What is this basket-thing, and how did we end up here?
Secrets courts, secret evidence... Good morning Mr. Orwell!
I know this much, none of our representatives: Stevens, Murkowski or Young even commented upon the bill, at least not that I could tell from reading the Congressional record. Nada. They just voted 'yes.' It would seem that conservatives, while capable of working themselves into a frenzy over certain 'expansions of government', like oh, say, a working freaking healthcare system of any sort, are more than happy to preside over an unprecedented expansion of power in the executive branch.
Shame on you Senators Stevens and Murkowski. Shame on you, Mr. Young.
Last I checked, the folks we elect were supposed to uphold the Constitution; I dunno, perhaps they mistook 'uphold' for eviscerate...
When people I know insist on doing something stupid, despite the obvious consequences, there's a point at which outrage gives way, not to resignation, necessarily, but a sense of, "Fine. That's what you want to do? Live with the consequences."
Unfortunately, it's not just the fools who voted for the Military Commissions Act who will be living with it. It's every American down the line.
You don't know what I'm talking about? Not paying attention? Go and read the Ester Republic article by Deidre, linked above.
Or better yet, read the New York Times op-ed in its entirety. An excerpt:
Here’s what happens when this irresponsible Congress railroads a profoundly important bill to serve the mindless politics of a midterm election: The Bush administration uses Republicans’ fear of losing their majority to push through ghastly ideas about antiterrorism that will make American troops less safe and do lasting damage to our 217-year-old nation of laws — while actually doing nothing to protect the nation from terrorists. Democrats betray their principles to avoid last-minute attack ads. Our democracy is the big loser.
Republicans say Congress must act right now to create procedures for charging and trying terrorists — because the men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks are available for trial. That’s pure propaganda. Those men could have been tried and convicted long ago, but President Bush chose not to. He held them in illegal detention, had them questioned in ways that will make real trials very hard, and invented a transparently illegal system of kangaroo courts to convict them.
And for those who think this is one of those cases of "if you're not doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about" - well, please consider that the way the legislation is written, anyone, meaning U.S. citizens, not just the "Islamofascist" Boogeymen that Dubyah and the Ministry of Truth have used so well, could be held without any way to challenge their detention. Anyone. So, if you are innocent of the charges, not only can you be held indefinitely, you have no right to challenge that detention.
And it's not like we ever imprisoned an innocent person, have we? Nope, well, there was that Canadian fella.
Me, oh, I feel so much safer.
*Habeas corpus, you say? Defn: Latin for "you [should] have the body", in common lawhabeas corpus is the name of a legal instrument or writ by means of which detainees can seek release from unlawful imprisonment. A writ of habeas corpus is a court order addressed to a prison official (or other custodian) ordering that a detainee be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he or she should be released from custody. The writ of habeas corpus in common law countries is an important instrument for the safeguarding of individual freedom against arbitrary state action. At http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habeas_corpus. I would like to point out the word 'arbitary.'