Sunday, October 29, 2006

Martial Law

Why are these men smiling? It's because Dubbya is signing the Military Commissions Act of 2006 wherein the writ of habeas corpus is suspended for those he deems "enemy combatants". They're smiling because these prisoners, defined by the president, can be detained indefinitely. They're smiling because these prisoners can be interrogated up to a point just short of torture but since the President also gets to define what constitutes torture, well, think creatively. They're smiling because they are thumbing their noses at the international community by ignoring the Geneva Convention.

But, they are also smiling because Dubbya is signing the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007. Take a look at Sec. 1076 where the President is given broad authority to declare martial law under a whole cornucopia of situations. The Insurrection Act had been put in place to prevent the President from deploying troops except under the most dire of circumstances and here is is signing that balance away.

Section 334 of such title is amended by inserting "or those obstructing the enforcement of the laws" after "insurgents".

Do you see where anyone who is "obstructing the law" is included in this? This means that if there is a mass demonstration on the mall in Washington DC and they block traffic, Dubbya could call out the military to disperse and/or arrest them.

Are you smiling, too? Do you feel safer knowing that the definition of the words "terrorist" or "insurgent" could include you at the whim of the President? No, you say, it could never happen to me. This is only to fight the War of Terror (tm). If you think so, then you are a fool. History has shown that all laws are acted upon to their limits. If there is no checks or balances in the law then there will be no checks or balances in their application in government and someone will eventually take them to their extreme. Dubbya could be doing it right now and you'd never know about it because those who are being arrested and imprisoned do not have the right to representation, visitation or to challenge their confinement. They are disappeared.

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