“Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.” ~ Ben Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack (1738)
Habeas Corpus, like so many of our common laws is inherited from the English. Simply put it is a legal remedy for unlawful arrest and detention that translates from Latin as “You may have the body”. President Lincoln suspended it during the civil war over the objections of the Supreme Court and President Bush suspended it in 2006 when he signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 for those that were not US citizens as part of the so called War on Terror. Since the Patriot Act was passed in the aftermath of 9-11 American citizens have lost an array of basic civil liberties in the name of security and last week Obama continued that trend when he signed the National Defense Authorization Act which now allows the military to arrest any US citizen deemed a terrorist even here in the US!
I have 2 links to share on this topic, as it appears the voters in 2012 will face the dark choice between one of the sold out ignorant nabobs from the GOP against a sold out Ed Rust lawn jockey from Illinois. The exception in the GOP field is Ron Paul folks but as Frank Corder reminded me on twitter yesterday he is not likely to get the GOP nomination, IMHO because he is not sold out like the rest. (For you local folks I’d mention Buddy Roemer here but he is bat shit crazy in my opinion.) The first link is from the New York Times’ Andrew Rosenthal:
Most broadly, the bill continues the work President George W. Bush started. Mr. Bush and his supporters exploited the nation’s fear and insecurity after the Sept. 11 attacks (and Democrats’ insecurity about national security) to ram through several unnecessary bills, including the Patriot Act and a dangerous expansion of the government’s ability to spy on Americans’ international communications without judicial supervision. Now, Mr. Obama and the Democrats in Congress have proven that they’re equally willing to curtail civil liberties, and, in the process, further damage America’s global reputation as a defender of human rights.
I think it’s barely possible that Mr. Obama would sign a waiver of military detention when warranted. But it’s impossible to imagine a Republican successor doing that. And that’s the big point. This is supposed to be a nation of laws, not a nation of men we just really hope will make good decisions. I wish Mr. Obama saw that more clearly.
Nope it is clear he doesn’t. I soured on Obama when he went back on his 2008 promise to South Mississippi to be open to the idea of a multi peril solution to the coastal insurance crisis exposing himself as a simple lying, sack of shit politician that will say anything to get a vote. And I sure as heck don’t get why hard-core GOPers don’t like him because he is more of a modern-day Republican than George Bush ever was. But alas the people are divided along a fictitious divide called party lines and that brings me to my next stop, the Business Insider’s Robert Johnson’s piece on the subject, specifically two reader comments that also perfectly illustrate the major point I’ve been trying to make on Slabbed that we’re all in this cesspool together and we’ll only escape it that way:
Liberals are chumps on Dec 15, 8:57 AM said:
They told me that if I voted for John McCain, the United States would imprison American without trial…And they were right!
How are the liberal chumps feeling now?
Libervative on Dec 15, 9:14 AM said:
@Liberals are chumps:
I can’t speak for any other liberal chumps, but I’m feeling pretty chumpy. Although I find it fascinating that you’re more interested in Bwahahahahaha-ing than in what just happened to your rights as an American.
This is something liberals and conservatives could easily agree on, and possibly get corrected. But screw that, right?
And you read the other comments and you get a sense the business community gets the fact the government has been hijacked by Investment Banks, Pharma, and the Military Industrial Complex as a commenter noted. Of course what happened in the last election, an angry mis-informed electorate sent more sell outs like Steven Palazzo to help Obama out and this brings us to another major disaster passed last week by Congress in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a handout to Big Media & Hollywood aka “The fricking pravda/propaganda wing of the Oligarchs.” and for that we must visit with Alex Howard at O’Reilly Radar, a journal dedicated to emerging technologies. Alex wrote a long but very informative article on the problems in SOPA that is well worth reading in its entirety but here is a snippet that deals with our sold out House of Representatives:
It’s not hard to see the House Judiciary Committee has not been equally representing both sides of the debate in either the resources it provides online or in the witnesses it called to testify at a recent hearing.
If you read the U.S. House Judiciary website “resource pages” on “rogue websites, for instance, you’d never know that there’s any opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act at all, even from within the committee.
Similarly, if you visited the hearing for H.R. 3261 on the House Judiciary committee website, you would not see any of the documents that Representatives Lofgren or Issa read into the record during last week’s hearing.
If you want a more balanced picture of the hearing, turn to InfoDocket.com, which has collected many more SOPA resources.
For media reports on the SOPA hearing, read The Hill, Politico, The Atlantic Wire, Wired, Washington Post, or, most frank of all, ArsTechnica, which captured a truth that became clear to many observers who sat through all of it: “The hearing was designed to shove the legislation forward and to brand companies who object as siding with ‘the pirates’.”
As Carl Franzen put it at TPM’s Idealab, this hearing provided an official venue for the bill’s supporters to explain why SOPA should pass. The problem with that approach is that the witness list (five for SOPA, one against) left the committee wide open to accusations of anti-Internet bias in the witness list.
Yep folks, we have the best government money can buy huh? Billed as a law designed to protect American intellectual property SOPA and its kissing cousin PIPA are in reality attacks against free speech and the ability to access content freely as Big Brother is taking over DNS. It is complicated but the bottom line is free speech public interest groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation opposed both laws vigorously because they see the dangers, joined by dozens of law professors that think PIPA is an unconstitutional attack on the First Amendment out of the gate.
So there you have it folks, last week the politicians in DC were busy continuing the work of transforming the US into a police state chipping away at basic civil liberties in the name of security. In 2012 we need a complete clean sweep of everyone currently stinking up our nation’s capital. Instead they offer ignorant fluffers like Michele Bachmann and lying sack of shit hypocrites like Newt Gingrich.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~ Ben Franklin