When your daughter becomes a detainee...
Bush says they hate us for our freedoms.
Bush solution: take away our freedoms
Welcome to your fascist dictatorship.
Do you feel safer yet?
If it's wrong when they do it to us,
It's wrong when we do it to them.
--basic moral principle
If it's wrong when they do it to us,
It's OK when we do it to them.
You are either with us are you are for the terrorists.
Dissent supports the terrorists
Sedition is resistance to lawful authority
Dissent is sedition
"America"--New Lyrics for a New Dark Age
by Dave Lindhoff
My country 'tis of thee
Once known for liberty, for thee I weep.
Land where our fathers died,
Now prisoners won't be tried,
Torture and spies abide, while we all sleep.
My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free, no longer so;
Presidents now make war,
Don't even say what for;
While Congress hides behind closed doors,
and won't say no.
Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees, sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let us our silence break, and right this wrong.
Our Founders now to thee,
Authors of liberty, we make this vow:
No more will tyrants vain
Our Constitution stain
We will our rights regain. That's starting now!
The United States Of Torture
By Matthew Yglesias
The United States now presents itself as what amounts to the globe's
largest and most powerful rogue state-a nuclear-armed superpower capable
of projecting military force to the furthest corners of the earth,
acting utterly without legal or moral constraint whenever the president
proclaims it necessary.
In Case I Disappear
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
29 September 2006
I have been told a thousand times at least, in the years I have spent
reporting on the astonishing and repugnant abuses, lies and failures of
the Bush administration, to watch my back. "Be careful," people always
tell me. "These people are capable of anything. Stay off small planes,
make sure you aren't being followed." A running joke between my mother
and me is that she has a "safe room" set up for me in her cabin in the
woods, in the event I have to flee because of something I wrote or said.
I always laughed and shook my head whenever I heard this stuff. Extreme
paranoia wrapped in the tinfoil of conspiracy, I thought. This is still
America, and these Bush fools will soon pass into history, I thought. I
am a citizen, and the First Amendment hasn't yet been red-lined, I
Matters are different now.
Is your daughter a future detainee?
by Marcia Kuntz and Jamison Foser
Sep 29, 2006
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. Bush did that in the case of citizen Jose Padilla,
simply asserting that he was a terrorist, and locking him up in a Navy
prison in South Carolina for three years without charges. Padilla filed
suit, and the Bush administration argued successfully to the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that it could hold Padilla
indefinitely as an enemy combatant. It was only following Padilla's
appeal to the Supreme Court that the administration filed criminal
charges against him, apparently fearful that the Supreme Court would
rule in Padilla's favor. The Supreme Court refused to hear Padilla's
case, writing that the criminal charges made it unnecessary at the time
to rule on the issue of whether he was lawfully detained as an enemy
combatant. Let's review: Padilla was held without charges for three
years; the Bush administration took the position -- and continues to
take the position -- that his detention was lawful and that it has the
power to hold him until the conclusion of the war on terror. Rather than
reining in the president, Congress has opted to make that unfettered
authority clear only with respect to "aliens." The bill does include a
definition of unlawful enemy combatants but, notably, does not limit the
category to noncitizens. Congress has yet to act on Bush's assertion of
power to detain U.S. citizens as unlawful enemy combatants.
The media have characterized the bill as one providing "Broad New Rules
to Try Detainees" or, in the words of The Washington Post, a bill that
institutes "landmark changes to the nation's system of interrogating and
prosecuting terrorism suspects." Indeed, much of the media's focus on
this legislation has been directed at the rift -- since healed --
between Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and John Warner
(R-VA) on the one hand and President Bush and his congressional
supporters on the other over such -- obviously important -- issues as
the treatment of detainees. But to read these reports, you would think
the bill targets only "them" (as in "us versus them") -- terrorism
suspects only a mother or the ACLU could love.
In fact, the bill is explicitly designed to deal with "them," but its
effect is to cast a far wider net. You may be like many Americans who
have a general unease about compromising the Bill of Rights, but think
some give is necessary in the case of purported monsters like Khalid
Shaikh Mohammed. If that's your understanding of what this bill does,
you have been ill-served by the media. This is a bill that compromises
the rights of all of us -- the KSMs of the world, but also those who the
President Bush decides are a threat to this country -- or even to his
agenda to privatize Social Security. And, you might not know it from
such eminent media outlets as the The New York Times and The Washington
Post, but not even Bush supporters are safe -- those who might meet with
this administration's approval, but still fall victim to this bill if
they pose a threat to a future administration that might have a lower
respect than President Bush for the democratic principles that
distinguish this nation.
How is this possible? Here's what the bill says: "No court, justice, or
judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a
writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the
United States who has been determined by the United States to have been
properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such
In other words, under this bill, the president or his designee can
simply decide that someone poses a threat, call them an unlawful enemy
combatant, and lock them away. Yes, they are entitled to a determination
by the Combatant Status Review Tribunal of whether they in fact meet the
definition of unlawful enemy combatant. But the law doesn't impose a
time limit. The government could simply postpone that hearing
indefinitely, and the detainee would have the status of "awaiting such
determination," and not be given access to federal court.
Yale law professor Jack Balkin:
That means that if the government decides never to try an individual
before a commission, but just holds them in prison indefinitely, there
is no way that they can ever get a hearing on whether they are being
held illegally-- because they are not in fact a terrorist; or a hearing
on whether they are being treated illegally-- because they have been
abused or tortured or subjected to one of the Administration's
"alternative sets of procedures"-- a.k.a. torture lite.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT):
[T]he bill has been amended to eliminate habeas corpus review even for
persons inside the United States, and even for persons who have not been
determined to be enemy combatants. It has moved from detention of those
who are captured having taken up arms against the United States on a
battlefield to millions of law-abiding Americans that the Government
might suspect of sympathies for Muslim causes and who knows what else --
without any avenue for effective review.
The proponents of this bill talk about sending messages. What message
does it send to the millions of legal immigrants living in America,
participating in American families, working for American businesses, and
paying American taxes? Its message is that our Government may at any
minute pick them up and detain them indefinitely without charge, and
without any access to the courts or even to military tribunals, unless
and until the Government determines that they are not enemy combatants -
a term that the bill now defines in a tortured and unprecedentedly broad
manner. And that power and any errors cannot be reviewed or corrected by
a court. What message does that send about abuse of power? What message
does that send to the world about America's freedoms?
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY):
This bill would not only deny detainees habeas corpus rights -- a
process that would allow them to challenge the very validity of their
confinement -- it would also deny these rights to lawful immigrants
living in the United States. If enacted, this law would give license to
this Administration to pick people up off the streets of the United
States and hold them indefinitely without charges and without legal
In its front-page article about the Senate approval of the bill, The New
York Times noted that the bill "would strip detainees of a habeas corpus
right to challenge their detentions in court." The Times reported that
senators from both sides of the aisle objected to the bill's revocation
of habeas corpus rights for detainees, and noted that the bill extended
to noncitizens living here legally. But the paper barely mentioned the
Even so, the Times' September 29 coverage was somewhat better than its
coverage the day before, when readers still might have actually weighed
in with their senators. On September 28, Kate Zernike and Carl Hulse
But Democrats said the legislation would reverse fundamental American
values by allowing seizure of evidence in this country without a search
warrant, allowing evidence obtained through cruel and inhuman treatment,
and denying relief or appeal to people like Maher Arar, whom the United
States sent to Syria for interrogation that included torture even after
the Canadian government told American officials he was not a terrorist.
"This is un-American, this is unconstitutional, this is contrary to
American interests, this is not what a great and good and powerful
nation should be doing," said Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of
Zernike and Hulse noted that Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) offered an
amendment to strike the habeas provision, but described it misleadingly
as affecting only "terror suspects." Again, it's not just "terror
suspects" who can be denied the habeas right under the bill -- it is
also those the president chooses to detain for whatever reason.
In a September 28 article, The Washington Post was similarly
uninformative about who precisely was being denied habeas corpus review
in court under the bill. Staff writer Charles Babington wrote: "Some of
the fiercest debates focused on whether foreign terrorism suspects
should have access to U.S. courts for challenging the legality of their
detention." Not exactly. Some of the "fiercest debates" focused on
whether the president should have the authority to indefinitely detain
legal U.S. residents -- a category that the word "foreign" does not
begin to capture -- who are determined to be a threat under any criteria
the Bush administration wants to impose -- a far broader category than
"terrorism suspects." On September 29, Babington and Jonathan Weisman
gave more information, noting that "Specter and his allies said the
habeas corpus right must apply to all persons -- including
noncitizens -- held in U.S. custody." But they did not note that the
bill would deny habeas rights not just to noncitizens held in U.S.
custody, but those who had actually been living lawfully in the United
States. Nor did they note that the president himself has asserted that
the habeas corpus right does not apply "to all persons," not even to all
Even an "analysis" by Post staff writer R. Jeffrey Smith, while
including quotes from several legal experts denouncing the bill, does
not lay out the full potential impact of the bill on legal residents of
the United States of America. We certainly don't seek to trivialize the
lofty denunciations of the bill as a blight on our democracy -- as a
shameful departure from the best traditions of the world's shining city
on a hill. But we also recognize that those might ring hollow or
abstract against the horrific memories of September 11. So for those not
persuaded by the moral or ethical arguments against the bill, consider
this: your neighbors, your co-workers, you might one day fall victim to
it, if the Supreme Court does not strike it down. The Times and the Post
touch on the moral outrage generated by the bill; what they fall short
on is the tangible harm it inflicts.
Many Civil Rights Taken Away With New Law
The military trials bill approved by Congress redefines the rules for
the detention, interrogation, prosecution and trials of terrorism
suspects. This bill gives the government extraordinary power to bar
terrorism suspects from challenging their detention or treatment through
traditional habeas corpus petitions. It allows prosecutors, under
certain conditions, to use evidence collected through hearsay or
coercion to seek criminal convictions.
Vote Democratic and Always Carry a Toothbrush
by Dave Lindhoff
October 1, 2006
I've decided to start carrying a toothbrush.
Incredibly, we've reached that point in America where, thanks to a bunch
of spineless traitors in Congress (Republicans and Democrats), it is
only a matter of time before the state begins rounding up people like me
and whisking us off to dark cells without telling anyone.
Congress, with almost no discussion, has just approved a law ostensibly
about authorizing military tribunals for alleged terrorists which
actually went way beyond that bad enough end run on the Constitution, to
include giving the president the congressional sanction to torture
captives and, as well, the power to snatch up any American citizen and
declare her or him to be an "unlawful combatant," devoid of
Such a victim of presidential whim or pique could be shuttled off to a
gulag anywhere in the world, or to Guantanamo Bay, or to a military
installation somewhere in the U.S. Nobody, not even family members,
would have to be notified of this capture and detention. No lawyer would
This, sad to say, is America today, courtesy of your elected
representatives, a majority of whom have violated their oaths of office
to uphold and defend the Constitution. Our nation has become a place
that the revolutionists of 1776 would easily recognize, not as the
country they brought into being, but rather as a reprise of the
tyrannical colonial British rule that they struggled to break free from.
Under the guidelines President Bush is using for the made-up term
"unlawful combatant," anyone who is said to be giving aid to terrorists
(a very slippery term itself, which has been used to describe everyone
from a lone bomber to the elected presidents of Iran and Venezuela)
could be subjected to secret, indefinite detention without charge, and
to torture as well.
Such "aid" could be an innocent donation of money to a charity that,
unknown to the donor, turned out to somehow be providing funds to an
organization associated with a terrorist organization. A Christian
charity that donates some of its funds to an Iranian state orphanage
might easily if inadvertently fit that bill. Writing an article critical
of the Bush administration's hoked up "war" on terror
(like this one here), could qualify the author for arrest, too.
Certainly a piece I wrote for The Nation magazine's online edition last
week, disclosing that the Bush administration had pushed forward
deployment to the Iran Theater of an aircraft carrier battle group by a
month in preparation for a probable attack on Iran before Election Day
could pass the terrorist-aid test.
Likewise a report by Time Magazine reporters the same week revealing
that Navy personnel had received "prepare to deploy" orders to be ready
to sail a fleet of minesweepers to the Persian Gulf on October 1, also
in preparation for war against Iran.
Once Bush begins really using his new gift from Congress of dictatorial
powers of arrest without charge and detention without trial, the brigs
of the country's military bases will begin to fill with journalists,
anti-war activists and little old ladies who gave to the wrong charity.
Make no mistake. This is going to happen unless this catastrophic
sell-out bill passed into law by Congress is repealed or declared
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, because history has made it
crystal clear that powers made available are powers used.
The less popular this president becomes--and he deservedly ranks right
down there with the most unpopular leaders of all time--the more
desperate he will be, particularly because he has already committed so
many offenses against this nation and against the Constitution that his
impeachment by a Democratic Congress is increasingly probable.
We are at a critical moment in American history.
With the passage of the new anti-terrorism bill, Election Day on
November 7 could well be the last chance for the American people to
reassert their faith in the Constitution that our Founding Fathers and
the blood of tens of thousands of revolutionary soldiers provided us
with over 200 years ago.
It is, at this point, imperative that the voters of this country think
strategically, forget petty ideological differences and intellectual
debates over whether or not the Democratic Party can ever be reformed,
and simply vote for the Democrat in every election district. Even the
cowardly Democrats who supported the terror bill must be returned to
office, I'm afraid (we can deal with them later).
The key is to gain a Democratic Party majority in both houses of
Congress, and to remove the rubber stamp Republican Party from control.
As nauseating as it may be to find one's self voting for the likes of
Texas Rep. Chet Edwards or Illinois Rep. Melissa Bean
(two of 34 Democratic representatives who joined Republicans in voting
for the terrorism bill), it is nonetheless crucial that both be
re-elected so that Democrats can add at least 15 seats to their total in
the House and take over control of that institution. Ditto in the
Senate. A Bob Casey may be pro-Iraq War and anti-abortion, but if he is
not elected to replace Sen. Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, there is no
chance Democrats will retake control of the U.S. Senate in November.
A Democratic Congressional victory on Election Day will not herald a
return to some 1960s liberal America, or even a Clintonian
pseudo-liberal era, much less to a new New Deal, and nobody should be
under such an illusion. But it would be a major defeat for the Bush
dictatorship, as a Democratic Congress could be expected to begin
seriously investigating Bush administration crimes, could start to undo
the creeping coup that has been eroding American democracy and long-held
democratic freedoms, and could protect us from being saddled with yet
another pro-authoritarian Supreme Court justice. (For that to happen,
given the lame nature of the Democratic Party, will require a powerful
mass movement through the course of the next two years, after Election
Meanwhile, just in case, I'm carrying that toothbrush. I care too much
about the health of my gums and about keeping my teeth to want to lose
them to a period of military detention.
NOTICE: Due to Presidential Executive Orders, the National Security
Agency (NSA) and FISA laws may have been ignored, and this email read
and placed in your file without warning, warrant, or notice. They may do
this without any judicial or legislative oversight. You have no
recourse, nor protection from this intrusion on your personal freedoms.
You may not review your file which is secret. The President reserves the
right to use "signing statements" to give himself permission to ignore
the law, as he is above accountability. As Nixon said, "If the president
does it, it is not illegal." If you are not with us, you are for the
terrorists; be aware that dissent is considered sedition: resistance to
lawful authority. It may be considered treason to question authority; as
it is un-American and unpatriotic to criticize the actions of your
President. You could be designated an illegal combatant, subject to
indefinite incarceration without charges or trial, under Republican law.
Note: a Federal court has ordered the Bush administration to stop the
illegal warrentless spying, handing down 30 felony convictions. The
illegal activity continues during an appeal, Bush says he has the right
to ignore US and International laws. Note: The Supreme Court has ruled
that Bush policies violated US and International laws. That could mean
a trial for war crimes if justice follows that verdict. Note: the
Republican Congress has passed a law to allow torture, and retroactively
clear Bush of war crimes.
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