Thursday, October 05, 2006

 

U. S. Cancels Elections

How would you like to wake up one morning and see that headline in the newspaper? Pretty freaky, huh? After reading my Media Matters weekly post, I'm beginning to wonder if this is in our future. Here's part of the post I got:

Is your daughter a future detainee? What the media didn't tell you about the new anti-terror bill or Bush's power grab

The Senate just passed by a vote of 65-34 a bill that, among other things, allows the president to imprison forever, without trial, your neighbor's son -- a lawful permanent resident in the United States -- for emailing his Muslim roommate who went home to visit his family. Your daughter who organizes a protest at the Pentagon that gets a little more attention than the president thinks it should could become a detainee, held indefinitely. The bill says generally what activities qualify one as an "unlawful enemy combatant" subject to detention, but if the government can postpone that review indefinitely, who's going to tell the president that detention is illegal?

Think we're exaggerating? Think the bill goes after only terrorists or people who support them? Think again. The president is expected to sign it imminently. If you just read news reports, you won't have any idea how far this bill goes. Read it. Yes, it's too late to do anything, aside from letting your representatives know what they have done. They and the media have failed you. Read it.

But don't stop there. President Bush certainly hasn't. The bill's suspension of access to habeas corpus explicitly applies only to "aliens," which it defines as non-citizens -- in other words, legal permanent residents of the United States -- but the Bush administration has taken the position that it can detain anyone -- anyone, U.S. citizens included -- by, in its sole discretion, labeling that person an enemy combatant.

Given this, what's to stop the current administration from arbitrarily cancelling U. S. elections? What's to stop them from doing any darn thing they want? My post on fear yesterday? This is what I was scared of, disagreeing in writing with the actions of the current administration. I had to really think about this before posting, because I don't want to end up in the hooscow, locked up for expressing my views in a country that's supposed to be about democracy, a country that's supposed to guarantee our right to free speech, but that is quickly stripping us of those rights.

My brother gave me some advice this past week. He said that I should do something I'm scared to do every day. This post is it.

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