Thursday, September 28, 2006

Habeas Corpus is Pre-9/11 Thinking?

At least that's what Republican members of Congress along with several cowardly Democrats think.

As this editorial in today's New York Times summarizes, the President's latest election year ploy "anti-terrorism" bill rejects the protections of the Geneva Conventions and undermines the very foundations of our justice system.

Despite the rabid fear-mongering of those on the Right, terrorists, suspected terrorists and political enemies that the President considers to be enemy combatants are still HUMAN BEINGS. Therefore, they have human rights that deserve to be upheld.

This bill permits these basic human rights to be violated, which contradicts the very principles that this country was founded upon. PERIOD. No one who has sworn to uphold the Constitution can vote for this bill without violating that oath.

Enemy CombatantLet me explain this is simple terms. Governments should NOT have the right to imprison people without cause. George Bush shouldn't have that power. Bill Clinton shouldn't have that power and neither should Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, Hilary Clinton, or Russ Feingold.

Also, contrary to Republican pundits who continue to describe Habeas Corpus as some type of legal technicality, the concept dates back to the Magna Carta in the year 1215. (Clause 24 states that crown officials [such as sheriffs] may not try a crime in place of a judge.)

Somehow, I think a military officer who reports to the President as Commander-in-Chief qualifies as a "crown official", especially when their decisions are not subject to appeal.

We're not talking about legal technicalities. We're talking about principles of justice and governance that are older than our nation, upon which our nation was founded.

Perhaps, Republicans need to be reminded that we rejected the strong authoritarian executive (monarchy) form of government and spilled blood to establish this country as a Democracy.

Apparently for some, that's pre-9/11 thinking.

Personally, I prefer 7/4/76 thinking.

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