Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Scary stuff for Halloween

Just so you know, Autumn was a chicken. We have pictures. We gave away a lot of chocolate, and pretended that everything in the world is hunky dory. There is nothing even remotely scary about anything.

Except maybe these three things done in during the daylight by the US government:

1. Indefinite detainment is legal. No one is allowed to file a writ of Habeas Corpus to hear charges against them. An American Citizen can be legally arrested and detained forever and they no longer have the right to hear the charges. The key thing here is that the President is allowed to determine if you're an enemy combatant. It's his call. This law has been applied to a satellite dish salesman in NJ who sold Satellite Dishes that could pick up Al Jazeera. To further confuse the issue, if the Vice President suggests that an opinion on policy aids the terrorist, under this new law, the person who holds that opinion can be locked up.

2. Torture is okay. Even though the President says the US doesn't torture. That tortured logic makes sense when you realize that the Military Commissions Act of 2006 allows the President to define torture. If he says it isn't torture, it isn't.

3. Bush signed the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 (H.R.5122). Here's some more mumbo jumbo, for fun: The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) and the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385). Confused? Here's the point: the H.R.5122 allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder." The new law overrides the other two laws I cited that prevented the President from being able to declare martial law in America.

So, to recap. If a group of people protest the president, it's now legal to send troops in to stop the protest. The troops are allowed to pick up and detain American Citizens if the president says their opinions are aiding the terrorists. And, for good measure, they are allowed to torture American Citizens as long as the president says it isn't torture. Keep in mind, even in light of pictures of troops torturing detainees, Bush has consistently claimed the US doesn't torture. According to the new law, he's right.

Of course, just because all this stuff is legal, doesn't mean he'll do it. Not in America. But it makes you wonder, why make all these laws?

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