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The Great Writ
September 28, 2006 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. (1215 - 2006). It was so pre-9/11 anyway. Instead we may get "our generation’s version of the Alien and Sedition Acts." What could go wrong?
posted by homunculus (156 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Or it will just get overturned by the Supreme Court.
posted by smackfu at 12:57 PM on September 28, 2006


Is it only me who is getting flashbacks to the UK in the late 80s and early 90s? You may or may not have like Maggie but toward the end of her tenure it seemed like a nightmare that would never end. It did, of course, when her own party kicked her out, but I can remember the same feeling of dread and horror at what went on under her in the latter days as went on under this lot. And the labour party of the time was just as useless as the Dems, only in a very different way.

In the end of course she was kicked out by her own party. It's interesting to speculate as to what the GOP would do to Bush if they weren't stuck with him.
posted by unSane at 1:04 PM on September 28, 2006


this fpp should also definitely be pulled. axegrindfilter! (yeah that's the only reason 3 different people have posted this same story in the past day and a half)
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 1:06 PM on September 28, 2006


Or it will just get overturned by the Supreme Court.

That would be good.
posted by homunculus at 1:07 PM on September 28, 2006


SS, No its the most important damn thing that has happened to the united states since WWII. and the most devistating.
And I declare anyone who poo poo's this an ASS!
posted by Elim at 1:09 PM on September 28, 2006


In other ongoing legal news: Judge Taylor defies the Leader again
posted by homunculus at 1:12 PM on September 28, 2006


President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the American Civil War, and there has been a century and a half of controversy about that, but it is widely acknowledged that he had little choice but to do so, in order to make a military draft work in a civil war.

Personally, I think these times are not nearly so serious as Lincoln faced, and that a broad suspension of the writ of habeas corpus is unwarranted. But there is precedent for it, at least limited in term, as Lincoln did it, and it may be hard to argue that Bush can't do it, if he can make his case for this being an urgent enough situation.
posted by paulsc at 1:12 PM on September 28, 2006


Sure, next thing you'll tell us it's only asses who poo-poo... oh wait.

I think yesterday's "Rogue State" article has the general tone, but this post has more specifics.
posted by clevershark at 1:13 PM on September 28, 2006


Or it will just get overturned by the Supreme Court.

But you have to get a plaintiff who has "standing" first. If that plaintiff is in a hole in Guantanamo, with no access to the courts, how are they going to sue?

.
posted by karson at 1:14 PM on September 28, 2006


these times are not nearly so serious as Lincoln faced

Well, of course not.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:16 PM on September 28, 2006


RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT

TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK
TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK
posted by stevejensen at 1:17 PM on September 28, 2006


The danger, as Senator Feingold has stated in a different context, is that we adopt a pre-1776 mentality: one that dismisses the Constitution on which our American freedoms are founded.
posted by interrobang at 1:17 PM on September 28, 2006


.
posted by destro at 1:17 PM on September 28, 2006


Reading Glenn Greenwald's updates makes me sick to my stomach. Utterly amazing and disgusting.

.
posted by NationalKato at 1:18 PM on September 28, 2006


Let's elect someone who, on their first day in office, will announce that his/her first act will be to use these laws to round up any random person that he/she doesn't like, to see if the laws actually allow it.

He/She should then do so, and hold those people (including, but not limited to, prominent Republicans and Democrats who voted for this stuff) for 48 hours, then release them all and say "Okay, now that you see the danger of these laws, let's get rid of 'em.
posted by davejay at 1:18 PM on September 28, 2006


these times are not nearly so serious as Lincoln faced

Well, of course not.


I can think of a few ways to fix that.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:18 PM on September 28, 2006


People try to put us dd-d-down,
J-just because we k-keep them in jail without evidence. *Townsendfilter*
posted by Smedleyman at 1:20 PM on September 28, 2006


.
posted by SBMike at 1:20 PM on September 28, 2006


Karson, We've already had a plaintiff in a hole in Gauntanamo sue successfully.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:21 PM on September 28, 2006


Let's elect someone who, on their first day in office, will announce that his/her first act will be to use these laws to round up any random person that he/she doesn't like, to see if the laws actually allow it.

How about just all the politicians who voted for it, and signed it into law, and all the media personalities who advocated it?
posted by one_bean at 1:26 PM on September 28, 2006


.
posted by knave at 1:28 PM on September 28, 2006


“Those who profess to favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” -- Frederick Douglass

I'll be busy for a bit.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:28 PM on September 28, 2006 [4 favorites]


But there is precedent for it, at least limited in term, as Lincoln did it, and it may be hard to argue that Bush can't do it, if he can make his case for this being an urgent enough situation.

Article I, Section 9, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution states:
The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
I think that an ongoing civil war falls easily under the "Rebellion" category. One attack by a few religious extremists, five years ago? That's a pretty pitiful excuse for an "Invasion," if you ask me.

Interestingly, the very next section reads:
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
So, at least we don't have to flip around too much as we Sharpie our outdated copies of the Constitution.
posted by designbot at 1:30 PM on September 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


It doesn't really matter, as far Bush is concerned, whether or not this is a rebellion or an invasion or whatever. Article 1 gives powers to Congress, not the President. This is the problem with Lincoln's action, and if Bush tried to do it today, it would be the problem.

Congress passing a statute, on the other hand, is another issue.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:33 PM on September 28, 2006


As of this day, the Democratic Party is dead to me. They could have stopped this. They chose, instead, to roll over.

They deserve to lose, and I'm going to help make it happen. I'd much rather work for the bastards that are honest in their hatred of me, rather than the bastards that pretend to be on my side, right up to the moment when things get tough, then they run away.

Fuck them. Fuck America. I'm all for this country getting exactly what it voted for today.
posted by eriko at 1:36 PM on September 28, 2006


President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the American Civil War

Much is made of that fact by defenders of the president, but Article 1, Section 9 of the constitution clearly states "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it".

I think it is safe to say that there was a "Case of Rebellion" at the time Lincoln took his action, and even then it is still debated whether or not it was legal. That is certainly not the case now and I fervently hope the handpicked Republican Justices of the Supreme Court see that.
posted by TedW at 1:36 PM on September 28, 2006


On posting, I see designbot beat me to it.
posted by TedW at 1:36 PM on September 28, 2006


Interestingly, the very next section reads:
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
So, at least we don't have to flip around too much as we Sharpie our outdated copies of the Constitution.


monju_bosatu explained in a previous thread that the Supreme Court has held that a law must disadvantage the offender affected by it to be considered ex post facto.
posted by eddydamascene at 1:42 PM on September 28, 2006


I'll be busy for a bit

I assume you don't have a big HDTV set
posted by matteo at 1:47 PM on September 28, 2006


It's amusing to see Republicans defend Bush's power grab with their grand historical narratives -- "Lincoln did it! FDR did some things we didn't know about at the time!" Well, sure Nimrod, but you're one of the utter pussies who thinks that a (possibly dead) guy hiding in a cave in Pakistan tied to a dialysis machine is a Lee or a Stalin or a Hitler.

9/11 was bad. But a global, never-ending war that suspends our Constitution? Only if you're a feckless, boot-licking idiot. Republican cowardice is matched only by their stupidity.

(And Greenwald is always good.)
posted by bardic at 1:55 PM on September 28, 2006


The US has been training torturers for years; maybe it's better that this criminal behavior is now out in the open...
posted by sporb at 1:55 PM on September 28, 2006


TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK

Hey, what are you? Some kind of leftist?
posted by homunculus at 1:57 PM on September 28, 2006


paulsc, the problem with mentioning Lincoln is that his actions occured during a point when an actual, legal classification of a state of war- one which eventually ended- existed. This is not the current case. If the legislation, and a possible SCOTUS ruling, say the suspension is justified and constitutional under the legal context of a "war on terror," which Bush has openly admitted could be indefinite, well then we're in deep shit.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:59 PM on September 28, 2006


Well, American was fun while it lasted.

I'm cautiously optimistic that the Democrats can get control of one house of congress, but they don't deserve it, and they won't make anything better.

The US government no longer represents the people and should be disbanded and replaced with one that will. Everyone needs to re-read their Declarations of Independence.
posted by empath at 2:00 PM on September 28, 2006


Want to see how your Senators voted?
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:00 PM on September 28, 2006


I don't want to hear any more whining from John McCain. If America is going to do it, then it's perfectly acceptable that Vietnam did it.

If he's going to be evil, let's at least hope he's not a hypocrite about it.
posted by Jatayu das at 2:03 PM on September 28, 2006


It doesn't really matter, as far Bush is concerned, whether or not this is a rebellion or an invasion or whatever.

It doesn't matter what this fucking bill says. This is the president who takes any part of legislation that he doesn't like and blows it off with a "signing statement."

There will be no restrictions on how Bush uses this power.
posted by eriko at 2:03 PM on September 28, 2006


As of this day, the Democratic Party is dead to me. They could have stopped this. They chose, instead, to roll over.

Er, look up the voting split on senate.gov. They tried. Your rancor is better spent on someone like McCain, who professes to know better.
posted by kid ichorous at 2:08 PM on September 28, 2006


Two down, one to go.
posted by taosbat at 2:09 PM on September 28, 2006


"Want to see how your Senators voted?"

That's not necessary, I know there's a 99.9% probability that both my senators are fellating Bush even as we speak.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:11 PM on September 28, 2006


Er, look up the voting split on senate.gov.

I did. There are more than 40. This bill is killable, and the Democrats refuse to do so.

I will admit that I thought this was the vote on passage, not the vote on amendment, so there is still time for them to actually start filibustering the bill. They have the votes to stop it.

If they refuse to do so, then fuck them.
posted by eriko at 2:12 PM on September 28, 2006


Well, look on the bright side. It's not like the Democratic Party rolled over and sold out our country for no good reason.

I mean, if Democrats had filibustered this thing, Republicans could have run attack ads calling them soft on terror! Thank God that will never happen now!

Right?
posted by designbot at 2:16 PM on September 28, 2006


The second of three Dem amendments (the Byrd/Obama amendment, specifically, which sets a five-year sunset) just failed to pass with voting going down on party lines. The third (Kennedy's) will fail momentarily.
posted by ijoshua at 2:16 PM on September 28, 2006


"Statement of Purpose: To strike the provision regarding habeas review."

NAYs by Democrats:
Nelson (D-NE)

YEAs by Republicans:
Chafee (R-RI)
Smith (R-OR)
Specter (R-PA)
Sununu (R-NH)

Really no surprises here, are there?
posted by Kickstart70 at 2:18 PM on September 28, 2006


"The US government no longer represents the people and should be disbanded and replaced with one that will. Everyone needs to re-read their Declarations of Independence."

/signed
posted by Ragma at 2:25 PM on September 28, 2006


Or it will just get overturned by the Supreme Court.

"Consider the case of Jose Padilla. A few months after 9/11, he was seized by the Bush administration as an "enemy combatant" upon his arrival at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. He was wearing civilian clothes and had no weapons. Despite his American citizenship, he was held for more than three years in a military brig, without any chance to challenge his detention before a military or civilian tribunal. After a federal appellate court upheld the president's extraordinary action, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, handing the administration's lawyers a terrible precedent."
posted by landis at 2:29 PM on September 28, 2006


Really no surprises here, are there?

Sununu's sort of a surprise, but no, none of the others is.
posted by blucevalo at 2:30 PM on September 28, 2006


The Dems made a bargain with the devil Frist -- the agreed NOT to filibuster, if they could add amendments. They were stupid, becasue they assumed that a few Repubs (McCain et al) would side with them on the Dem amendments. They didn't. So the Dems apparently think thye must honor their agreement.

I think this has gone far beyond that. I think the Dems should just leave Washington. I believe then the House and Senate would not have a quorum, and therefore the Repubs would have to violate the House and Senate rules in order to "vote" on this legislation.

It would bring the whole charade out into the open. It would certainly get the attention of the press.

Of course, the Dems won't do it.
posted by mooncrow at 2:31 PM on September 28, 2006


If the Dems do leave, I'm sure Willie Nelson would take care of them.
posted by landis at 2:37 PM on September 28, 2006


… and all of the amendments have failed. Apparently there were 5 in total.
posted by ijoshua at 2:45 PM on September 28, 2006


Way to play the system, you old political hands.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:49 PM on September 28, 2006


… and all of the amendments have failed. Apparently there were 5 in total.

Well thank god! With a permanent suspension of Habeas Corpus it will make it much easier to detain insurrectionists when the inevitable armed rebellion against the erosion of our Constitutional rights finally takes to the streets.

Wait a minute, this is kind of like one of those chicken and egg riddles isn't it?
posted by quin at 2:59 PM on September 28, 2006


*sigh*
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:00 PM on September 28, 2006


I used to be a [what i never was] but now I will vote for [the same side I always preferred] becasue of [issue here].

Have I persuaded you with my thoughtful and considered conversion to the position I originally held?
posted by srboisvert at 3:15 PM on September 28, 2006


did they actually vote on the bill yet, or is it only amendments to it so far?

and every single person who voted to kill habeas should now be seen for what they are--threats to this country. They, due to their own actions, can now be rounded up without evidence or a trial.
posted by amberglow at 3:43 PM on September 28, 2006


if what used to be my party does not filibuster this til it's dead, or the Senate session is ended for the year, i'll never vote for any of them again. Absolutely appalling that it's even being voted on or discussed. Completely evil.
posted by amberglow at 3:46 PM on September 28, 2006


...and every single person who voted to kill habeas should now be seen for what they are--threats to this country. They, due to their own actions, can now be rounded up without evidence or a trial.

Way to find a silver lining amberglow!
Thanks for that.
posted by cows of industry at 3:47 PM on September 28, 2006


And this won't get overturned by this Supreme Court--they made that clear during Hamdan.
posted by amberglow at 3:48 PM on September 28, 2006


"Jesus. They're rolling back Habeas Corpus and you bitch about the post?!"

THERE'S GENOCIDE IN DARFUR AND YOU CARE ABOUT THIS?
(ps. Some of us read the news enough to know about current events and don't need the apopleptic chorus to bleet out every injustice for us. Perhaps if you read the news more often, you wouldn't be so take with this shitty post).
posted by klangklangston at 3:48 PM on September 28, 2006


Clinton: ... This broken process and its blatant politics will cost our nation dearly. It allows a discredited policy ruled by the Supreme Court to be unconstitutional to largely continue and to be made worse. This spectacle ill-serves our national security interests.
The rule of law cannot be compromised. We must stand for the rule of law before the world, especially when we are under stress and under threat. We must show that we uphold our most profound values. ...


If she or any of them can speak like this and then not filibuster they should not have jobs as our officials.
posted by amberglow at 3:50 PM on September 28, 2006


If there is a right, there must be a remedy. Without remedy, there is no right. Whatever lines drawn by this bill (however ridiculous as they are) are meaningless unless there is some sort of system of meaningful review to enforce compliance--habeas corpus. And this is precisely what this bill does away with. With one hand, it purports to remove certain practices from the table, so to speak. With the other, it takes away the only effective means for review--the only way to enforce such bans. "Power grab," bardic, indeed.

And partly based on personal knowledge (and that is indeed all I will say), the Combat Status Review Tribunals, the Administrative Review Boards, D.C. Cir. review, and whatever else can be cooked up will be/already are largely comparable to Stalin show-trials. Symbolic in many ways, including ironic.

So what will happen is that, as Karson points out, the government will move to dismiss the existing habeas petitions for lack of jurisdiction. That will be challenged, and whatever the result, appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. Even under unrealistic optimistism (assuming no cert before judgment), the Supreme Court would hear the case sometime in the 2007 term, with an opinion issued on the last day the rules permit in July 2008. And so the government buys another 22 months (more likely 34) by taking a constitionally suspect position. Translation: that many months of indefinite detention for those in GTMO (plus the time to actually implement the holding). And just like the government did in Qassim (the sad case of the Chinese Uighers who the military stated were not terrorists (1)), they will release the prisoners right at the literal 11th hour in order to avoid a bad ruling.

If you were ever looking for a shining example of how to manipulate legal and political procedure to subvert substantive right, this is it.
posted by soda pop at 3:51 PM on September 28, 2006 [3 favorites]


Way to find a silver lining amberglow!

Except that no one will do it, and the justice dept wouldn't ever do that to the GOP. We don't have a US Govt. anymore--only a GOP one.
posted by amberglow at 3:52 PM on September 28, 2006


I'm amazed at the number of Democratic supporters I've seen online today who are prepared to swear off the party forever.

Republicans, where's your sack?
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:52 PM on September 28, 2006


The 2 sections that can be used against us--citizen or not--among others:
Sec. 950eee. Providing material support for terrorism
`(a) Offense- Any person subject to this chapter who provides material support or resources, knowing or intending that they are to be used in preparation for, or in carrying out, an act of terrorism (as set forth in section 950ddd of this title), or who intentionally provides material support or resources to an international terrorist organization engaged in hostilities against the United States, knowing that such organization has engaged or engages in terrorism (as so set forth), shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct.
`(b) Material Support or Resources Defined- In this section, the term `material support or resources' has the meaning given that term in section 2339A(b) of title 18.
`Sec. 950fff. Wrongfully aiding the enemy
`Any person subject to this chapter who, in breach of an allegiance or duty to the United States, knowingly and intentionally aids an enemy of the United States, or one of the co-belligerents of the enemy, shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct.
posted by amberglow at 3:56 PM on September 28, 2006


THERE'S GENOCIDE IN DARFUR AND YOU CARE ABOUT THIS?

YES, I DO, MR. SHOUTY!

I guess Loud = Right...
posted by cows of industry at 3:58 PM on September 28, 2006


Republicans, where's your sack?
Their sacks were removed while being tortured--it reminded them of their fraternity days.
posted by amberglow at 3:59 PM on September 28, 2006


..In court the government has repeatedly said that merely teaching English or international law, political advocacy, or how to petition the United Nations can constitute material support ...
posted by amberglow at 4:01 PM on September 28, 2006


As of this day, the Democratic Party is dead to me. They could have stopped this. They chose, instead, to roll over.

Well, you should vote in the primaries, and get involved in local politics. But yeah I don't see much reason to get excited about 2006 anymore. What a drag.
posted by delmoi at 4:07 PM on September 28, 2006


The danger, as Senator Feingold has stated in a different context, is that we adopt a pre-1776 mentality: one that dismisses the Constitution on which our American freedoms are founded.

Pre 1215 mentality.
posted by delmoi at 4:09 PM on September 28, 2006


“I assume you don't have a big HDTV set”

ooh, crap, that’s right. And football season is underway. Meh. Maybe next year. The Bears look good this season.
*goes back to couchin’ it*

“What a terrible fucking post.” - posted by klangklangston

Pretty good thread tho:
“If you were ever looking for a shining example of how to manipulate legal and political procedure to subvert substantive right, this is it.” - posted by soda pop
posted by Smedleyman at 4:17 PM on September 28, 2006


digby: ...The truth is that the United States government is presently holding, torturing, and even murdering countless numbers of people who have no chance in hell of obtaining a lawyer, let alone anything resembling a trial. The government is doing this under the direct orders of George W. Bush. There is no law, no bill, and no legislature who can stop him. If Congress were to pass a law unequivocably banning torture and send it to him, he'd use it for toilet paper. If the Supreme Court were to rule against Bush in the harshest and bluntest language, he'd yawn. ... And that is the truth. The Congress has been given an awful choice: Vote to approve torture and the suspension of habeas or show the world that yes, you really do have no genuine power to check Bush.
posted by amberglow at 4:26 PM on September 28, 2006


Final vote: 65-35

Fuck this travesty of a party. They chickened out and supported this.
posted by eriko at 4:28 PM on September 28, 2006


Final vote: 65-35

That's crazy. Oh well, at least we can't exactly blame them for not filibustering. It takes 40 votes to filibuster. Hmm.

It would have been nice if they'd at least tried to filibuster, that way we would know who to primary next time around.
posted by delmoi at 4:39 PM on September 28, 2006


From Greenwald:

Democrats in favor (12) - Carper (Del.), Johnson (S.D.), Landrieu (La.), Lautenberg (N.J.), Lieberman (Conn.), Menendez (N.J), Pryor (Ark.), Rockefeller (W. Va.), Salazar (Co.), Stabenow (Mich.), Nelson (Fla.), Nelson (Neb.).

Chafee (and jeffords) voted against.
posted by delmoi at 4:41 PM on September 28, 2006


Could they have called for a quorum and walked out?
posted by sonofsamiam at 4:52 PM on September 28, 2006


.
posted by Alterscape at 5:12 PM on September 28, 2006


As a Connecticut voter, it would be my proud honor to help evict Lieberman's ass.

Wish us luck.
posted by Richard Daly at 5:15 PM on September 28, 2006


I'm sure it's been said before in the same context, but this bill in particular reminded me of Plato's writing about Socrates in The Republic. Though I'm not a fan of all of Plato's ideas, I think it was apt that he wrote the next step from democracy would be tyranny. It's sad that we get to see it happen in front of our eyes.
posted by blackvectrex at 5:40 PM on September 28, 2006


All men are created equal.*

Amberglow, as closely as I can determine, S.3930 applies only to alien unlawful combatants. I've been through the entire bill, and there is only mention of alien unlawful combatants, or
"persons subject to this chapter..".

Sec. 948c. Persons subject to military commissions

`Any alien unlawful enemy combatant engaged in hostilities or having supported hostilities against the United States is subject to trial by military commission as set forth in this chapter.


*void where prohibited by law
posted by the Real Dan at 5:40 PM on September 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


Well, you should vote in the primaries,

I did. In 2000, I got to vote for, well, Gore, because the nomination had already been clinched.

In 2004, I got to vote for, well, Kerry, because the nomination had already been clinched.

In 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004, I got to nominate Gephardt, because that was the only candidate. In 2006, I got to nominate Carnahan, same deal.

The one time I got to vote for a nominee, he died just before the election, and won anyway. The result of that mess was Ashcroft became the AG. I thought that was about as bad as it could get. Fuck me, I was wrong.

So, yeah -- I've carefully got to support exactly who the Democratic Party told me to, because by the time it actually gets to "nominations", everything's all packaged and ready to go.

Not anymore, Buckos. No fucking spine, no fucking vote.
posted by eriko at 5:47 PM on September 28, 2006


So, Americans ... living under tyranny. How's that working out for you guys? Kinda ironic, you invaded one country to end tyranny (allegedly), and in the process set yourselves up for one. Gotta admire the sheer evil of it, really.
posted by kaemaril at 5:52 PM on September 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


As a Connecticut voter, it would be my proud honor to help evict Lieberman's ass.

Too bad Lieberman is leading by 10 points. I guess he's good enough for the Republicans in Connecticut (who certainly aren't going to vote for the Republican) and that plus some of the Democrats is probably enough to win. Centrism is pretty good if you can hold the middle.
posted by smackfu at 6:07 PM on September 28, 2006


Honestly people, for the most part, there has only been Habeas Corpus for white males in this country, anyway.

We're just getting a taste of our own medicine.

As Malcolm, god bless his soul, might say: the chickens are coming home to roost.
posted by milarepa at 6:22 PM on September 28, 2006


I don't think I can recall a time I've felt smaller and more powerless than now.
posted by Bageena at 6:23 PM on September 28, 2006


Real Dan, I found the same thing - the language of the bill states that it only applies to "alien unlawful enemy combatants," where alien is defined as a "person who is not a citizen of the US." Is there something I'm missing here that revokes constitutional habeas corpus for citizens?
posted by kid ichorous at 6:32 PM on September 28, 2006


kid, I don't think so, I think you're reading it correctly. Nothing regarding the military commissions would apply to American citizens as I read it. Obviously, that doesn't make it okay, but it is important to realize the actual scope of the problem.

That said, I don't think the courts will uphold this. It would be very difficult to justify this as a time of invasion or rebellion, and I think the courts could strike down, at least, the habeas corpus portion of the statute on those grounds.

All in all, while this is a bad law, I don't think its the end of the world. The provisions apply to a small group, and there are appeals, but only to final judgements. The fact that appeals are permitted provides the access to the regular court system necessary to get what's wrong with this fixed. I am fairly confident that this will happen, although obviously it will take a while.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:44 PM on September 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


I heart Molly Ivins.

As for all this habeas corpus crap, you guys are behaving as if you're surprised. No one deserves to act surprised. After all the blatant bullshit the Bush administration has done to deface and demean the United States of America and rob the rights of ordinary human beings in favor of the rich and influential, no one deserves to act surprised. No one.

It will get worse before it gets better, and if it ever does get better it could very well take decades. What's really sad is my generation will look back on the 60s, 70s, and 80s as The Good Old Days. This means schlock pop radio will only become more popular with age. This sucks.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:56 PM on September 28, 2006


Nothing regarding the military commissions would apply to American citizens as I read it.

That's because you're reading the wrong bill. Don't read S3039, read H.R. 6166, in particular, H.R. 6166EH (Engrossed by House -- translation, as passed.) I would link, but until the record is offically published, I can't find a permanent link. Go here, choose the House bills, and note the numbers in bold at the front of the list aren't what you want, but they're close.

You'll note the text is different. This means Conference TIme, and Frist knows exactly what to do. He'll appoint several reliable thugs, who will go to conference, and agree to the House Version. The bill then comes back to the Senate for a vote. Note that this vote cannot be filibustered, not like the fucking Dems would do anything useful like that anyway.

So, the version that Bush will sign will be H.R. 6166, not S.3039. -- and in H.R. 6166, there's *nothing* about "Alien Unlawful Enemy Combatants." It's just plain ol UECs, as determined by Herr Bush.
posted by eriko at 7:20 PM on September 28, 2006


eriko, I think you're still wrong. HR 6166EH Sec.948d(a) reads "Jurisdiction- A military commission under this chapter shall have jurisdiction to try any offense made punishable by this chapter or the law of war when committed by an alien unlawful enemy combatant before, on, or after September 11, 2001."

Emphasis mine obviously. If there are major differences between the two bills, this isn't one of them.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:26 PM on September 28, 2006


the ramifications of this bullshit mess that America is creating are going to take longer than my lifetime to fix. This pisses me off.
posted by bonaldi at 7:29 PM on September 28, 2006


the ramifications of this bullshit mess that America [my nation] is creating are going to take longer than my lifetime to fix. This pisses me off.
posted by bonaldi


Yeah, me too...big time.
posted by taosbat at 7:38 PM on September 28, 2006


I don't think I can recall a time I've felt smaller and more powerless than now.

I was poking around my bookshelf tonight looking for comforting words, and liked this:

"...[T]here can be but one supreme power, which is the legislative, to which all the rest are and must be subordinate, yet the legislative being only a fiduciary power to act for certain ends, there remains still in the people a supreme power to remove or alter the legislative, when they find the legislative act contrary to the trust reposed in them; for all power given with trust for the attaining an end, being limited by that end, whenever that end is manifestly neglected, or opposed, the trust must necessarily be forfeited, and the power devolve into the hands of those that gave it, who may place it anew where they shall think best for their safety and security." (John Locke, Second Treatise of Government)
posted by eddydamascene at 7:41 PM on September 28, 2006


We need a new party. A Populist Party or something.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:53 PM on September 28, 2006


Well, Civil_Disobedient, first you need a populist movement, have you seen one of those lately?
posted by taosbat at 7:58 PM on September 28, 2006


I heard James Carville speak last week and he said that he could see a third party arise in the near future.
posted by jaronson at 8:03 PM on September 28, 2006


I don't know that it's only non-citizens at all...do we know the final text of the bill, and what Bush will "sign" on the bottom? Tons and tons of people are saying it's not just non-citizens---And even if it is, it's absolutely abhorrent.

What's really sad is my generation will look back on the 60s, 70s, and 80s as The Good Old Days.
In terms of the 60s and 70s, we already do--up til Reagan. Even Nixon's shit was dealt with--all Bush's evil shit is being formalized.
posted by amberglow at 8:17 PM on September 28, 2006


Even Senator Reid said it applied to US Citizens on the floor of the Senate.

And this is worded very carefully: AP: ... Those subject to commission trials would be any person "who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents." Proponents say this definition would not apply to U.S. citizens. ...

Proponents say that, but i don't think the final bill actually does say that. And don't forget that the DHS, Defense Dept, NSA and other agencies have already done Cyberstorm together.


The New Enabling Act
posted by amberglow at 9:49 PM on September 28, 2006


Speaking as a non-American citizen, having seen what happened to Maher Arar and Khaled Al-Masri, I'm not comforted by that little omission.

I am swarthy, I have travelled to the Middle East, and New Zealand passports are being used by people up to no good. It's already obvious from current uses of your PATRIOT act that your new legislation will be used widely, generously and inappropriately. So I could be detained while in transit, or even in another country, waterboarded or whatever, without hope of relief, and I may never come out.

If you had told me 10 years ago that there was a real risk that one could be disappeared forever by the US - the beacon of the free world! - and imprisoned in its gulag at Guantanamo, and shipped to Fuckupistan for torture, not even covertly and illicitly, but proudly, legally and openly I would have laughed at you. Now it's true. But then 9-11 changed everything.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:57 PM on September 28, 2006 [4 favorites]


This shit is not over yet--the FISA-killing bill passed the House and moves to the Senate next week. Warrantless wiretaps and spying on us all--all will be legal too.
posted by amberglow at 10:15 PM on September 28, 2006


I am swarthy

OMG, he's one of them!
posted by homunculus at 10:42 PM on September 28, 2006


And what does these kinds of accusations and wording mean, in terms of this bill?--

President Bush on Tuesday accused unnamed people of leaking part of a classified intelligence report on Iraq as an act of political sabotage ...
posted by amberglow at 10:43 PM on September 28, 2006


and this: "Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and 159 of her Democrat colleagues voted today in favor of more rights for terrorists," Hastert said in a statement.

don't "more rights for terrorists"="material support"?
posted by amberglow at 10:51 PM on September 28, 2006


I don't have time to read all 100+ comments, I read the first 30 or so... here's my take.

This will never reach the Supreme Court. Think about it: in order to do so, someone would have to file charges against a slight caused by this bill. But the bill effectively prevents such people from any legal recourse, considering they can be held indefinitely without trial.

The second thing is, certain ex post facto portions of the bill are illegal. As far as I know, this is the current interpretation of the ex post facto clause: Calder v Bull (3 US 386 [1798]) (cliff's notes version) - relevant bit from second link: "Every law that alters the legal rules of evidence, and receives less, or different, testimony, than the law required at the time of the commission of the offense, in order to convict the offender." I'd say this fits the bill (no pun intended.
posted by Frankieist at 10:53 PM on September 28, 2006


The democratic leadership needs to be routed. It might be easier through the democratic primary process (like in CT) or by third parties.
posted by delmoi at 11:06 PM on September 28, 2006


This shit is not over yet--the FISA-killing bill passed the House and moves to the Senate next week. Warrantless wiretaps and spying on us all--all will be legal too.

There is no next week. Which is why this is so pathetic. The democrats only needed to hold out for three more days.
posted by delmoi at 11:07 PM on September 28, 2006


The second thing is, certain ex post facto portions of the bill are illegal. As far as I know, this is the current interpretation of the ex post facto clause: Calder v Bull (3 US 386 [1798]) (cliff's notes version) - relevant bit from second link: "Every law that alters the legal rules of evidence, and receives less, or different, testimony, than the law required at the time of the commission of the offense, in order to convict the offender." I'd say this fits the bill (no pun intended.

Not exactly, in this case the "offenders" would be the government goons, not the prisoners. The ex-post facto stuff deals with torture, not habeas corpus.
posted by delmoi at 11:08 PM on September 28, 2006


Fuck Hastert, fuck Lieberman and fuck all of these old white men who are a disgrace to your once noble country. If the actions on habeas weren't bad enough, the Republican party line that always creeps up - that somehow standing up for individual rights that are the foundation of your country - that this is seen as supporting ("coddling" - WTF?!) terrorists makes me want to throw things at these vile political creatures in the Republican Party. The implication that somehow those who aren't Republican don't care about national security and are 'helping' the enemy is disgusting, simple-minded, and truly disheartenning. Wake up, you brainwashed fools - or don't complain when your government asks you to bend over in the name of 'security'.

Pastor Martin Niemoller anyone? Shall we have a rousing rendition of, "First they came for the Communists..."

no '.'s can ever express the disgust and horror I have against these neocon fascists. May we reclaim this country from them and may history relegate them to the category of war criminals and men of treason that they truly, truly are. I await a response from any Republican who can't see these evil warlords for what they are...your country's lowest, darkest moment.
posted by rmm at 11:36 PM on September 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


If the Democrats win the Presidency in 2008, then the new President will also have these very broad powers. So sometime before 2008 expect to see, unless the Democrats win a majority in one of the Houses of Congress, a bill giving the President the equivalent powers of dictator rei gerendae causa.
posted by moonbiter at 2:23 AM on September 29, 2006


Amberglow, that article takes the "a person who has engaged in hostilities..." quote out of context. It uses that language to define "unlawful enemy combatant" and then declares that any alien unlawful enemy combatant is subject to the jurisdiction of the commissions. There's not really any language that could reasonably be held to extend that jurisdiction to citizens.

My problem with citizens vs. non-citizens arguments is they smack of alarmism, and thus weaken the legitimate arguments against this case. If Democratic Senators go on the floor of the Senate and claim this bill applies to American citizens, when the plain language of the bill says otherwise, it's hard for them to be taken seriously. The bill is bad enough, you don't need to make it worse.

As for whether or not this will come before the Courts, even in spite of stautory language, it's hard for Congress to actually remove something from the jurisdiction of the courts, since that decision to remove can generally be subject to judicial review. In this case, it should be easy enough to apply for a writ of habeas corpus, have it denied, and claim the denial of habeas corpus as an injury. Obviously, there are plenty of problems, this sort of litigation is very, very complicated, but it can probably done.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 3:30 AM on September 29, 2006


I've said it before and will ask again: when will the Northeast secede from the US? New England + New York = New ______.

Connecticut: Dodd (D-CT), Nay, Lieberman (D-CT), Yea
Massachusetts: Kennedy (D-MA), Nay, Kerry (D-MA), Nay
New York: Clinton (D-NY), Nay, Schumer (D-NY), Nay
Rhode Island: Chafee (R-RI), Nay, Reed (D-RI), Nay
Vermont: Jeffords (I-VT), Nay, Leahy (D-VT), Nay
New Hampshire: Gregg (R-NH), Yea Sununu (R-NH), Yea
Maine: Collins (R-ME), Yea, Snowe (R-ME), Not Voting

Now, we'll need to put the squeeze on Maine and New Hampshire but that should be easy with our new allies, the Canadian Maritime Provinces plus Quebec. For their aid, we can reopen talks on the Aroostook War.
posted by Dick Paris at 4:22 AM on September 29, 2006


How did George Lucas know?
posted by srboisvert at 4:34 AM on September 29, 2006


My country, 'tis of thee,
eagle symbolically, but now birdbrain;
land where Congress green-lights
pow'r grabs, "rendition" flights,
curtailing cherished rights. Who'll stop the rain?

posted by rob511 at 4:43 AM on September 29, 2006


I think my wet dream here is that the Libertarians stop being the "less government party" and become the "accountability party", and hold all these Country Club Senators and Frat Boy House Representatives to light for their actions.
posted by rzklkng at 5:53 AM on September 29, 2006


I couldn't sleep last night thinking about this. Just so fucking sad.
posted by ao4047 at 5:57 AM on September 29, 2006


Here is my rant, (Marine 84-91):

They are cowards.

Either the current administration is populated with cowards without even an iota of honor or they are subverting our Constitution and the honor of our country for purely political gains. The lesser of the two evils is that they are cowards in a crisis that is well beyond their capabilities to handle.

They want us to believe that THIS crisis is the greatest threat our country has ever faced.

Greater than the Revolution when our very existence was in question.
Greater than the War of 1812 when our nation’s capital was burned and pillaged.
Greater than the Civil War when our nation was torn asunder, brother fighting brother.
Greater than World War 2 when we faced a world wide threat of totalitarianism.
Greater than the Cold War when we faced global annihilation.

If they truly believe this, then they must be cowards.

Granted during some of these conflicts we did forget our principals at times and have later regretted the actions. Also granted that in any conflict there will be incidental examples of horror. More importantly some of these crises have given us shining examples of how Americans are supposed to act. How Americans stand on the moral high ground even during our darkest hours.

George Washington refused to torture the Hessians. General Washington said we will not do this. He said these people will be treated with respect and dignity and they will suffer no abuse or torture, because to do otherwise would bring dishonor upon our sacred cause. Where is our honor now?

During WW2, there were reports that American commanders released German POWs because they could not adequately protect them. Consider how we treated the Japanese POWs honorably even when we knew how they treated their prisoners. Where is our honor now?

None of these conflicts caused us to abandon our founding principals as completely as the current Administration is asking us to do. They have replaced “Give me liberty or give me death” with the completely onerous “You have no liberties if you’re dead”. They have forgotten the words of our birth “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These rights are unalienable and they apply to ALL men.

They want to engage in activities (torture) that the rest of the civilized world has abandoned. No one other than pundits and politicians has claimed torture works. The people directly affected by and implementing the policy of torture have stated that it DOES NOT WORK. Israel, which has been on the frontline of terrorism for decades, abandon the practice. When these same activities were perpetrated on members of our armed services, we were rightly horrified and demanded that they cease.

If they want to do these things in my name, stop. If they want to do these things to make me feel safer, stop. Do not bring dishonor to my name or my country because you are cowards.
posted by Bqaggie87 at 5:59 AM on September 29, 2006 [11 favorites]


I think my wet dream here is that the Libertarians stop being the "less government party" and become the "accountability party"

I don't think the LP can get it together enough to be a big mover, even now it seems all they can do is swear off ever voting for each other on ideological grounds.
posted by sonofsamiam at 6:56 AM on September 29, 2006


For any of you who have been saying that "we're surprised": let's be clear: we're not. Just because the Dems gave up on habeas (as they did before the 2005 DTA) doesn't mean that the people have similarly given up. The will of the many requires inspiration by the few.

Many good people, including U.S. military officers, press, teachers and individuals, have long been (since '02!) in the trenches sounding the alarm and rising in opposition on this front. Success has come in brigs in South Carolina and camps in Guantanamo--twice. Understand that this bill is one component of the administration's response to Neal Katyal's resounding victory (link to NPR interview) in Hamdan. That victory is precisely why the White House is deploying the efforts that it is. The Supreme Court, fresh with two new GW appointees (pdf), demonstrated its willingness and capacity to fulfill its institutional mandate of judicial review and strike down unlawful detention, when given the opportunity to review. The White House answer: deny the Court any opportunity to review by stripping jurisdiction and suspending habeas. That is what this bill intends to do. And it will--if we let it.

There are many historical quotes in this thread, and have another to add: "I have not yet begun to fight." Even if it takes forty years, we cannot allow wrong to be carried out in our names as Americans (props to Bqappie87). We must speak justice and liberty to power.

So do your part. Cynicism now will play into Administration's hands. Do not lose hope. The administration tried to do the same thing ten months ago, and no one listened. Now, Rep. Senator Arlen Spector raises the issue and the press writes editorials. That this bill has gone as far as it has is more the reason to add your voices to the mix, because it shows that if you believe that this bill is wrong, your support is desperately needed.

And for those of you non-U.S. mefites: all the world is a stage, and your support matters. It wouldn't be the first time in recent memory that the New World has looked to the Old. This precise issue came up in Hamdan, and British barristers stepped forward to remind us of the important heritage of habeas. Remember that foreign pressure has been the only reliable way of getting detainees out of Guantanamo or exposing details about the CIA black sites in Eastern Europe.

(not enough space to properly explain all the linked source materials--sorry!)
posted by soda pop at 7:39 AM on September 29, 2006 [3 favorites]


soda pop, awesome post. thanks -- you've made me feel like i don't have to give up all hope just yet.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:26 AM on September 29, 2006


It's easy to feel like giving up, these days. Thanks, soda pop.
posted by EarBucket at 8:51 AM on September 29, 2006


Do not lose hope.

Hope is not a plan. Hope is the foolish lie you tell yourself to delude yourself into not having to truly face the problem besetting you. As long as all you have to offer is hope, all you have to offer is nothing.

Hoping that the Democratic Party will start fighting is foolish. If you want a plan, you have to get rid of those who claim to fight for you, and replace them with those who will. Supporting the party that has repeatedly betrayed you, then hoping that it'll all be better after the election, is what got us here.

Did 2002 matter? Did 2004 matter? No. Bush has steadily increased his power, and the Democrats have done nothing to stop them. Oh, they talk nice -- until the time to stand up and stop the bill happens. Then, we get Alito. Then, we get Roberts. Then, we get PATRIOT, we get the tax cuts, we get the AUMF, we get this bill, we get the energy bill.

How many times do they have to lie to you and screw you before you'll stop hoping and start planning? How many more justices? How many more laws? How many more people have to die? How many people will disappear because your hoping 50+1 might make a difference, when only 35 would stand against torture?

I have your hope right here, in the trash, where it belongs. If all you have to offer is hope, shut up and go away, because what you are offering is a cheerful version of nothing.
posted by eriko at 9:38 AM on September 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


Eriko, wow. And ditto.
posted by rzklkng at 11:28 AM on September 29, 2006


what eriko said. Maybe someone has some real, practical, actionable suggestions? Voting Dem won't fix this shit.
posted by amberglow at 11:37 AM on September 29, 2006


well said Bqaggie87
posted by Smedleyman at 12:40 PM on September 29, 2006


They want us to believe that THIS crisis is the greatest threat our country has ever faced.

If they truly believe this, then they must be cowards.


BE AFRAID!! Oh God, the Brown Bad people could strike any moment! They could strike ... NOW!! AHHHH. Okay, how about .. NOW!! AAGAGAHAHAHHAG! Quick, do whatever we tell you, and believe whatever we tell you, or YOU WILL BE KILLED BY BROWN PEOPLE!! PUT DOWN THAT SIPPY CUP!!
posted by homunculus at 1:06 PM on September 29, 2006


Does the Military Commissions Act apply to citizens?
posted by homunculus at 1:30 PM on September 29, 2006


Beltway Democrats are seriously flawed, but the election is still critically important
posted by homunculus at 2:14 PM on September 29, 2006


In Case I Disappear ---... In effect, Congress just gave Bush the power to lock them up.
By writing this essay, I could be deemed an "enemy combatant." It's that simple, and very soon, it will be the law. I always laughed when people told me to be careful. I'm not laughing anymore.
In case I disappear, remember this. America is an idea, a dream, and that is all. We have borders and armies and citizens and commerce and industry, but all this merely makes us like every other nation on this Earth. What separates us is the idea, the simple idea, that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are our organizing principles. We can think as we please, speak as we please, write as we please, worship as we please, go where we please. We are protected from the kinds of tyranny that inspired our creation as a nation in the first place.
That was the idea. That was the dream. It may all be over now, but once upon a time, it existed. No good idea ever truly dies. The dream was here, and so was I, and so were you.

posted by amberglow at 3:07 PM on September 29, 2006


Was there a link to that Amberglow? Looks pretty nifty.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:25 PM on September 29, 2006


homunculus' link reads like a study in accepting the lesser of two evils. Personally, I'm beginning to see eriko's point.

Do I want a corrupt Republican administration who mercilessly steamrolls over our rights or do I want a corrupt Democrat administration who, in the face of something that is clearly wrong and an affront to their constituents, rolls over and does it anyway, because they want to be re-elected?

Fuck that. Fuck that hard.

I want people will to throw their jobs on the line to stop something that is wrong. I want people in office who don't plan on making careers out of it. As far as I'm concerned, the Repubs and the Dems have all become equally worthless.

We need to clean house and start over.
posted by quin at 4:01 PM on September 29, 2006


oh--sorry about that--- In Case I Disappear
posted by amberglow at 4:11 PM on September 29, 2006


... This country is very swiftly retreating to an uncivilized state. It's not because of gay people getting married or women aborting blastocysts. It's because a vicious, violent ugly faction took over the political discourse and normalized the idea of a powerful enemy within and without America that must be stopped by any means possible.

And the government is giving these people tours of the prison at Guantanamo and they come back and report that it is beautiful resort and the residents are fat and lazy. (Literally. It couldn't be more soviet.) ...

posted by amberglow at 8:05 PM on September 29, 2006


In other news, Bush & co pardon themselves for war crimes.
posted by knave at 11:22 PM on September 29, 2006


The outcome of the November elections is going to tell the world a whole lot about America.

The Bush government has done the political equivalent of flying airplanes into the twin towers of the Constitution and tbe Bill of Rights. You know how the WTC was such a huge symbol of Western Achievement? The Constitution and Bill of Rights were kinda the same thing. Not necessarily the best, just as WTC wasn't the tallest, but truly iconic and — we thought — immortal.

The terrorists will win if America votes to keep its crooks and liars in office.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:26 PM on September 29, 2006


Bulgaroktonos: All in all, while this is a bad law, I don't think its the end of the world.

Slippery slope. Ratchet effect. Mission creep. Collateral damage.

ZachsMind: It will get worse before it gets better

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face -- forever."

Civil_Disobedient: We need a new party. A Populist Party or something.

Yeah, that's what we need.
/snark

rzklkng: Libertarians stop being the "less government party" and become the "accountability party"

The two go hand in hand.

amberglow: Maybe someone has some real, practical, actionable suggestions?

The hundreds of millions of firearms laying about the country ought to be good for something.
posted by oncogenesis at 1:39 AM on September 30, 2006


violence after this has passed is exactly the wrong thing to do--it would ensure martial law for everyone, and no elections--it would ensure a speeding up of this death of a thousand cuts we've been going thru. I bet Rove would cream if people tried it.

What needs to happen is that Coulter or Limbaugh or any of the hundreds of other rightwingers (thousands?) who have advocated violence against judges or others get caught by this, but i don't see how it could be done.
posted by amberglow at 5:16 AM on September 30, 2006


Gonzales is already warning Judges:
Gonzales,
who is defending President Bush's anti-terrorism tactics in multiple court battles, said Friday that federal judges should not substitute their personal views for the president's judgments in wartime.


And so it begins. What's it been? Fewer than 24 hours? And already, the nation's attorney is warning judges not to buck the president's will. It will bode badly for the judiciary if they do so. They have been warned. ...

posted by amberglow at 5:33 AM on September 30, 2006


and the law itself-- Section 950j--
"No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any claim or cause of action whatsoever, including any action pending on or filed after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, relating to the prosecution, trial, or judgment of a military commission under this chapter, including challenges to the lawfulness of procedures of military commissions under this chapter."
The Bush administration is preemptively overriding any challenge to the legislation by the Supreme Court.

posted by amberglow at 6:23 AM on September 30, 2006


violence after this has passed is exactly the wrong thing to do

So you go quietly to the camps, then?

We've lost. You have three choices.

1) Accept.
2) Flee.
3) Fight.

You have to make your own decision.

Oh, by the way, if you aren't a US Citizen? GET THE FUCK OUT NOW.
posted by eriko at 7:55 AM on September 30, 2006


federal judges should not substitute their personal views for the president's judgments in wartime.
The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.
-- Teddy Roosevelt
posted by kirkaracha at 9:30 AM on September 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Woodward Excerpt Appears in 'Post' With New 9/11 Bombshell
posted by homunculus at 11:34 AM on September 30, 2006


Ack, wrong window.
posted by homunculus at 11:34 AM on September 30, 2006


It's amazing what one can accomplish by just flying a couple of airplanes into some buildings.
Sit back and watch the US eat itself alive.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:43 PM on September 30, 2006


It's truly scary what's going on with your government. It appears to have been literally hijacked: a fraudulent election and wham! shit happens to make sure y'all are cowed into submission.

I simply can't believe what the American people are willingly giving up.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:03 PM on September 30, 2006


We're simply too comfortable to do anything about it, and that's not going to change for a while. IMO, fighting isn't yet an option, because you won't be supported by the people at large. Leaving the country, or sitting it out are basically the two options.
posted by knave at 7:28 PM on September 30, 2006


what knave said.

and fff, get that underground railroad ready.
posted by amberglow at 7:53 PM on September 30, 2006


I simply can't believe what the American people are willingly giving up.

I've been talking a lot to people to see what they think, and, I can't believe it but people are still scared to death of terrorists.

Even when they say something like, "It's terrible how Bush is taking advantage of the situation...",

and now they feel they MUST say,

"... BUT, those terrorists are terrible people, they're just plain insane."
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:43 AM on October 1, 2006


Campaign 2006: The Republicans' Secret Weapon
You think the GOP is sure to lose big in November? They aren't. Here's why things don't look so bad to them
By MIKE ALLEN AND JAMES CARNEY

posted by taosbat at 11:34 AM on October 1, 2006


What A Terrorist Incident in Ancient Rome Can Teach Us
posted by homunculus at 2:44 PM on October 1, 2006


Niall Ferguson: Why Churchill Opposed Torture
posted by homunculus at 7:56 PM on October 2, 2006


Funny, homunculus, I was thinking of Ostia and Pompey and the rise of Caesar when we invaded Iraq. I really shoulda listened to my brain. Mebbe because I don’t see Caesar waiting in the wings. Which, as it is, might be a very bad thing leading to utter collapse and/or force the rise of a poor substitue or, I think, the salvation of our republic in the ingrained military tradition of civilian control. But on the one hand, military conquest is an outmoded method of gaining treasure (seen any wealthy soldiers lately - any wealthy generals even? (wealthy, not rich)) on the other the flow of power has become somewhat more subtle and certainly it is possible to gain real wealth through intelligence and corporate machinations. That calls for a behind the scenes sort of power, quite in contrast to Caesar. An introvert who avoids publicity but has his hand in many affairs. Sound like anyone in Bushco?
Still, Machiavelli aside - that position can’t be maintained legitimately. A shadow government - however well maintained - is still run on insinuation and influence. It’s as vulnerable as paper money when confronted and the illusion is dispelled.
On the other hand, there’s nothing that says we’ll be seeing Augustus any time soon.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:28 AM on October 3, 2006


Yeah, I was thinking about the last days of the Roman Republic a lot too, but I hadn't made the connection with Ostia. Yikes.

An introvert who avoids publicity but has his hand in many affairs. Sound like anyone in Bushco?

Hmmm...
posted by homunculus at 4:20 PM on October 4, 2006


Jon Stewart Takes A Look At ‘Tolerable Cruelty’
posted by homunculus at 4:23 PM on October 4, 2006


Has Congress unconstitutionally suspended the writ of habeas corpus?
posted by homunculus at 7:15 PM on October 4, 2006


An American Sentenced to Death in Iraq
posted by homunculus at 10:33 AM on October 17, 2006


"They did a really good job this time" -- No MCA Signing Statement
posted by homunculus at 11:52 AM on October 17, 2006


Olbermann: The Day Habeas Corpus Died
posted by homunculus at 11:21 PM on October 17, 2006


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