Friday, May 30, 2008

Where did I put that brown shirt?

I try really hard not to make overtly political posts, because honestly no one really wants to listen to me get schreechy, but this just blows me away. This article is about the case that some of the prisoners at Gitmo brought against the U.S. for unlawful imprisonment. Here's a clip from the article:

During arguments last year, government lawyers said the courts should give great deference to the president when the nation is at war.

"What you assert is the power of the military to seize a person in the United States, including an American citizen, on suspicion of being an enemy combatant?" Judge William B. Traxler asked.

"Yes, your honor," Justice Department lawyer Gregory Garre replied.

The court seemed torn.

My italics. In what bizzaro world is this acceptable in the United States? If the U.S. Army suspects me of being an enemy combatant (based on what evidence?), they can imprison me without charging me, without providing me a lawyer, and without having to actually put me on trial. They want to assert that the U.S. Army can hold me in perpetuity in a jail without ever having to give me the opportunity to be released.

And don't give me, "Yeah, but they wouldn't do that to you. You're not a terrorist." Because I'm white? Because all terrorists walk around with neon signs on their backs that say "I'm a terrorist"? The whole basis of our justice system rests on innocent until proven guilty. We made a conscious choice in this country to err on the side of freedom - until now. Now, the government is arguing that they have the legal right to imprison anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Oh, you say, only if they are suspected of being a terrorist? Really. How do you establish that? Think back on all the cop shows you watch. You can generate suspicions about anyone. If you wanted to, you could talk yourself into suspecting my Grandma of supporting terrorism.

The point is that the U.S. was established with a very healthy suspicion of the government, because it cannot be trusted to use power wisely. There must be checks and balances (like trials and lawyers and shit like that). This is not a Bush or Republican issue, either. NO government can be allowed powers like this. It's disgusting, it's revolting, and it is essentially what Kim Jong Il has in North Korea.

Hope you enjoy kim-chee.

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