Thursday, December 8, 2011

How did we Americans get to be such cowards?

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Jesus Christ! The indefinite detention of American citizens, even those arrested in America, without a trial? Didn't we learn anything from the hysteria of the Bush years?

Keep in mind that these aren't people who are guilty of terrorism, or even guilty of aiding terrorist groups. These are just people suspected of involvement. The whole point of a trial is to find out if suspects are actually guilty or not.

But we're going to skip all that. We're just going to let the government arrest whomever they want and keep them locked up indefinitely, without a trial. Efficient, huh? Heinrich Himmler would be impressed!

You know, Rand Paul is just like his father in some ways. They're wrong about nearly everything, but both will occasionally say something that not only makes sense, but really needs to be said. For Rand Paul, this is one of those times.

Of course, it wasn't just Rand Paul who objected. This clip shows Sen. Mark Udall objecting, too, and there were others, though I haven't been able to find a list. But the bill passed the Senate 93 to 7! Not exactly a close vote, huh?

Now, I understand that this was a vote on the entire defense appropriations bill, and no bill is going to be perfect. Perhaps some senators objected to this particular provision, but were still willing to vote for the whole package. But this isn't a minor matter. It strikes at our core constitutional freedoms.

It's giving up what makes America America, the rule of law. In America, the president can't do whatever he wants, arbitrarily. We citizens have rights. And one of those rights is the right to a fair trial when we're accused of wrongdoing. How can you abandon that?

Are we still so hysterically afraid of a handful of religious nuts that we're willing to destroy our own country in our fear? It's been ten years since 9/11, and I thought our hysterical response was embarrassing even then. This is just incredible, don't you think? How cowardly can we be?

Incidentally, if you're wondering about that deficit everyone is supposedly so worried about, the appropriations bill apparently doesn't cut defense spending one dime from what they're getting this year. Of course, we only spend 59% of our discretionary spending on "defense," more than the rest of the world combined!

Can't make any cuts there, can we? Oh, no! After all, our enemies - our only enemies - are a handful of religious nuts using improvised explosives. So of course we have to spend even more than when we were defending ourselves from the Soviet Union, a world superpower.

(And if you want to argue that China is our enemy, well, they're destroying us the same way we destroyed the Soviet Union, by causing them to go bankrupt through ridiculous defense spending as their economy went down the toilet.)

According to Stewart (I'm not going to embed that clip, since I've got two in this post, already), President Obama is threatening to veto this bill,... but not for that reason. Yeah, apparently, the bill just doesn't go far enough!

Jon Stewart: "You got that? Obama is going to veto this thing, not because he objects to the executive branch having near infinite power to detain whoever it wants, but because he objects to the executive not having totally infinite power."

But don't worry. You can't be held indefinitely without a trial, but only until "the end of hostilities." Yup, as Stewart puts it, "so when the war on terror ends,... and terror surrenders, and is no longer available as a human emotion,... you're free to go."

Well, that's a relief, huh?

1 comment:

Gregg Garthright said...

I read about that this morning - it's amazing that there's virtually no outrage! How can this be constitutional? That would have to be tested in court, wouldn't it?

Of course, all they'll arrest and detain indefinitely are terrorists, right? Well, terrorists and Liberal, Atheist, Socialist Bloggers.......