We’ve noted in this space the disturbing treatment of Susan Lindauer, cousin of former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card. She may be headed to a mental institution for the rest of her life, apparently because she’s made some embarrassing statements about the U.S. government’s policies vis-a-vis Iraq, Libya, and Syria.
Comes now from Cleveland of the story of Carol Fisher, another woman who finds herself facing forced medication:
Carol Fisher, a longtime peace activist and a volunteer at the local communist bookstore Revolution Books, has been found guilty. The 53-year-old, 5-foot-4, 130-pounder will be sentenced June 2 for the felonious assault of two Cleveland Heights police officers.
Fisher was hanging “World Can’t Wait, Bush Step Down” posters on Lee Road telephone poles January 28 when the officers pointed out to her that the city has a law against that. But when they asked for the ID she didn’t have, then grabbed her by the sleeve when she turned to pull down the illegal posters, the situation deteriorated to the point that two peace officers were holding the frightened woman on the sidewalk.
The activist’s supporters found the trial as outrageous as the arrest. “The judge [Timothy McGinty] would not allow any testimony except what the police were saying,” says Lee Thompson, who watched the arguments.
When the verdict was handed down last week, McGinty told Fisher he wanted her to see a psychiatrist.
What a judge wants, a judge gets.
Judge Timothy McGinty forcibly incarcerated Carol Fisher in the psych unit of the Cuyahoga County Jail in downtown Cleveland, where she now sits for an indefinite period of time.
In a hastily called hearing yesterday (May 8th), Judge McGinty made a highly unusual and outrageous decision to force Carol to undergo a state psychological exam as part of her pre-sentencing investigation. From the very start of Carol’s case, the judge has openly said that she must have mental problems for resisting an unlawful and brutal encounter with Cleveland Heights police.
He went even further in yesterday’s hearing, saying that her opposition to the Bush regime makes her “delusional.”
This isn’t just bizarre, it’s Dali-bizarre.
Just for the record, I disagree with Ms. Fisher’s politics. Communists are cut from the same cloth as fascists, they just won’t admit it. But it doesn’t change the issue at hand: We have entered a stage of American history in which the government can declare citizens insane (Susan Lindauer) or enemies of the state (Jose Padilla) and lock them up indefinitely without a trial or writ of habeas corpus.
Update: Carol Fisher was released late last night. I don’t know anything more, but she still faces three years in jail for hanging posters on telephone poles.