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.