Thursday, September 28, 2006

the experts agree!

From a group of 609 law professors, in a letter to Congress quoted by Tim Grieve at Salon:
"Taken together, the bill’s provisions rewrite American law to evade the fundamental principles of separation of powers, due process, habeas corpus, fair trials, and the rule of law, principles that, together, prohibit state-sanctioned violence. If there is any fixed point in the historical understandings of constitutional freedom that help to define us as a people, it is that no one may be picked up and locked up by the American state in secret or at an unknown location, or without opportunity to petition an independent court for inspection of the lawfulness of the lockup and of the treatment handed out by the state to the person locked up, under legal standards from time to time defined by Congress. This core principle should apply with full force to all detentions by the American state, regardless of the citizenship of detainees."
These rights are required for there to be a free society. To curtail them-- and by expert accounts, this bill would curtail them for everybody, citizen or otherwise-- would be nothing short of tossing the whole idea of civil rights in its entirety. If the government can deprive you of your freedom whenever it wants for any reason it pleases, you have no rights. Period.

Screw Iraq; we need to save democracy in the United States!

No comments: