Thursday, December 15, 2011

Look Who's About to Trash the Bill of RIghts (Hint: Not a Republican)

I have major bones to pick with the New York Times, often. But in a series of blogposts today editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal nails the deadly danger behind the National Defense Authorization Act, passing in stealth under cover of more visible bills on the economy:

"For a while, the administration encouraged people to think that President Obama would take a stand against the unnecessary and very dangerous provisions that Congress jammed into the annual National Defense Authorization Act. He threatened to veto the whole bill in order to block new rules that would mandate the military custody of most terrorist suspects, and officially sanction their indefinite detention, without due process. Yesterday, the president backed down, completely."'The Sound of One President Caving'

"The first [issue] is whether certain provisions in the law give the president and the Pentagon the power to detain American citizens in a military facility, possibly for life, without a trial. Lawyers I talked to today said that the bill is pure mush in a lot of areas, including this one. The bill does not require military custody for American citizens suspected of membership with Al Qaeda or an allied group, as it more or less does for foreigners. (Note, by the way, that this is all about suspicion, not proof.) But neither does it prohibit military trial or detention of American citizens. It’s stunning that the president is willing to sign a bill that might effectively turn the right of habeas corpus into a mere privilege — even for citizens."'More Rubble from the Military Detention Cave-in'

When this bill is signed into law, if you don't like this blogpost, all you have to do is accuse me of being an ally of Al-Qaeda and I can be locked away, forever, with no right to defend myself or even ask why. I disappear, legally, and utterly without recourse. If you doubt whether Mr. Obama's government would do such a thing, I think you're quite possibly being very naive. Do remember the late American citizens Mr. Al-Awlaki and son. But even if you think Obama wouldn't do such a thing, what about President Gingrich? President Bachmann? President Romney?

It's been nice knowing you all.

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