So who have "they" "done it to" and what specific legislation has you so
So you're saying that laws that specifically do not affect US citizens are
the camel's nose?
Yes, I do. You're the one who isn't "getting it" because either you are
misinformed about the legislation you fear or you believe that a nation is
obligated to make no distinction between its own citizens and those of other
Torturing? Who is being tortured?
I'm sorry, but now I have no idea what you are on about.
Well, now, it happened to US citizens without whatever legislation has you
so upset so what difference does that legislation make?
No, I'm a person who wishes that twits like you would post the docket number
for whatever legislation you're on about so the rest of us can at least
figure out what you're raving about,.
"Did it?" Did _what_, enacted legislation allowing the government to try
noncitizen terrorists by military tribunal, with review by the civilian
courts? Yeah, they did it. So what?
If you're thinking that they'll remove the limitation to aliens that is
there specifically because the Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot
apply such rules to citizens. "They" can't "expand it" unless they replace
the Supreme Court.
I really wish people like you who go around being terrified of their own
shadows would get lives.
Again, you are missing the point. But there are several places in
S.3886 where definitions do not include the designation "alien"
(7) UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT- The term `unlawful enemy
combatant' means an individual determined by or under the authority of
the President or the Secretary of Defense--
`(A) to be part of or affiliated with a force or
organization, including but not limited to al Qaeda, the Taliban, any
international terrorist organization, or associated forces, engaged in
hostilities against the United States or its cobelligerents in
violation of the law of war;
`(B) to have committed a hostile act in aid of such
a force or organization so engaged; or
`(C) to have supported hostilities in aid of such a
force or organization so engaged.
A judge who was willing to expand this could take this text as a writ
that allows the President or Secretary of Defense to declare any
person who is "affliliated" with a terrorist or suspected terrorist
organization as an unlawful enemy combatant. It has created a loaded
term that convicts without proof- and the day will come when an
attempt is made to apply that term to a citizen.
And while it is declared here:
Sec. 948c. Persons subject to military commissions
`Alien unlawful enemy combatants, as defined in section 948a of
this title, shall be subject to trial by military commissions as set
forth in this chapter.
that alien combatants are subject to trial by military commission, it
does not clearly state that citizens are not.
And these are the real jewels:
`(c) Hearsay Evidence- Hearsay evidence is admissible, unless the
military judge finds that the circumstances render it unreliable or
lacking in probative value, provided that the proponent of the
evidence makes the evidence known to the adverse party in advance of
trial or hearing.
(3) Before classified evidence may be withheld from the accused under
this subsection, the executive or military department or governmental
agency which has control over the matter shall ensure and shall
certify in writing to the military judge that the disclosure of such
evidence to the accused could reasonably be expected to prejudice the
national security and that such evidence has been declassified to the
maximum extent possible, consistent with the requirements of national
(C) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any defense counsel
who receives classified information admitted pursuant to paragraph (4)
shall not be obligated to, and may not, disclose that evidence to the
`(b) Treatment of Certain Items- The military judge in a
military commission under this chapter may, upon a sufficient showing,
authorize trial counsel in making documents available to the defense
through discovery conducted pursuant to such rules as the Secretary
`(1) to delete specified items of classified information
from such documents;
`(2) to substitute an unclassified summary of the
information for such classified documents; or
`(3) to substitute an unclassified statement admitting
relevant facts that classified information would tend to prove.
I don't know how you read this, but to my eyes it is an absolute
violation of both due process and Habeas Corpus. A person can be
tried for crimes without being informed of the evidence against them.
Any evidence can be deemed harmful to National Security, and a trial
can be conducted without the possibility of the accused to confront
his accusors or to review and rebuke the evidence used to convict him.
If you take this bill alone, it establishes the right of the President
or Secretary of State or their advocates to strip the rights of an
individual of their natural right to review the accusations and
evidence against them by declaring them an unlawful enemy combatant,
and hiding or altering the evidence that may or may not back those
For now, this only applies to aliens. But if another terrorist attack
occurs in the future (and that is almost certain) which is found to
have been either entirely or partially planned and carried out by
citizens of the US, that will be the real test of the legislation.
The provisions in the bill allowing the classification of evidence
whose revelation could be construed as harmful to US national security
could be taken as a precedent in the context of (for instance)
domestic wiretapping. In the period of time immediately following
such an attack, Congress will be under tremendous pressure to prevent
future outrages through legislation. The natural course for them
would be to suspend Habeas Corpus rights and expand the power of
federal agencies to monitor private communications without warrants
even further than they already have.
All it would take is one prosecutor in one government agency to
declare that they have indisputable evidence against an accused
domestic terrorist that they suspect was acting in collusion with
others, but the evidence and techniques used to obtain it needed to
remained classified in the interest of catching the others involved
with the plot, for Habeas Corpus to effectively be suspended for US
After that, Anyone can be arrested, tried and convicted on the basis
of secret evidence. They will not have to have done anything- the
declaration that evidence was collected via classified means that a
person was planning a terrorist attack and must remain secret so that
the source of the claimed evidence will remain a viable venue for
tracking others will be enough to put any person away without a
If there is argument about the total lack of substance in a particular
case, the bill above allows the prosecutor "to substitute an
unclassified statement admitting relevant facts that classified
information would tend to prove." Or in other words- it could be used
to grant the accusing agency the right to usurp the jury's task of
interpreting the presented evidence and supply a set of conclusions
based on secret information in lieu of facts.
They, being the Congress under the direct leadership of the current
President, have granted the President and the Secretary of State the
power to suspend the right of Habeas Corpus for persons who are
accused of crimes, by what effectively amounts to a declaration that
the revelation of the evidence against those persons is detrimental to
national security, without the checks and balances built into our
system of government by the founding fathers. The specific
legislation is the "Terrorist Tracking, Identification, and
Prosecution Act of 2006"
Placing that kind of power in the hands of an unfettered few men is a
terribly dangerous thing to do- which is why the Constitution
prohibits it. Judging from the continuing reactions to the Sept. 11th
attacks, and the expected reaction to any future attacks from any
quarter -foreign or domestic-, it's not only possible, but extremely
likely that this power will eventually be expanded so it may be used
against citizens who are suspected of either being active, or in
collusion with, terrorists.
That is where the reminder of Sen. McCarthy comes in. There was a man
whose personality allowed him to start a massive witch hunt using the
word "Communism". With the amount of fear and anger generated by
terrorism, another witch hunt using the term "Terrorist" is not only
possible, but in the event of another incident, likely.
If I am interpreting "the camel's nose" correctly by assuming that you
meant that they are the groundwork for future erosion of our domestic
rights, then yes, I am saying that.
As you wish.
You don't watch the news?
The difference is that instead of slander that hurts an innocent
person's reputation but leaves them free, the current administration
has opened the door to imprisoning us and stripping our rights by
Wrong. Article 1 of the US constitution states that "the priviledge of
the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases
of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."
The mechanism by which the right may be suspended is already given to
the US congress in the Constitution itself- but it must not be invoked
in this instance. By declaring a "war" on a nebulous and ill-defined
concept like "terrorism", the President has granted the Congress the
power and justification to indefinately suspend the writ on the basis
of a single attack on domestic soil. We can not and will not ever
"win" a war against a concept or behavior. If we were just at war
with Iraq or Afganistan, there would eventually be an end to it- one
way or the other.
By passing the Terrorist Tracking, Identification, and Prosecution Act
of 2006, they have defined an alternate system of law that can be used
as an alternative venue of prosecution for any person who stands
accused of terrorism without allowing that person to challenge the
evidence that is brought against them. It sounds just fair enough and
good enough that most people will swallow it. So instead of being
protected by the laws governing evidence and due process, we are now
effectively at the mercy of the good intentions of our elected
officials- many of whom have already shown us time and time again that
they are not to be trusted.
And then there are the murmurings that come flowing out of the spin
machine that is the GOP. Evidently, if you're not one of their boys,
you're one of the terrorists. If you care about your civil rights,
you must have a shady hidden agenda that involves supporting
terrorism. There have been propiganda machines like that before in
history, and they've never ended in peace and happiness for all. I
don't care for the Democrats either- but on balance, I don't see them
pulling all the old hateful and murderous tricks in the despot's
handbook out of their hats.
And what about you, who are so afraid of the boogeyman Arabs that you
are willing to give your rights away at the first glimmer of trouble
or danger? I'm not afraid of my shadow, and I'm not afraid of
Terrorists. You know what I'm afraid of? Guys like you- who would
sell your soul for a moment of fuzzy false security.
Absent habeas corpus, how would one prove citizenship?
And I have no problem with arresting reporters who are citizens,
so long as the arresting agent can demonstrate probable cause.
There are two habeas corpi. One, is created by Federal Statute
and can be removed or modified by Federal Statute. The other,
sometimes called the Great Writ, is embodied in the Constitution
itself and my only be set aside by the Congress, and then only
in cases of invasion or rebellion, neither of which is currently
The Great Write, which dates back to the Magna Carta, has always
been available to aliens on US soil.
Again, absent habeas corpus, how would a citizen accused of
being an alien, proof he was not?
You sound like a wannabe ACLU scheister. Nobody is talking about
Corpus for American citizens. But why let the facts get in the way of
your fiery bombast?
I want my country to have the tools it needs to protect itself against
enemies of the state and not be hobbled by activists who will do
anything they can to castrate and beat America down using its own
democracy against itself.
Because their activities and endeavors often serve enemies of the state
better than it serves American society at large, I have to wonder where
the loyalties of these activists lie; are they good citizens trying to
protect democracy (at any cost to the general public) or do they have
an agenda that may not be so true blue?
On 3 Nov 2006 09:56:20 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
Ahh, the pervasive slight-of-hand of the GOP spinners. How exactly is
it that standing up for freedom and civil liberties has become an
Nobody is talking about suspending Habeus Corpus for American
citizens- yet. But there is a clear and logical path that will take
us right there, and the administration is on it. They declare an open
ended war on an ill-defined descriptive term, apply that term first to
non-citizens and use it to suspend their human rights. Then sometime
in the future when a nutjob decides to blow up the county courthouse,
it's very easy and tempting for legislators to use the same arguments
that worked so well against the foreigners to suspend the rights of
known associates of the person or persons responsible for domestic
terrorist activities. That's the door, and if the current legislation
continues to be expanded, it will happen. Once that door is opened,
it's a downhill slide. It's far easier to declare a person a
terrorist and lock them away without specific charges or evidence than
it is to actually establish facts.
If you think most politicians are trying to actually protect you,
you're wrong. They're trying to make you feel like they're doing
something to protect you so you will vote for them again. Rather than
doing the work of determining actual guilt or innocence, they're
tossing people into detainment camps so that they can say they caught
the bad guys. Without any facts or charges, we just have to take
their word for it. Our government needs to be accountable to us.
That's the whole deal- the whole point. Every single thing America is
and represents is built on that concept.
We lose that, we're no longer the America you love.
Wonder away, but don't go convincing yourself that standing up for the
Constitution and the principles it represents is somehow unpatriotic.
I've seen the argument about our "social contract" only applying to US
citizens, but that is completely contrary to the intentions of the
Founding Fathers, and the spirit of our country. Crossing a border
does not grant anyone the right to don jackboots and trample anyone
that gets in their way. As a point of fact, that was the very
behavior we were opposing when we went to Iraq the first time.
If a British subject were accused of a crime, would you advocate
taking that person and locking them away without trial or evidence
because they are not a US citizen? How about a Dutch person, or an
Austrailian? Are the French fair game? Can we go into Germany and
torture their citizens?
You guys with your Mom and apple pie arguments about the US always
having clean underwear are getting us into very dangerous waters. We
as a society do not have the right to pick and choose which people
have rights and which do not. People have rights, period- that's the
whole point of our social contract. It doesn't apply only between
Maine and Alaska- it applies to the human race. You want your rights,
and so does everyone else.
Believe it or not, there are innocent people all over the place. They
work hard and try to improve their lives, too. Some of them are
criminals- but not most of them. They have families and jobs, and
they do what they have to do to get by- just like you. Being lucky
enough to be born in the *right* geographic area doesn't make you a
good person, and being born in the *wrong* one doesn't make you a bad
person deserving only of imprisonment and torture. Speaking a
different language, dressing differently, or having a different skin
tone does not make a person inferior to you.
This is not that complicated. And you are not in as much danger as
the TV tells you you are. You act as if terrorists are shelling your
kids' school every second Tuesday, and suicide bombers blowing
themselves up in front of the grocery store is an everyday occurance
in Columbus, OH. Some bad people flew planes into three buildings on
purpose- five years ago. It was a horrible thing- but it was less
destructive than a hurricane. Fewer people die in terrorist attacks
than in car crashes. There is still a better chance that I will be
mauled by a bear than killed by a terrorist.
So get your panties out of a bunch, take off the combat boots, and
worry about your freedom- you're still as safe as you ever were. The
real danger is handing our country over to despots because we got
Unfortunately, I do not have nearly as much time to spend on this as
you do. You seem to be ardent about getting your opinion across. That's
fine. I actually understand your opinion and, although I don't agree,
see merits in the some of the points you are making.
Both of our opinions require an intellectual compromise. I believe
yours requires that we be willing to compromise national security and
the protection of the citizenry at large to make sure that everyone,
even the worst of the worst, is given full protection to the letter of
the law and even going as far as creating new laws or changing existing
ones to extend those protections to people who aren't covered now, even
if it means impairing the ability of the government to protect against
My opinion is that the government needs to have the power to protect us
against threats. I don't believe now is a good time in history to apply
more restraints on the government. I believe that this is important
enough that we need to risk trusting our government to do the right
thing. I don't fear that our current government really wants to extend
and abuse its powers so it can become the fascist dictatorship that you
seem to fear. And that's my compromise; that we have to trust the
government to do the right thing.
You seem to have a mindset that the government is hell bent to strip
our rights away. (If you reply to this, maybe you can explain what you
believe the government's motive for this would be). I believe there are
a lot of people out there, that subscribe to many of the same thoughts
you do, that are willing to take active steps in undermining the
administration with no thought of any of the many other consequences.
They have become very skilled at battering and torturing the system by
implosion - destruction from within using the country's own democracy
as a weapon against itself. And believe me; the enemies of the state
are very happy to take full advantage of the numerous benefits that
come their way from this.
I believe if you going to fear a hostile regime coming to power, you
should REALLY fear the one that could come to power if America fails to
On 6 Nov 2006 11:42:46 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Yes, that's my compromise. Predicated on the idea that our legal
structures are intended to protect those who are *not* the "worst of
the worst." Given the egregious nature of our enemies' activities, it
should not be that difficult to properly convict them using the
standard that we are trying to preserve against their actions. If the
government needs to hold them for a limited time while gathering
evidence prior to a full trial, that would seem to be a valid
compromise. Conviction without evidence should never be allowed.
And that's yours. Aptly stated.
The motive of the government is the same as it always was. Power, and
it's aquisition. In our system, there are those who are good and
loyal citizens doing a tough job the best they can, and there are
those who are simply trying to gain and hold as much power as they
can. We've seen a lot of evidence these past few years that the
administration currently in power is willing and able to lie and
conceal things from us, and many of them are engaged in activities
that are entirely criminal. And we've seen evidence that the other
side has those same problems in past years, though those breaches are
often of a different character.
When our system of government was drafted, some very intellegent men
argued long and hard over every minute detail of the government they
were building, and one thing that comes through very clearly is their
insistance on three major things- First, that the government need be
accountable to the citizenry, second, that the three branches of our
government each have the ability to counterbalance the other two, and
third, that each citizen have the right to petition their government,
and each accused man have the right to confront his accusors.
They did not simply trust in the good intentions of the others who
were in that room, or those of the persons to follow them. That is
why our Union has stood for 230 years.
While it may work to the benefit of the odd "bad guy" when we protect
and honor our core principles, it is far more important to vouchsafe
the liberty of the innocent. Liberty is not, and has never been a
guarantee of safety. And liberty is the rock our country is built on-
not safety. We have our problems, sure- but not of the nature and
degree that other countries who do not afford people these basic
The beauty of the Constitution is that in never asks us to trust the
government. History and human nature teach us that when we do, we
open ourselves to enslavement.
But I don't, because it won't happen. Irsael is a fraction of the
size and strength of the US, and is surrounded on all sides by the
conflict. The Arabs surrounding them have not managed to take over
thier country- so what makes you believe that we are so feeble and
weak that we will simply lay down arms and bow to Mecca if a couple of
thousand guys in dresses with AK-47s manage to make it across the
ocean? The problem is a gnat dressed up in giants' clothing to give
us all something to hate and fear. They can hurt us from time to
time, but they cannot break and enslave our country- we have to do
that ourselves. *That* is how the terrorists win.
Prometheus (in email@example.com) said:
| The problem is a gnat dressed up in giants' clothing to give
| us all something to hate and fear.
Hate is a drain on our strength that we can ill-afford. Fear is
nothing more than a non-intellectual notification of danger - to be
recognized and dealt with in the most rational and effective way
| They can hurt us from time to
| time, but they cannot break and enslave our country- we have to do
| that ourselves. *That* is how the terrorists win.
Well said. We've been hurt in the past and it's inevitable that we'll
be hurt again. Someone once said: "That which doesn't kill us outright
makes us stronger." I think that'll remain true as long as there are
enough who say: "Not on *my* watch!" - and I don't think we have any
shortage of such people.
DeSoto, Iowa USA
Nor do I, though I often wish more of the people would participate.
There are a whole lot of folks who would get on the rooftops of every
town and city in the nation with guns, (and even rocks, if need be,)
to repel a foreign invader. Now if only there were some way to get
that same attitude applied to participation in the general political
discussion, we'd be doing very well.
All that participation might not always lead to what I hope for, but
it would certainly be better than the general apathy most seem to have
regarding our collective political obligations. I can't even begin to
count the numbers of people whom I have heard complain about the
government, only to follow that bellyaching with the statement that
they don't vote- missing the obvious point that if they don't, someone
The problem is not lack of participation in the general political
discussion, it's that the politicians in the US have stacked the deck so
that anybody who is neither an incumbent nor a member of one of the two
major parties is at a serious disadvantage. And history has shown that both
parties when they are in control do pretty much the same thing, find new and
creative ways to buy votes and line their pockets.
I can't really argue with any of that. About the only thing we can do
as a nation is get fed up and toss all the bums out one of these days.
I'd submit that if we all were participating in the general political
discussion, we'd have a pretty good shot at coming up with a third
viable option. While it's been two-party Democratic V. Republican for
quite some time, that hasn't always been the case. The problem (IMO)
comes from waiting until voting day, and then choosing from what
somebody else put on the ballot. I don't know anyone who is very
enthusiastic about either of the two parties (though I have met a
number who are very supportive of the President). Out of 300 million
people in the country, there have to be at least enough decent people
to start up a new party that can challenge the big two.
Problem is, the big two are both so crappy, most of us (and I'm
ashamed to say I'm guity of it as well) feel like we have to vote for
the "less bad" candidate in every election cycle.
True, as evidenced by the way they all rushed to jam through the 'new world
order'(nafta and wt). We are governed by a bunch of elite class wanabees.
The problem is, they are too dumb to realiize that the real elite class of
the world won't even talk to these clowns. They just make fun of them while
they take over the US economy. In another 20 years, there will be no
'America' as we old farts grew up in. Actually, that is already gone. The
America my father fought for in WWII is dead. We are going to be a 3rd world
country, the real purpose of the above.
It is still necessary to vote, if for nothing else than to keep up the ruse
that it actually makes a difference who is in the whitehouse. And always try
to pick the 'lessor of the two evils' or evil of the two lessors which seems
Elections are just a game the 'elite wanabees' play with us to keep us at
each others throats so we won't unite and go after them. The very same thing
the Muslims in power do. They keep their followers hating us so thay won't
go after the real people keeping them in the gutter.
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Your point about Israel is compelling however; I am not so sure that we
are as safe as you think.
Regarding the activists that are working towards things that ultimately
result in the weakening of our nation: Are you sure that many of them
are not actually enemies of the state? Are you sure you really want to
hitch up behind people who claim altruistic and patriotic values but
whose goals ultimately end up weakening our nation? I'm all for
protecting the constitution but a lot of them are using it as a weapon
against the establishment and our society in general. The more these
people break down our system, the less secure we become.
I'm confused at this paragraph, it would seem to be equally applicable
to people on _either_ side of this argument.
What is really meant by "weakening our nation"? and "these people
(who) break down our system" Our system of laws and equal protection
under them? Or our system of arbitrary enforcement?
Remember what Orwell's slogan for the government: "Ignorance is
strength, war is peace, and freedom is slavery"
Often wrong, never in doubt.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - firstname.lastname@example.org
On Tue, 07 Nov 2006 04:31:56 -0600, email@example.com ()
And let us not forget that we are at war with Iraq, and Saddamn
Hussein is the devil incarnate because we have *always* been at war
with Iraq, and that man has *always* been the devil.
Also remember to thank your leaders for lowering the price of gasoline
in honor of the elections. It's like getting an larger chocolate
Shinola9 (for lack of any other name,) I want you to understand that I
am not attacking you personally. I've spent so much time on this
because if I can help even one person- yourself, or some others who
are merely reading along, understand this argument and begin to
question what has been going on in fits and spurts since the founding
of our country, it will have been worth any amount of time I can spend
on the subject. I am not trying to harm our democracy, I am doing the
only thing I can think of to help preserve it- because I want to live
in it, not just remember it fondly.
I will have you note that above, I am looking only for an
understanding of the total argument, and for you to question the party
line that is being given to us all for yourself. I do not wish for
you to simply agree with me- the truth of the matter is for you to
That's all anyone can ask of you or any one of us- because we are
free. I understand the fear that a lot of people feel when they think
about this- but we cannot let fear rob us of our senses, or we will
forever be at the mercy of whomever can tell the scariest tale. There
will always be someone or something to fight against, and the world
will never be entirely safe for every single person. We will never
live forever, but we can live free and without fear until it's time to
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