Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Knock on the Door in the Middle of the Night

Countless millions throughout the old Eastern Bloc spoke of it - a nocturnal visit by the secret police. Whether it was the KGB, the Securitate, the Stasi, by whatever name it had, the State's security apparatus was feared.

It was also hated, but we will overlook that for now. It is not germane to our story.

What is germane is the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Recently passed by the idiots in the Congressional Republican Caucus and the weak sisters in the Congressional Democratic Caucus (SHAME on all of you - especially you, Levin!) it contains a provision that had, until yesterday, drawn a veto threat from the Obama White House.

That provision, quite essentially, allows the President of the United States to bypass the Constitution and lock anyone up indefinitely as a suspected terrorist. That includes American citizens.

You heard me right.

The Constitution doesn't matter any more, since the White House has signaled that it will sign this abomination into law.

Right to trial by jury? You'll be lucky to get a military tribunal.

Right to face your accuser? The evidence against you will likely be secret, so you'll never see it.

Right to an attorney? Don't make me laugh.

Right to habeas corpus? That's such a pre-9/11 concept.

Right to avoid self-incrimination? Doesn't matter; you'll be waterboarded until you talk (or they'll send you somewhere where you'll be 'persuaded' to talk).

Right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment? Don't make me laugh. A society that pepper-sprays peaceful protesters and uses Tasers on small children has forgotten what "cruel and unusual" means.

Now, I hear your objections. "I'm not a terrorist. I have nothing to fear from this law. It's for the good of our country and the preservation of our freedoms."


The law allows anyone, anyone, to be locked up forever if the President decides it's "all for the good of the country." What's to stop Obama from locking up the entire GOP caucus? Or a future Republican President deciding to dust off Nixon's "enemies list" and ordering the military to start conducting mass arrests of undesirables?

(Which is why I'm particularly incensed at Senator Carl Levin. As a Jew, he must surely realize the effects of this Nacht und Nebel Erlass he's supporting.)

If this becomes law, the knock on the door in the middle of the night will become part of America.

And we will finally have lost the War on Terror.

UPDATE: Extra Irony Points, people! The Congress passed this abominable bill on "Bill of Rights Day!" Isn't that fun?


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