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May 2001, Week 1


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"Edward R. O'Neill" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 6 May 2001 19:22:44 -0400
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Mr. Wigger writes:

>[...] Panahi is demonstrating
> supreme arrogance to suggest he should be exempt from the laws.

Actually, by detaining Mr. Panahi on no grounds whatever--other than his
national origin--by depriving him of legal counsel, by trying to obtain
cooperation from him by means of force, it is the INS who fail to conduct
themselves in a means consistent not just with civil liberties granted both
to U.S. citizens and non-citizens but also with a sense of fairness and
justice which is not limited to narrow legalistic appeals to technical rules
and procedures.

If Mr. Panahi felt hurt, I am not surprised.  It is the INS's conduct which
I would characterize as "arrogant."

In a subsequent comment, Ms. Rosenblum acts as if Mr. Panahi did not have
his papers in order.  According to his report, he did.  Is the INS not
required to abide by their own procedures?  Or does having a valid visa and
passport merely constitute a precondition but not a guarantee of the right
to touch down on American soil for a few hours?  If so, then none of us can
count on the right to stay here for long.

As far as I understand, the legal system we have is binding not just for
those who live under it but also for those administering it.  That is the
crucial rupture between royal and constitutional sovereignty.

I wonder if these writers would feel the same way if they received this
treatment.  Since the Supreme Court recently decided that any U. S. citizen
can be handcuffed, taken to jail and held there, for any infraction no
matter how small, we all may get a chance to find out just how Mr. Panahi

Edward R. O'Neill

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