October 18, 2006

Bush eliminates bedrock rights, Americans don't notice.

You woke up today in a different country.

Some of our most cherished rights, and the very foundation of the bill of rights, had been eliminated with the stroke of George W. Bush's pen.

Habeas corpus -- it's your most fundamental legal right, your right to go to a court and get an order requiring the government to prove that it is holding you in prison with proper legal authority to do so. Without that right, one necessarily lives in a dictatorship. The Constitution says it may never be suspended except in cases of rebellion or invasion. President Bush today on October 17, 2006 signed a bill repealing that law, meaning that the administration need not comply or show compliance with law any more with regard to who goes to prison or Gitmo.

While it supposedly applies just to terrorism cases, that doesn't prevent it from ending the rule of law in the United States for our newly all-powerful Executive. This is true not just because terrorism is construed so broadly in the prohibition of "material support" for terrorism (which by the way has already been held to include a lawyer's press release on behalf of a terrorist client) but because the administration NEED NOT PROVE IT'S REALLY TERRORISM because they don't need to answer to any court in the land at any time.
Feel safer?
Keith Olberman spells out how wiping out habeus corpus also tosses out the Bill of Rights entirely (except maybe quartering soldiers)

A full page ad run in response by the ACLU notes that this action is...
...one of the most radical rollbacks of civil liberties in American history. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 eliminates the right of Habeus Corpus for detainees who could be held for years without charge, and guts the Geneva Conventions. The law allows detainees to be sentenced to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses. And it grants officials in the Bush Administration a retroactive "Get Out of Jail Free" card for war crimes.

Anyone else remotely concerned about what has just occured in our country?

Anyone alarmed that George Bush now has the ability to name anyone an "enemy combatant" , even U.S. citizens, and have them locked up without charges, without representation, and without having to justify the detention in court... without having to answer to anyone, and then to have them tried by a puppet military "commission" and possibly executed, all without being able to confront witnesses, and even on the basis of heresay or the testimony of witnesses who were tortured into saying what the interogators want them to say?

This isn't your father's United States folks.

You woke up this morning and didn't even know that a huge chunk of what makes our country great had just been destroyed by the gang in the White House and it's Republican enablers. Dems who failed to stand up against it out of fear of being branded "soft on terror" are equally to blame.

Anyone feel that this parallels other governments we've known... like, oh... Stalinist Russia, or China, or maybe some banana republics?

Americans are breathless about juicy tabloid revelations in Paul McCartney's divorce, but a president has just subverted the constitution, and no one knows, and no one cares.

Read more about the issue here.


At 10/18/2006 8:54 PM, Blogger Socialist Christian Hippie said...

I second that emotion. I also believe it is the duty of the congress to now go about impeaching the president for failure to protect the constitution. That is the whole point of his job, no?

At 10/18/2006 10:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the most part, the detainees aren't U.S. citizens. None of the Costitutional rights apply to them, just like none should apply to illegal immigrants.

At 10/18/2006 10:24 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

anon, nice try at justifying a president grabbing unlimited power, but you didn't quite "git-r-done".

The Geneva Conventions DO apply to non-citizens, and this measure says that Bush can decide whatever they hell he thinks the long accepted Geneva Conventions mean, for instance deciding what's torture and what isn't according to whim.

And you know, when you're tossing out basic constitutional rights which have served this country since it's founding and before, "for the most part" somehow doesn't quite cut it.

Bear in mind that Bush tried to grab these rights for himself and also to retroactively protect himself and CIA operatives from being found guilty of war crimes because the DID WHAT BUSH INSTRUCTED THEM TO DO, namely violate the constitution and the Geneva Conventions and engage in torture and illegal detention.

This went to the Surpreme Court if you recall.

The conservative Surpreme Court told Bush that doing that was CLEARLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL and unlawful.


So what does the petulant boy king do? Well, he then demands that the legislature change the law to make what the surpreme court said was plainly illegal... legal.

And that's what this bill does.

What part of the ability of the president to snatch U.S. citizens off the street and throw them in prison INDEFINITELY, possibly for life, WITHOUT them having a right to make the government show why they are being held and to bring charges against them do you favor?

Why would you defend such a serious attack on our basic rights?

At 10/19/2006 12:43 PM, Anonymous yinn said...

Not to mention what they did to posse comitatus three weeks ago.

At 10/19/2006 5:41 PM, Blogger Paul said...

So, short of fomenting revolution in the streets (just imagine how well THAT would play in Peoria), what is the average citizen to do? I'm not trying to be a wiseass here - it's a fair question.

At 10/20/2006 1:22 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I'm sure your question is shared by millions of people. When faced with such unchecked power and a President who always gets his way, it's very easy to feel powerless and hopeless.

But the answer to your question is obvious, and very simple.

Vote Republicans out of office.

Up and down the ticket. Let your voice be heard. Tell them that you don't like where they've lead this country.

If you are alarmed at the many radical moves of this government, controlled and run from top to bottom by Republicans, I'd say that the solution, at least short term, is crystal clear.

Vote Democratic.

Then importantly, stay informed, and stay engaged. Hold the press and politicians to a higher standard. Let them know that you want them to do their jobs and that the strength and vitality of our democracy is more important to you than "Dancing with the Stars" or Nancy Grace or the brain pollution on Fox.

But in all seriousness, whether you're left, right or center. The easiest and most important and powerful thing you can do to STOP these people and provide a chance for the country to change course and remove the nasty, fearful, hopelessness that this gang promotes, is to vote, and vote those who support this administration out of office.

Don't for a moment believe that your vote doesn't count, or that the Dems have it sewn up. The only way that we'll end up having more of the same is if enough people don't bother going to the polls and the Republicans, who have an incredibly efficient and massive get out the vote ability, manage to get more of their people to the polls.

Complacency is the right wing's most precious tool in this election, and the only way to take it away from them is to vote, and make sure others vote.

As a matter of fact, voting couldn't be more convenient (unless you could do it from home).

The polls are already open and if you're a resident of R.I. County, you can vote during business hours any day at the County Clerk's office.

Go get it done and forget about it. Leave the lines to others.

Again, the answer is simple Paul. Go vote, and vote Democratic.

It's to the point where it's beyond partisan. I know of many Republicans who are so appalled at the gang of ideologues and fundementalists who have hi-jacked their party that they plan to vote Democratic just to put an end to it.

At 10/21/2006 7:03 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

My only worry is that a whooping in 2006 will lead them to run someone not so evil (ie, McCain) in 2008, and maybe win. I kind of hope they hang onto one of the houses, continue arrogantly thinking they're on the right path, and run another Neo-Con in 08, and lose.

At 10/21/2006 7:27 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

That's a good concern, but I feel that the damage has been going on for too long. We no longer have the luxury of hoping it continues so that we could have a slightly better shot at the White House.

I'm sure that this election might serve as a wake up call for the radical right, and moderates may assume a more prominent role in the Republican party.

McCain would prove to be a formidable candidate, but he has just as good a shot at being the Republican nominee no matter what the result of the mid-term elections might be.

Even if the recent right wing meltdown had not occured, I felt it was doubtful they would have nominated some nut like Allen or Romney, but much more likely they would go with McCain or Giuliani.

Frankly, I hope the tide shift is so massive that they have a tough time being competitive in '08, though that's wishful thinking.

The Dems taking one or both chambers in November couldn't be a bad thing in regards to the presidential election.

At 10/28/2006 9:32 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

hippie - you are correct. However, Bush says his job as Prez is to "do his job" and of course we all know that he has absolutely no clue what that really is.

Plus I doubt that he has really read the constitution and can't cite any part of it....

We are getting into police state status. Our only hope is getting the House back and hopefully more in a few years.


At 12/06/2006 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only trouble I see with voting Dems in replacement of Repubs is that both parties have sold their souls to the people really pulling the strings: the bankers. Yes, it still all goes back to things like Jeckyll Island and the resulting Fed. Until we stop the economic slavery of taxes and interest payments, none of this corruption will ever end. Think about it. When did a Democrat ever change the world? Dem or Repub, it all stays the same. We are already in a police state, by the way.


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