Thursday, October 19, 2006

We are a different country now

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Since Tuesday, that is. I'm linking you to an article called "Mehlman: Democrats have 'concern for terrorist civil liberties'". Yes, Mehlman is saying that Democrats have voted against interrogating terrorists. Can you believe it? But here's the part I really want you to see:

Appearing on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann Tuesday night, George Washington University Professor of Constitutional Law, Jonathan Turley, described exactly how hideous the law signed by Bush truly is.

"People clearly don‘t realize what a fundamental change this is about who we are as a country," said Turley. "What happened today changed us. And I‘m not too sure we‘re going to change back anytime soon."

"And people have no idea how significant this is. What, really, a time of shame this is for the American system. What the Congress did and what the president signed today essentially revokes over 200 years of American principles and values."

Now what I want you to see is a comment by someone whose screen name is Helios:

Bush could now, by law and in complete secrecy, arrest, incarcerate, torture and murder poets, artists, intellectuals, dissidents, protestors or political opposition at his discretion. If Bush gave the order, millions of American citizens could be rounded up this very day, and without trial or counsel, be sent to concentration camps to never be seen again. He has the power to do just that.

I made Cynthia, my administrative assistant and friend, promise that she'd take care of my animals if I'm hauled off to the camps. She thought I was being silly. "Isn't that law intended for terrorists?" she asked. I painstakingly explained to her that I could be accused of being a terrorist with no evidence against me at all because without habeas corpus I would be unable to challenge my detention in a court of law. I explained to her that I've given money to PETA, an animal rights organization, and that rabid right wingers consider animal rights activists to be terrorists. (That shocked her. It's true, though.) I explained that members of the Bush administration consider political dissidents to be "supporting the terrorists". It took her a long time to get it.

Now Cynthia is not stupid. And even if she's not obsessed about politics the way I am, she keeps up a lot better than the average person. So if she thinks people are safe just because they're not terrorists then so do millions of other Americans who are not any where near as politically aware as she is.

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