Fingerprint Debacle Shows Why We Need A Progressive White House
Progressives understand that basic rights like the freedom from self-incrimination and the right to a fair and speedy trial are necessary because prosecutors and the politicians who back them often make grave mistakes. For instance, back in 2004, after the bombing of trains in Madrid, the Justice Department took Brandon Mayfield, a Muslim lawyer from Oregon, prisoner for two weeks. The Justice Department publicly accused Mayfield of having left a fingerprint on a bag of detonators, even though the Spanish police informed the FBI that they had found a closer fingerprint match from an Algerian man suspected in the case.
The FBI admits that it willfully ignored that evidence because its investigators were convinced that Brandon Mayfield was guilty. That admission only came, however, with extreme public pressure on the FBI. These days, right wingers seem to believe that if someone is accused of connection to terrorism, the investigators and prosecutors could not have made a mistake. Progressives know better, and that’s reason number 60 in our growing list of reasons to elect a progressive President in 2008.
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