un • ru • ly – adjective, -li·er, li·est.
not submissive or conforming to rule; ungovernable; turbulent; intractable; refractory; lawless: an unruly class; an unruly wilderness. *
It’s like the bad old days of policing in the USA: bring in a suspect, interrogate him, and if he doesn’t say what you want, beat the crap out of him. And then charge him with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Pakistan’s President/General Musharraf has just done his own macro version of that. Order judges to rule the way he wants – regardless of what the law says – and when they won’t play along, declare a state of emergency, including over the court system. And say it’s because they were “unruly.”
According to BBC News:
The president, who is also head of the army, has said he declared the state of emergency because of a crisis caused by militant violence and an unruly judiciary.
Let’s see. His strong political opponent finally returns to the country and coincidentally somebody bombs the welcoming streets full of celebrating people – somebody whom Musharraf’s troops and tame secret police just couldn’t learn about and stop beforehand. Despite that ELEVEN BILLION US DOLLARS of “antiterrorist” aid Musharraf’s received from the Bush Administration since late 2001, there was this “militant violence.” Uh-huh.
And gosh, it must also just be a coincidence that the nation’s supreme court was about to issue a decision as to whether Musharraf’s re-election as President was voided by his failure to step aside as head of the armed forces as required by law. But, well my goodness, what with all that unruliness going on, there just wasn’t a minute to lose to slap down the court system after individual justices refused to be pushed around by Musharraf’s administration.
And don’t you just KNOW some of the farthest-out-there Bushies wish they could do the same thing to the United States courts? I would like to think it could never happen here.
I would also like to think that if it did, US lawyers would show the same courage and take it to the streets like our Pakistani counterparts.
Also, for the record, courtesy of the BBC, here’s a list of the “emergency” restrictions Musharraf has put in place:
Constitutional safeguards on life and liberty curtailed
Police get wide powers of arrest
Suspects can be denied access to lawyers
Freedom of movement restricted
Private TV stations taken off air
New rules curtail media coverage of suicide bombings or militant activity
Chief justice replaced, others made to swear oath of loyalty
Supreme Court banned from rescinding emergency order
Full BBC story here if the link above doesn’t work.
*”unruly.” Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1. Random House, Inc. 06 Nov. 2007.)http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/unruly