Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Welcome to My World

Looks like the fine folks over at Sadly, No! have figured it out.

It's begun to seem, recently, like something more than a super-cosmic coincidence that the Bush Administration has been carefully setting up a system whose every particular matches the classic template of dictatorial powers and political repression ('terror' is such an ugly term). The only thing glaringly missing from such a scheme would be a large, Federally-organized enforcement arm directly under the authority of the president -- and smarter people than us have already been scratching their heads at the Administration's push against posse comitatus, and at the new Federal mystery-police thingo in the Patriot Act.

They're discussing this post by Leah on Corrente, which discusses this post by Katherine on Obsidian Wings from last December, which is worth quoting:

Look. We have a President here who is making a claim of unlimited power, for the duration of a war that may never end. Oh, he says it's limited by the country's laws, but they've got a crack legal team that reliably interprets the laws to say that the President gets to do whatever he wants. It amounts to the same thing.

I am not exaggerating. I am really and truly not.

September 11 started the war. When will it end? Maybe never. Where is the battlefield? The entire world, including the United States. Who is an enemy combatant? Anyone the President says is an enemy combatant, including a U.S. citizen--no need for a charge, no need for a trial, no need for access to a lawyer. What if they're found not to be an enemy combatant? We can keep them in prison anyway, and we don't have to tell their families they're alive or their lawyers that they were cleared. What can you do to an enemy combatant? Anything you want. Detain him forever, for the rest of his life, because this is a war like any other and we have always been able to detain POWs for the duration of the war. But you don't need to follow the Geneva Conventions, because this is a war like no other in our history. And oh yes--if the President decides that we need to torture a prisoner for the war effort, it's unconstitutional for Congress to stop him. They took that position in an official memo, and they have not backed down from it. They have said it was "unnecessary" but they have never backed down from it.

They are not only entitled to do these things to people; they are entitled to do them in secret. When Congress asks for information about them, they can just ignore it. And they are entitled to actively deceive the public about all this.

That's the power they claim. At what point are we going to take that claim seriously?

Great. You guys get it. Welcome aboard.

A little late to the party, for those of us that have been screaming fascism since 9/12, but welcome.

The bright spot is that Halliburton got the bid to build the camps. Funny, that. If they do the same sterling job they did on Iraqi reconstruction or feeding the troops, we should be able to kick our way out in about twenty minutes.


ender said...

amazes me that it has been taking people so long to get scared.

actually .. what amazes me are the people who still rally around the shrub. they frighten me.

Chromatius said...

A lot of us have been screaming fascism since long before 9/12 - the writings of Gore Vidal are a useful place to start.

Don't overplay the difference here - the culture of overt impunity is new, not much else is.

The US has been repeatedly hijacked - each hijack building on the last (perhaps as far back as the Phillipines invasion at the end of the 19th century, perhaps as far back as the Civil War). One of the biggest was the failure to wind down the war economy after WW2; the cold war was little more than an extended excuse for the spending. To put it another way - I assume you didn't believe all the lies about WMDs in Iraq; well, the CIA threat assessments on the Soviet Union were equally fantastic.

As for Clinton and the Democrats in the 90s, don't get me started on Yugoslavia. But it's no coincidence that Bosnia and Kosovo are now major staging points for jihadists a.k.a 'muslim terror'... despite (or because of) the heavy presence of US and NATO military interests there

So guys, it's not just the neo-cons, busheviks, republikuds, bushcons... it's America.