The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Not Publicized Regarding Latest Terrorism Bill

It is not publicized, but the new terrorism bill regarding interrogations, etc. engineered by McCain, et al., apparently has a leaping loophole against liberty. In the Mon., Oct. 2, 2006, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Yale law and political science professor, Bruce Ackerman, said in an op-ed article (written for the L.A. Times): “The compromise legislation, which is racing toward the White House, authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into MILITARY PRISON [emphasis added], they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights” (p. 12B).

On the surface, this provision, explains Ackerman, is to prevent U.S. citizens, natural-born or naturalized, and resident aliens, from donating money to terrorist or terrorist-linked organizations. It has been reported widely that the bill also allows the government to hold legal non-citizen residents without a writ of habeas corpus.

Is it a wise move to grant the executive branch the power to designate an American citizen on U.S. soil as an “enemy combatant” subject to military justice? No, because it is not in the interest of liberty, freedom, or truth to establish the power to arbitrarily deprive anyone, especially native-born citizens, the rights and protections of the U.S. Constitution. In my opinion, this is power granted to political leaders who have the potential to arrest and detain without due process actual or potential critics of their leadership. The bill language (which I have not read) may not have intended this scenario, but there are always unintended consequences of delegating unchecked authority to any human beings. If Ackerman’s interpretation is correct, this opens our entire society to the “king’s Law” as it existed before 1215 and the Magna Carta.

There are examples of granting such unlimited authority. The power to arrest is the power to crush–crush dissent, criticism, opposition, even moral disobedience. Our own Alien and Sedition acts in the 1790s, the Espionage Act in World War I, Stalin’s writ to try and execute his enemies, “emergency” powers granted to Hitler after the Reichstag fire, and the detention of Americans of Japanese dissent are examples of such consequences.

Is America in danger of tyranny? Yes, if we continue to act on fear and not on reason. The terrorism bill, however intended, for this one reason alone, is why we have a Constitution and the Bill of Rights–to protect our natural, god-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Only a due process of law, on an individual, not aggregate basis, is the only way to determine guilt and assign punishment. The U.S. Constitution and the Amendments define due process. If we have traitors among us, then let us be equal to our expectations for ourselves. If we are good, right, unified, and strong, we will prevail against anyone. We do not need to abandon the rules god gave us to live with each other.


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