Friday, September 21, 2007

The End of America

I'm experiencing somewhat more than my usual rage today. Frankly I'm pretty disappointed at the lukewarm response to my recent post about the failure in the Senate to gain a cloture vote for the Habeas Corpus Restoration bill sponsored by Chris Dodd and Patrick Leahy. I've been concerned about this cornerstone of human rights since the odious Military Commissions Act gutted its authority last year.
Simply stated, without habeas all other rights are moot - you need a day in court to state your case. They don't call it the Great Writ for nothing.
People, you've got to stop acting like the United States of America is somehow inoculated against tyranny. Remember, Germany was a constitutional democracy before Hitler's Nazis took over. And as Naomi Wolf pointed out on The Colbert Report last night, there is a blueprint for the overthrow of legitimate government by dictators. And Bu$hCo are following it religiously.
George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four as a warning.
George Bush reads it like an operations manual.
Watch the Video

You can read the blueprint in this review of her book The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot in The Guardian. It's full of hard to confront what ifs.
What if the publisher of a major US newspaper were charged with treason or espionage, as a rightwing effort seemed to threaten Keller with last year? What if he or she got 10 years in jail? What would the newspapers look like the next day? Judging from history, they would not cease publishing; but they would suddenly be very polite.

Right now, only a handful of patriots are trying to hold back the tide of tyranny for the rest of us - staff at the Center for Constitutional Rights, who faced death threats for representing the detainees yet persisted all the way to the Supreme Court; activists at the American Civil Liberties Union; and prominent conservatives trying to roll back the corrosive new laws, under the banner of a new group called the American Freedom Agenda. This small, disparate collection of people needs everybody's help, including that of Europeans and others internationally who are willing to put pressure on the administration because they can see what a US unrestrained by real democracy at home can mean for the rest of the world.

We need to look at history and face the "what ifs". For if we keep going down this road, the "end of America" could come for each of us in a different way, at a different moment; each of us might have a different moment when we feel forced to look back and think: that is how it was before - and this is the way it is now.

"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands ... is the definition of tyranny," wrote James Madison. We still have the choice to stop going down this road; we can stand our ground and fight for our nation, and take up the banner the founders asked us to carry.
It ain't gonna carry itself.

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