enrolled in school and who was not, the schools kept scholastic records, and that was that. Many parents and teachers think this is just as it should be. But the new database is managed by the Education Ministry; the local town hall may consult only portions of it.
While none of us like the idea that our names are on a blacklist somewhere, the French have a particularly strong reaction to what's called fichage (being on a fiche) and, more recently, flicage (being watched or at least kept track of by the cops; from flic, a slang word for policeman). The preoccupation with nominative, rather than anonymous, administrative databases stems from the fichage of Jews and other "undesirables" and their subsequent rounding up for deportation to concentration camps during WWII. The concern is particularly strong with respect to school children, because at least some of those shipped off to the camps were denounced by their teachers (credit photo left of a typical plaque commemorating deported schoolchildren). Two other concerns are grounded in recent events that pose a more immediate threat than does a new occupation of France. One, the database could help the administration identify and round up illegal immigrants or, as in the case of Jaya's post Friday, the parents of child citizens. Two, the idea was recently circulated that a child's future as a delinquent can be determined as early as age 3, if not before. Since French children begin school at age 3 (nursery schools are public), the database could be used to peg kids as future criminals. These concerns have led some teachers to boycott the database despite sanctions including salary reductions, and a group of parents and teachers, joined by the International Federation of Human Rights, has brought lawsuits to try to have the law instituting the database abrogated. So far they've been unsuccessful. It will be interesting to see what the UN has to say.

On March 29

On this day in ...
... 1970, Dr. Anna Louise Strong (right) died in Communist China, where she had moved in 1958, at age 72, and had become "one of few Westerners to gain the admiration of Mao Tse-tung." She had been born in Friend, Nebraska, to "middle-class liberals who were active in missionary work and the Congregational Church." After earning a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago at age 23, she became active in child welfare and labor movements, 1st in Chicago and then in Seattle. She was elected the latter city's only woman school board member in 1916. The same year the New York Post hired her to cover a bloody labor dispute in her home state between the Industrial Workers of the World, or Wobblies, and mill owners. She would go on to become a radical writer and pacifist, traveling 1st to the Soviet Union and eventually to the People's Republic of China.
... 1849 (160 years ago today), just over 2 weeks after the Sikh army had surrendered to it, Britain's East India Company "annexed" the Punjab (left) and rendered it a province of British India, by concluding a treaty with the maharajah of Lahore. (credit for 1909 map)

(Prior March 29 posts are here and here.)

Klassikko käyttökokeilussa

Kameran omistajia on kahdenlaisia, kuvaajia ja keräilijöitä. Kuvaajat ottavat valokuvia ja nauttivat valokuvien katselusta. Kerääjät puolestaan ostavat kameroita, mutta kuvaamisen ja kuvien katselun sijaan katselevat kameroita tai valokuvia kameroista.

Olen aina ollut kuvaajatyyppiä, mutta täytyy myöntää, että kaikenlaiset mekaaniset esineet kiinnostavat minua ja siten myös kamerat. Kuvauskalustoni haluan pitää mahdollismman yksinkertaisena, koska mielestäni se helpottaa kuvaamistani. En ole koskaan keräillyt kameroita vitriiniin, vaikka vuosien saatossa minulle onkin kertynyt muutama vanha kamera.

Nyt olen kuitenkin alkanut katsella keräilymielessä vanhoja Nikkor-objektiiveja, koska uusien Nikon D700 kameroideni kanssa voin käyttää myös vanhoja Nikkoreita. Keräilijöille ja hienojen esineiden ihailijoille valmistetaan upeita käsitarkenteisia objektiiveja Japanissa Zeissin toimeksiannosta, mutta Nikonistin kannattaa ilman muuta hankkia alkuperäisiä Nikoniin tarkoitettuja objektiiveja. 

Käsitarkenteiset Nikkorit ovat mekaaniselta rakenteeltaan aivan yhtä hienoja kuin mitkä tahansa muutkin objektiivit. Muovia ei ole pahemmin käytetty ja rakenteellinen ylivoimaisuus on käsin kosketeltavaa. Herää kuitenkin kysymys, että onko optinen laatu nykyisten digikameroiden tasalla?

Omistan yhden perinteisen Nikkorin, 35 mm f/1.4 AIS, joka edusti aikoinaan Nikonin parasta osaamistaja oli myös ensimmäinen näin valovoimainen 35 mm objektiivi. Suunnittelussa Nikonin insinöörit pistivät osaamisensa peliin, jotta kompakti koko olisi säilynyt. Tulos onkin hyvä, sillä tämä objektiivi on suhteellisen pieni ja suodinkierre on 52 mm, joka oli aikanaan Nikonin vakiokoko. 

Olen valottanut tällaisella samanlaisella objektiivilla kymmeniätuhansia filmiruutuja 80-luvulla ja silloin tuntui, että täydellä aukolla toisto oli pehmeää, mutta hieman himmennettynä optinen suorituskyky oli erinomainen. Kuvasin yleensä aukolla 2, koska täydellä aukolla tarkennuksen saaminen kohdalleen pienen syväterävyysalueen vuoksi oli haastavaa.

Digikameroiden aikanakin tämä klassikko jättää suorituskyvyllään monet tämän päivän muoviobjektiivit toiseksi. Piirto on erittäin hyvä jo täydellä aukolla reunoille asti, mutta kuvan nurkat ovat pehmeät. Paras terävyys nurkkiin asti tulee aukolla 8, mutta suurin osa kuvasta on terävimmillään jo aukolla 2.8. Kontrasti sen sijaan on melko puhditon täydellä aukolla, mutta sekin tukevoituu aukolle 2.8 himmentäessä. Täydellä aukolla kirkkaat valopisteet hajoavat kuvan reunoilla, mutta parin aukon himmennys auttaa tähänkin. 

Digikameralla toisto on mielestäni jopa parempi kuin filmillä, tai oikeastaan parempaan lopputulokseen on filmiä helpompi päästä, koska kuvaa voi säätää perinteistä vedostamista monipuolisemmin ja objektiivin virheitä voi halutessaan korjailla.

Nikkor 35 mm f/1.4 on karismaattinen objektiivi, joka oikein käytettynä palkitsee hienoilla kuvilla. Nykyajan automaattikameroiden aikana tällaiset klassikot ovat parhaimmillaan rauhallisessa kuvaamisessa, koska käsin tarkentaminen ei uusilla kameroilla ole helppoa. Tilannekuvaamisen ajattelin suosiolla unohtaa samoin kuin työkeikoilla kuvaamisen. Henkilökohtaisiin kuvausprojekteihin sen sijaan löydän klassikkonikkorille paljonkin kohteita.

Käsitarkenteisia Nikkoreita saa vieläkin sekä uutena että käytettynä erittäin hyvin. Hintataso vaihtelee, mutta onneksi tarjonta on runsasta eikä ensimmäistä tyrkyllä olevaa käytettyä tarvitse ostaa.

Yllä muutama Nikkor 35 mm f/1.4 objektiivilla kuvattu otos. Mustavalkokuva on jostakin 80-luvun puolivälin tienoilta ja muut ovat eilen kuvattuja. Etolakuvassa linssiin satoi lunta, joka aiheuttaa omituisia heijastuksia. 

The Forthcoming Complete Gettysburg Guide Is On Facebook

The Complete Gettysburg Guide book has a Facebook page.
Here's the link.

Here's a map posted there. Looks clear and sharp. CWL likes: the clock in the upper right hand corner, the 1863 fence lines, wood lines, and farm buildings. The scale is marked in 500 and 1000 feet and that's a nice feature to use at home. Quibble: the Wentz house is not show but it is in the middle of the 2nd New Hampshire's line, showing and labeling the house might clutter the map; but on the other hand the Staub house is shown and it is usually left off most other books' maps. There are 70 maps like in The Complete Gettysburg Guide.

When taking anniversary tours of the battlefield with NPS rangers CWL 's cargo pants' pockets carry the Friend's Maps, McElfresh Watercolor Maps and the Trailhead map. Hopefully The Complete Gettysburg Guide will fit in the wide side pockets, because it looks like it will be travelling on the battlefield with me.

Proposals: Organizations for Indigenous Women and Girls

Upcoming deadline: Wednesday, 8 April 2009, 5 p.m.

The Tides Foundation's Indigenous People's Fund is inviting grant applications specifically targeted to organizations that work for indigenous women and girls.
The Tides request for proposals (RFP) calls for “ general operating proposals from indigenous organizations working to preserve and enhance the rights, health, safety, and education of women and girls in native communities.”
(Logo above: UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples).
Grants range from $15,000 to $40,000 each. Check out further information and application materials here, but act quickly—proposals are due by April 8!

On March 28

On this day in ...
... 1979 (30 years ago today), about 10 miles southeast of Pennsylvania's capital, Harrisburg, "a water pump broke down at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant," releasing "radioactive steam" into the atmosphere. "[D]escribed as the worst ever at an American nuclear generating plant," the accident initially was said not to endanger workers or area residents -- even though dozens of workers at the plant (left) were contaminated. According to the BBC, "Research released in 2002 showed incidences of cancer in the area were not significantly higher than elsewhere."
... 2003, fewer than 2 weeks after a U.S.-led coalition invaded Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1472, which extended the U.N. "oil for food" program by 45 days "to facilitate the delivery and receipt of goods contracted by the Government of Iraq for the humanitarian needs of its people."

(Prior March 28 posts are here and here.)

Hienoja kuvia!

Meikäläisellä on ollut jälleen pientä puuhaa, mutta tänne blogiin on tulossa tavaraa. Ei huolta siis.

Sillä välin odotellessa katso täältä ihan älyttömän hienoja kuvareppareita. Sivun oikeassa reunassa "photographic essays". 

Forthcoming In May---The Complete Gettysburg Guide For Walking and Driving the Battlefield

The Complete Gettysburg Guide: Walking And Driving Tours of the Battlefield, Town, Cemeteries, Field Hospital Sites, and other Topics of Historical Interest by J. David Petruzzi and Steven Stanley, Savas Beatie Publishing, 320 pages, 70 maps, photographs, index, bibliography, $39.95.

The Complete Gettysburg Guide is the first and only of its kind - this scholarly full-color book contains complete walking and driving tours of the June 26 skirmishes, the entire battlefield (much more than the park's auto tour provides), East Cavalry Field, the battles of Hunterstown and Fairfield, the National Cemetery and Evergreen Cemetery, the field hospital sites, and even a special tour of all the known rock carvings on the battlefield. Written by noted Gettysburg scholar J. David Petruzzi, the book features the beautiful photography and maps of Steven Stanley, widely acclaimed for his cartographic work for the Civil War Preservation Trust and "America's Civil War" magazine. Even GPS coordinates for many outlying stops and spots are included, making this guide the easiest to use.

Table of Contents

Introduction by J. David Petruzzi and Steven Stanley
Foreword by Eric A. Campbell, Gettysburg National Military Park Ranger/Historian
Helpful Hints for using the Guide
Overview of the Battle and Campaign of Gettysburg
Tour of the Marsh Creek skirmish and Witmer Farm skirmish, June 26, 1863
Tour of the First Day of the Battle of Gettysburg
Tour of the Second and Third Day of the Battle of Gettysburg
Tour of the July 2 fight at Brinkerhoff's Ridge and July 3 battle at East Cavalry Field
Tour of the July 2 battle of Hunterstown
Tour of the July 3 battle of Fairfield
Tour of Historical Sites in the town of Gettysburg
Tour of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg
Tour of Gettysburg's Evergreen Cemetery
Tour of Rock Carvings on the battlefield
Tour of Field Hospital sites

Text Source: The Complete Gettysburg Guide

CWL: A copy is on pre-order at Amazon.com and CWL will immediately open the box when it comes. Though CWL winces at any media with the words 'Complete' or 'Definitive' in the titles, it is likely that this book will be the best of its kind to date and will probably be essential to those aspiring to take the Gettysburg licensed battlefield guide exam.

The Best Interests of All Children

March has seen serious and thorough studies on underreported aspects of the mistreatment of immigrants in the U.S. Last week, I blogged on recent coverage of violations of the reproductive rights of immigrant women in detention. This week, my topic is the devastating effects that contemporary immigration law and policies can have on children of undocumented immigrant parents (about which I've also blogged here and here). The law firm Dorsey & Whitney published this week a painstakingly researched report, Severing a Lifeline: The Neglect of Citizen Children in America's Immigration Enforcement Policy detailing the barriers to family unity created by immigration law and the impact of immigration raids and other harsh enforcement policies on citizen children. They tell the paradigmatic story of one young boy affected by the raids:
Miguel (a pseudonym) was a second-grade student attending elementary school in Worthington, Minnesota. His mother, an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, was employed at the Swift & Company plant in Worthington. Miguel was described by his teacher as a “happy little boy,” making real progress in school ... until December 12, 2006. On that day, armed agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) raided the Swift plant in Worthington, detaining Miguel’s mother and more than 200 other immigrants who came to this rural community in southwestern Minnesota seeking a better life for themselves and their children. Returning home after school, Miguel discovered his mother and father missing, and his two-year-old brother alone.
For the next week, Miguel stayed at home caring for his brother, not knowing what had become of his parents. Not until a week after the raid, when his grandmother was able to make her way to Worthington to care for her frightened grandchildren, was Miguel able to return to school. According to his teacher, this previously “happy little boy” had become “absolutely catatonic.” His attendance became spotty at best. His grades plummeted. At the end of the school year, Miguel was not able to advance to the third grade with the rest of his class.
The report calls for a reassessment of immigration law to take into account the best interests of the child in determining whether to deport their parents. In an op-ed in Ms. magazine, Prof. Patricia Zavella (pictured right) presents a similar call for a feminist perspective on immigration reform -- one that would prioritize the unity of families and the best interests of children caught up in the inequities of immigration enforcement. The Child Citizen Protection Act, H.R. 182, would do just this by allowing immigration judges to weigh the best interests of the U.S. citizen children in their parents' removal hearings, authorizing judges to decline deportation where it would be clearly against the best interests of the child. The bill seems a quixotic hope, but the horror stories recounted in the Dorsey & Whitney report make it all too clear that our immigration system is shamefully broken and needs fixing before more innocent children are harmed.

On March 27

On this day in ...

... 1989 (10 years ago today), millions of Russians went to the polls for the 1st time in decades that they were permitted to vote for parliamentary candidates other than those endorsed by the Communist Party. Many Communists were turned out of office.

... 1924 (85 years ago today), Sarah Vaughan was born in Newark, New Jersey, to a father who was a carpenter and amateur guitarist and a mother who was a laundress and a church vocalist. Sarah began studying music and singing in church while still a child, and as an adult became a renowned jazz and pop vocalist. The woman nicknamed "Sassy" and "The Divine Sarah" died in 1990 in Los Angeles. In the 1965 video clip below, she sings " I Can't Give You Anything But Love" at a concert in Australia.

(Prior March 27 posts are here and here.)

Write On! Human trafficking conference

(Write On! is an occasional item about notable calls for papers.) Papers and poster presentations are sought for the 1st annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking: What We Know and What We Need to Know, to be held October 29-31, 2009, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Organizers intend to develop a research agenda by bringing together researchers from many disciplines, as well as persons from government and from nongovernmental organizations who have responsibility for anti-trafficking efforts.
Papers from disciplines such as the social sciences, economics and business, law, journalism, womens’ and gender studies, public health, math and statistics, and education are welcome, on topics that may include:
► Causes, routes and patterns, and the extent of the problem domestically and globally
► Successes and failures in combating human trafficking
► Corporate social responsibility
► Prostitution demand and human trafficking
► Illegal immigration, human smuggling, and human trafficking
► Corruption
► Finding, identifying, and rehabilitating victims
► Economic analyses
► Public awareness
► Organ trafficking
► Trafficking in children and adoption fraud
► Training anti-trafficking workers
► Analyses of existing and needed laws and of international cooperation and institutions
Abstracts are due soon, March 30, 2009, and should be sent to Roméo Guerra at rguerra2@unl.edu. Details about the conference, for which Dr. Kevin Bales (prior posts) will be the keynote speaker, are here; about paper and poster presentation submissions, here; about registration, here.

Bloggers Team