Sunday, July 30, 2006

This Will Not Stand

I'll take a little time today to explore this story - as it looks to be ol' Chimpy's signing statement on the Constitution:

U.S. citizens suspected of terror ties might be detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts under legislation proposed by the Bush administration, say legal experts reviewing an early version of the bill.
In short, all they need to do is say "terrorist" and you can kiss your civil rights goodbye. Kind of like how all they need to do is say "drugs" and you can kiss your property and possessions goodbye. Wonder if that's where they got the idea? Wonder if I could put some more sarcasm on that?

Scott L. Silliman, a retired Air Force Judge Advocate, said the broad definition of enemy combatants is alarming because a U.S. citizen loosely suspected of terror ties would lose access to a civilian court and all the rights that come with it. Administration officials have said they want to establish a secret court to try enemy combatants that factor in realities of the battlefield and would protect classified information.

The administration's proposal, as considered at one point during discussions, would toss out several legal rights common in civilian and military courts, including barring hearsay evidence, guaranteeing "speedy trials" and granting a defendant access to evidence. The proposal also would allow defendants to be barred from their own trial and likely allow the submission of coerced testimony.

Emphasis in both quotes is so mine.

In a comment on Daily Kos, I wrote the Miranda warning as rewritten by the Bush administration:

You have the right to confess.

If you give up that right, aggressive interrogation techniques with levels of pain approaching - but not exceeding - organ failure or death will be applied to convince you to accept this right. If you do accept this right, anything you say, or mumble, or manage to write with whatever appendage remains functional will be used against you at your military tribunal.

You have a right to a military tribunal. You do not have the right to face your accuser or see the evidence against you, if there is any, because you don't have the proper security clearances.

You have the right to an attorney. We have the right to monitor any conversations you have with your attorney, and use them against you at your military tribunal. Your attorney may not have the security clearances necessary to hear your charges, see the evidence against you, prepare a defense, attend your tribunal, or be notified that you are in custody. If you cannot afford an attorney, one may or may not be provided to you at your own expense. Not that it will make any difference, as we have the right to incarcerate you indefinitely, even on the off chance your military tribunal finds you innocent or "pre-guilty".

These rights may not apply if you are wealthy, as long as you are a member of the Party and have kept up your contributions. If that is the case, you get "freedom". And, of course, we apologize for inconveniencing you, sir.

I'd hate to think that ol' Chimpy read it and thought it was a good idea - but that pretty much covers their proposed legislation.

Gentle Reader, be you liberal or conservative, Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian, or just an iconoclast Decline-to-State like me - we cannot let this criminal Administration continue this course. We fought fascism and the Soviets, hot and cold, for sixty years - and we beat them - without having to resort to shit like this - what does it say to all those good men and women who died protecting our freedom that we'd give it up so easily because a bunch of nutcases with boxcutters destroyed the World Trade Center?

Join me. The Armed Services Commitee will be discussing this proposed legislation in September. Call them, starting now, and keep calling them. Tell them that this will not stand, that we cannot make meaningless the sacrifices so many have made, and continue to make, to ensure our freedom.

Here are the members of the Armed Services Committee, and their public office contact numbers:

John Warner, Chairman (Virginia): (202) 224-2023
John McCain (Arizona): (202) 224-2235
James Inhofe (Oklahoma): (202) 224-4721
Pat Roberts (Kansas): (202) 224-4774
Jeff Sessions (Alabama): (202) 224-4124
Susan Collins (Maine): (202) 224-2523
John Ensign (Nevada): (202) 224-6244
James Talent (Missouri): (202) 224-6154
Saxby Chambliss (Georgia): (202) 224-3521
Lindsey Graham (South Carolina): (202) 224-5972
Elizabeth Dole (North Carolina): (202) 224-6342
John Cornyn (Texas): (202) 224-2934
John Thune (South Dakota): (202) 224-2321

Carl Levin, Ranking Minority Member (Michigan): (202) 224-6221
Edward Kennedy (Massachusetts): (202) 224-4543
Robert Byrd (West Virginia): (202) 224-3954
Joe Lieberman (Connecticut): (202) 224-4041
Jack Reed (Rhode Island): (202) 224-4642
Daniel Akaka (Hawaii): (202) 224-6361
Bill Nelson (Florida): (202) 224-5274
Ben Nelson (Nebraska): (202) 224-6551
Mark Dayton (Minnesota): (202) 224-3244
Evan Bayh (Indiana): (202) 224-5623
Hillary Rodham Clinton (New York): (202) 224-4451

Conservatives, note that this gives you an excuse to scream at Hillary. Liberals, I think a vote on enabling fascism makes an excellent litmus test for the putative Democratic front-runner, don't you?

If this passes, it is the final spadeful of dirt on the grave of the rule of law in this country. If this passes, we will be living in a fascist police state. This is what I have been crying out in warning against since the towers fell, and finally it has arrived. Please, help me defeat it.

Thanks to BruinKid for the diary and phone numbers.

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