Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A National Shame

Today, George W. Bush signed into law the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006, and in doing so, essentially did away with the concept of habeas corpus. Quite amazingly, Americans seem to have met this news with a giant national yawn.

Since the signing of the first charters of the Magna Carta in England in 1215, the writ of habeas corpus has been a key identifier of a free and progressive society. Conversely, absence or suspension of habeas has been the hallmark of virtually every authoritarian regime.

A few posts down is the text of a Letter to the Editor that I submitted a few days ago. At this time it has not been published, and to my knowledge, the Huntsville Times has not run an editorial outlining the true nature of the MCA.

Don't let the spinmeisters minimize what has occured here: George W. Bush can now imprison, for an indefinite period and without recourse, anyone he doesn't like. It's really that simple.

If you'd like to know more, you could do a lot worse than the estimable Glenn Greenwald (a tip o' the hat to my sis for turning me on to Glenn).

You're not mad? Not outraged? Why the hell not? Write letters. Contact your representatives. Help our politically challenged friends understand just what has occured. Do something.

montysano out.



Vigilante said...

Bush will stop at nothing to elevate his sorry-ass fiasco in Iraquagmire to the status of a war for national security. There is literally nothing he will not sacrifice to save his ass.

As he has said,

"You never know what your history is going to be like until long after you're gone."

There is nothing he will not arrest, torture, invade, bomb, pervert, fabricate, classify or misrepresent to delay that reckoning with history.

Habeas corpus is only yesterday's casualty. What's next?

Las Torrejas said...

Hola from Costa Rica,

I can't believe that this has passed. Hard to determine if I am more upset by the elimination of habeus corpus and the right to trial, or the granting of pre-emptive pardons for administration officials. Maybe someone could use the principal of extraordinary rendition to sieze W, Rummy, and others to try them in secret prisons for war crimes, that is if they ever muster the cajones to dare to leave the country?

This was yet another dark day for democracy. I hope the dems win next month, not because I think they will be that much better, but because they might be able to things from getting that much worse.


No war in Iran!