2006/09/26

On Detainees, The Devil Is In The Ambiguities

Blocked by Hamden v. Rumsfeld from fully abusing powers that it doesn't really have, Bu$hCo is moving to make the Senate's bill on detainee treatment and trial another assault on the Constitution. And as always, ambiguity serves Bu$hCo to the detriment of your rights. If the last six years have taught us anything, it's that this administration will relentlessly exploit any loophole, circumvent any law in their pursuit of unchecked executive authority, and so it is with this bill.

Consider... The military has a definition of the term "enemy combatant":
...those who engage in acts against the United States or its coalition partners in violation of the laws of war and customs of war during an armed conflict.
But that isn't the definition Bu$hCo wants for this bill. The current language--which, by the way, has been made more ambiguous with each revision--states:
...has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States.
Note the lack of qualification regarding armed conflicts and direct action. In addition, the bill's language contains no exclusion for US citizens. So presumably stripping people of their citizenship before declaring them an enemy combatant won't be a problem. And if you think that the administration won't exploit these ambiguities to stifle dissent, think again. Bu$hCo is remarkably consistent about using the rhetoric of disloyalty against their opponents. So given the opportunity to quash dissent by holding up the specter of indefinite imprisonment, does anyone really think that the administration will resist?

Look at Bu$hCo's track record and decide for yourself.

13 Comments:

I bet that even when they know they're lying they justify it by telling themselves, "Clinton asked what the definition of is is." I've heard people use Clinton to justify everything by now.
what would be nice to think of...

if when baby bush leaves office - they arrest him under this bill...

ahh, that would be sweet...and um karma
Expansive executive authority.

Another issue that I've noticed in all this is that it is open ended as to what "purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States" means.

We are certainly not there, but as an open ended political example, upon revision of the patriot act, they added two new classes, "eco terrorist" and "narco terrorist" which suddenly were suddenly subject to all provisions of the Patriot Act.

At this point, I'm not saying that they're going to render the folks in the ELF, but, that's a pretty open ended definition to allow suspension of habeus corpus, torture and all the rest.

Mike
No, I don't think they will. They already have KBR building FEMA detainment camps, it's only a matter of time.
Mike, I knew about the "eco terrorist" designation but not about "narco terrorists". Interesting... And your point about open-ended examples is right on. So called terrorist legislation in the Bush era is littered with these kinds of loopholes. As I read the current language, a lawyer attempting to free an accused and indefinitely detained suspect would be subject arrest for having materially supported that person. It's crazy.

BTW...what's "ELF"? You didn't mean EFF, did you? I have friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and that would be tragic.
SA, Bu$hCo has never seem to ask too many questions about the meaning of things. They just interpret as they go.

AZG, karmic indeed! :-)

Lew, no truer words. We are, after all, an incarceration nation.
Everything is part of a long range plan to declare martial law and round up the dissenters.

Did you read that half our intelligence agents are now private contractors, e.g., Blackwater goons?
ELF

I knew some people that were involved up in Humboldt. I also knew some "Earth First!" people that could be put in prison under this new definition. It sure would be a lot easier than planting a bomb in their car.

This definition is so vague that you could be imprisoned without trial for giving money to the wrong charity.
ELF

I knew some people that were involved up in Humboldt. I also knew some "Earth First!" people that could be put in prison under this new definition. It sure would be a lot easier than planting a bomb in their car.

This definition is so vague that you could be imprisoned without trial for giving money to the wrong charity.
Oh crap! I was just trying to leave a link but now it looks like I'm the Praguetwin ELF. See ya'all in Gitmo!
This is just a backdoor sedition act.
Libby...I don't really think that Bu$hCo would go that far. No need to, when the GOP basically has a combination of election rigging and intimidation in place to guarantee the outcome of elections. I think that Fred's point is more on tract...put in place a "backdoor sedition act" and then use it to muscle dissenters into silence.

Praguetwin...Earth First Liberation. Got it thanks. I remember very well the Humboldt Co. protests. That was big news out here. I thought that Mike was referring to the EFF. Different, obviously but with a similar capacity to piss-off those in authority.
In that case we'd better stop blogging what we do everyday...to them it is dissent...and treason...oh!...they'll find a way to get it in there.

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