Liberty for Security

Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by Seacowboys, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member


    <CENTER>By Bill Gallagher</CENTER>
    DETROIT -- The greatest shame is the scarcity of shame. The president of the United States and his toadies in Congress pulled off an unprecedented frontal assault on our most fundamental "unalienable rights," and most Americans snored through the event. <TABLE align=right><TBODY><TR><TD><SCRIPT type=text/javascript><!--google_ad_client = "pub-0022420631659724";google_ad_width = 120;google_ad_height = 600;google_ad_format = "120x600_as";google_ad_type = "image";google_ad_channel ="";google_color_border = "CC0000";google_color_bg = "FFFFCC";google_color_link = "CC0000";google_color_url = "0066CC";google_color_text = "000000";//--></SCRIPT><SCRIPT src="" type=text/javascript></SCRIPT><IFRAME name=google_ads_frame marginWidth=0 marginHeight=0 src="" frameBorder=0 width=120 scrolling=no height=600 allowTransparency></IFRAME></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    With a stroke of a pen, George W. Bush thumbed his nose at 230 years of civic tradition and the core distinctions the founders of our republic made in separating the American concept of liberty from British monarchal oppression.
    Bush is shamelessly using fear to re-establish pre-Revolutionary practices and give himself the very powers that were so eloquently challenged and defied in the Declaration of Independence and defeated through the blood of our national founders and the indispensable help of the French army.
    Bush sought for himself, and his handmaidens in Congress have granted him, the same autocratic authority King George III futilely tried to cling to until the Colonial rebels got tired of being "protected" through systematic oppression.
    The right of habeas corpus -- the protection against illegal imprisonment and the basic right of an accused person living on American soil to know why the government is holding him -- has been nullified. The law will certainly face constitutional challenge, but with a Bush-stacked Supreme Court prone to support executive authority over individual liberty, the codification of this monstrously bad idea may endure until an age of reason returns, if that's possible.
    While the headlines like "President Signs New Rules to Prosecute Terror Suspects" in The New York Times, or "Detainees to Get Military Trials" in the Detroit Free Press give the impression the law is something only an alien terrorist suspect should be concerned about, it applies to all of us.
    The Military Commissions Act of 2006 reaches far beyond its narrow and innocuous title. Simply stated, the president of the United States can now, on his authority alone, declare that you, or any American citizen suspected of helping or aiding "illegal enemy combatants," can be whisked away and imprisoned indefinitely without even being charged with a crime.
    No public statements, no affidavits and no information brought before a judge or grand jury. Our long-tested process of justice gets tossed for a "star chamber" system, where the president alone can point to someone as "dangerous" or "disloyal" and can order that person to be locked up.
    You have no recourse to go before civilian court and demand to know why you are being held. You can rot in prison for the rest of your life based exclusively on the president's discretion. You can be separated from your family and held in a secret prison. Your loved ones may never be told what happened to you.
    While imprisoned, you may be subjected to "coercive interrogation" -- a euphemism for torture -- and the statements you make while being water-boarded can and will be used against you.
    If you ever are charged, you will go before a secret military tribunal, where secret evidence can be used against you. You have no right to see that evidence or to confront your accusers. You have no right to legal representation.
    We have returned to the House of Hanover rules. The king does as he pleases. The people must accept his benevolent protection and shut up about quaint notions of civil liberties and human decency. The decider decides what is fair and just. We must accept what he decides without question.
    "It is a rare occasion when a president can sign a bill he knows will save American lives," Bush gushed as he signed the vile legislation. That's a wild stretch.
    The certitude is that this new law tramples on American liberties and is an insult to all those who suffered and died in defense of those liberties. The president now alone has the authority to determine the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions and other treaty obligations covering torture and imprisonment.
    Congress and the courts should play vital roles in these areas. Abrogating all that responsibility to the president -- as the Republican Congress did so willingly -- is as dangerous as it is despicable.
    Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the ranking minority member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told The New York Times, "Congress has no justification for suspending the writ of habeas corpus, a core value in American law, in order to avoid judicial review that prevents government abuse."
    Bush was forced to seek legislative cover when the Supreme Court, in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, ruled that Congress must authorize military commissions, and suspects must be treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions Common Article 3, which prohibits inhumane, cruel treatment and "outrages upon personal dignity."
    The legislative remedy the cowards in Congress rammed through was the quick and the dirty: Scrap habeas corpus and give the president blessings to ignore the Geneva Conventions. Why stop there? If they had real guts, they would have authorized and defined specific acts of torture and approved of the CIA's secret gulags.
    But it really doesn't matter, since Bush's signing statement declares he can do anything he wants, and Congress, the courts and the Constitution be damned. Joe Stalin would have admired George W. Bush.
    The fate of the military lawyer who argued the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case before the Supreme Court illustrates just how vicious and vindictive the Busheviks are. Those who stand for truth, justice and the American way will pay a high price.
    Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift is a Navy lawyer who was assigned to represent Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Guantanamo detainee. Hamdan is a Yemeni tribesman who once worked as Osama bin Laden's driver in Afghanistan. Hamdan was probably turned over to U.S. forces by Afghan warlords who were being paid substantial bounties rounding up suspected al-Qaeda associates. Many of these warlords would have been more than happy to turn in their own brothers for cash. Some probably did. Hamdan ended up in Gitmo, and kept insisting he had done nothing wrong and simply wanted to know why he was being held and on what charges. Imagine that.
    Lt. Cmdr. Swift is a 1984 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Seattle University Law School. He once served on the U.S.S. Niagara Falls and received numerous citations for his exemplary performance. After sea service, he was assigned as a judge advocate general officer. The 44-year-old Swift always received high ratings in his annual reviews and fitness reports. He won steady promotions.
    That was until he had the courage to say in open court that George W. Bush, president of the United States, was acting as if he were King George III, the last despotic British monarch to rule over the American Colonies.
    Swift convinced the Supreme Court in a 5-3 vote that Hamdan was entitled to a writ of habeas corpus and the government had an obligation to provide him with that opportunity.
    "At stake was the rule of law," Swift told MSNBC's Chris Matthews after the high court decided the case and forced Bush to seek help from Congress. "The president had staked out a position that was contrary to our domestic statutes in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. What the court did was say that even the president has to follow the law, not an ad hoc system."
    The "National Law Journal" selected Swift as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the country. His commander, Marine Col. Dwight Sullivan, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Swift was "doing a fantastic job." Sullivan praised Swift's work in the Hamdan case: "He's been absolutely fearless in pursuing his client's interests. And he has exhibited an extraordinary level of legal skill. His legal strategy has been brilliant."
    Sullivan is another one of those quaint types who still cherishes the legal principles upon which this nation was built. He likes Swift's commitment. "We all take the oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and he has certainly done that," Sullivan said.
    Defend the Constitution and you'll walk the plank in George Bush's Navy. Charles Swift will soon become a civilian. He's been passed over for promotion, and under the Navy's "up or out" system, that means Swift is getting drummed out of the service.
    He's too dignified to say he's being punished for political reasons, which he clearly is. The Navy is losing a fine officer and an outstanding lawyer. His career blood is on the hands of the vile Busheviks. Where is the public outrage? Why do the Democrats hardly whimper when these things happen?
    Keith Olbermann has become the most outraged, eloquent and courageous voice of reason on our political landscape. The anchor of MSNBC's "Countdown" has spoken with more guts and sense this political season than the entire Democratic leadership in Congress combined. He's not afraid to say Bush has lied and done so repeatedly. In a brilliant commentary, following the signing of the Military Commissions Act, Olbermann lacerated Bush's lie that the law will make our nation safer.
    He cited earlier presidents -- John Adams, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt -- who assaulted liberty in the name of safety in their administrations. Those excesses are now condemned, Olbermann noted, but "we have a long and painful history of ignoring the prophecy attributed to Benjamin Franklin that 'those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.'"
    Olbermann argued, "But even within this history, we have not before codified the poisoning of habeas corpus, that wellspring of protection from which all essential liberties flow."
    Looking into the camera like a 21st-century Emile Zola, speaking right to Bush the accused, Olbermann tongue-lashed with righteous indignation: " You, sir, have now befouled that spring. You, sir, have given us chaos and called it order. You, sir, have imposed subjugation and called it freedom. For the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons. And again, Mr. Bush, all of them wrong."
    Olbermann declared, "Your words are lies," after reciting a litany of truths about what Bush has really done to our fundamental freedoms. In signing the habeas corpus nullification measure, Bush quoted one of the terrorists who planned the Sept. 11 attacks, saying, "He hoped the attacks would be 'the beginning of the end of America.'"
    Olbermann replied to Bush: "That terrorist, sir, could only hope. Not his actions, nor the actions of a ceaseless line of terrorists (real or imagined), could measure up to what you have wrought.
    "Habeas corpus? Gone.
    "The Geneva Conventions? Optional.
    "The moral force we shined outwards to the world as an eternal beacon, and inwards at ourselves as an eternal protection? Snuffed out.
    "These things you have done, Mr. Bush, they would be 'the beginning of the end of America.'"
    Keith Olbermann speaks the truths every American should hear and heed.
    <HR>Bill Gallagher, a Peabody Award winner, is a former Niagara Falls city councilman who now covers Detroit for Fox2 News. His e-mail address is
    <TABLE cellSpacing=3 cellPadding=3 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD align=left>Niagara Falls Reporter</TD><TD align=middle></TD><TD align=right>October 24 2006</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
  2. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Keith Olbermann?? Please. Chris Matthews? LOL These guys can't get anyone to watch their shows and in fact O'Reilly's third re-run of the day beats their first-run shows. There's a reason for that - like with Air America, people get tired of hearing "I hate Bush" every 5 seconds. Idiots like this have an easy job critizing but of course have no clue what should be done.

    You guys think you're losing rights now, wait until liberals get in power. Taxes will go up, gun rights will go away and they'll tell you where you can smoke - or like in Omaha you risk having 911 called on you. Here we have 2 anti-smoking bills on the ballot, one of which WILL pass. Then we have a proposal to legalize marijuana - so make drugs legal and kill all the babies you want but if you have guns or smoke you're bad!

    I look at the rights that effect me everyday - I don't need Jimmy Carter's son (who just moved here) telling me which rights he'll take away next. Under him and Reid this would really start looking like CA - a cesspool where they've already lost their rights.
  3. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    This stuff really gives me a sick feeling.
  4. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Please don't take this as a flame or personal attack, Valkman, it is mearly an attempt at explaining how strongly I feel the present system is wrong and dangerous.
    The flaw I constantly see with that reasoning, Valkman, is that I really don't give a damn if a fireman yells the house is on fire or the guy that threw the molotov cocktail yells it, I still don't want to get burned. For some reason or another, if precisely the as yet unidentified republican doesn't say it, then it must not be true. Or if the unidentified alternative is not identified and substantiated by the same unidentified republican, then we aren't supposed to worry because they will take care of us, they are our government, after all. The fact that we don't like the alternative party's agenda doesn't make the problems they are pointing out and our party is denying or justifying, any less real. I do not want a panty-waist democrat government but I do believe that we will stand up to them stronger and faster than we will a republican government that is pushing us so close to dictatorship. I cannot in good conscience, vote to support the Bush agenda again, even if the alternative is a democrat controlled house and probable revolution. IMHO, there are a lot of serious truth in what they are saying and a lot of justifying and scare tactics in what my own party is espousing. Rhetoric, excuses, scare tactics aside, I do not feel nearly as safe today as I did a year ago. My pride in my country is of the land and the people, not the military or the government. Recently one of our members went with his church to a distant place for a house raising to help a neighbor that they didn't even know, that is the America that I am proud to be a part of. When our government turns tanks on a church full of women and children and burns them to the ground, that isn't America, it is a god damned shame.
  5. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Yep, I dislike the Dems even more than I dislike the GOP. But I will not cast my lot for the lessor of two evils anymore.
    The current Conservative Republican Party is not the Party I used to espouse
  6. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

  7. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    When the Dems win, I dont want to hear any bitching.
  8. Conagher

    Conagher Dark Custom Rider Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    or bragging either for that matter.
  9. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    I intend to bitch no matter which bunch of worthless thieves win!
  10. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    There won't be any bragging and there will be a bunch of bitching. There will be every attempt possible at bending them to the will of our people. When they start their gun control crap, we'll loudly and forcefully "Just say No."
    The candidate that most supports the constitution, regardless of party, will get my vote.
  11. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I know alot folks who always considered themselves Democrats voted Republican the last 2 elections because of the gun issue and War on Terrorism. Unfortunately, it is looking like that will not happend again because many of them are just that unhappy with the GWB Administration. If the Republicans want to retain the majority in Congress and stay in the White House they better do whatever it takes to sway the voters who are sitting on the fence or have shifted back to the left because of the Republicans performance.

    I fear the Democrats are going to be victorious in the mid-terms and in '08, I hope it's just paranoia on my part but it doesn't look good for the GOP.
  12. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I am having a lot of sleepless nights lately. I find myself more and more agreeing with the left. I saw the Kieth Olberman piece on this and it was very good. he took the Bill of Rights and went through it line by line showing how this legislation virtually guts it.

    I can't stomach Bill O'Rielly anymore or Sean Hannity either. Anyone who comes on thier shows that have a world view or an opinion that is not in line with thiers is ridiculed, mocked, and called names. What ever happened to reason? When Sean Hannity had a proffessor on that raised some very serious questions about what really happened on 9/11, Hannity called him a kook and refused to listen to his evidence. I found myself siding with Allen Colmes who wanted to at least hear the guy out. Then you have O'Rielly spouting the "Big Oil Boogeyman is gouging us." So these guys are more worth watching and listening to?

    What ever happened to hearing the evidence first, and then debunking it by offering counter evidence. These guys refuse to hear anything that doesn't jive with thier world view. And it is all so called "journalists". Facts don't matter anymore.

    Geoge Wallace had it right. There is not a dimes worth of difference between them. meaning the two parties. The elitist cabals who run this country are moving us ever closer to a one world government where they will control everything. They control both political parties now.

    There is no such thing as a free election in this country. And there hasn't been in a long time. They play good cop, bad cop and use smoke and mirrors to make the sheeple in this country think that they actually have a say in how this nation is run and who runs it.

    We will be in deep doo-doo if the Democrats win? How? George Bush Sr. signed more gun control laws than any president before him or since. George Jr. has signed legislation that has deprived us of more freedom and constitutional rights than all presidents in the history of this nation together. This latest affront to liberty has gutted the Bill of Rights and given whoever our next President is, the same unfettered powers that we fought to free ourselves from 200 years ago.

    So we can debate the pros and cons of this party or that, but in the end does it really matter? If there are two trains and they are both headed to the same destination, does it really matter which one you choose to ride?

    As long as those who actually control this country can keep us all "playing" politics, then they are free to continue forming this nation into what they intend for it to be. Don't pay attention to that man behind the curtain. The show is in front of you.
  13. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    I am staunchly conservative , but too am tired of the" boosh bad/dems good" media....
    Hannity gets pretty superficial when a dem guest brings up an interesting pointabout civil krights."what about xx??"
    hannity: " Do you support people who killed 3,000 innocent american's"
    but,what confronting accusers??
    " Are you saying you support the killing of 3,000 innocent americans"?
    Yeah but we've got ann coulter in a leather miniskirt
    who've they got Rosie O'donnell??
    I don't ever want the current crop of dems in charge but, Kieth olberman has alot of his monologues on youtube, he brings up good questions without flipping out and ranting "boosh bad- boosh baad- hillary goood.."

    These "patriot act"orders have been scaring the beejesus outta me ....My wife gives me the usual " if you're not a terrorist,you've got nothing to fear.
    Nobody should have the power to send you "away"with no legal recourse.Even if pres bush handles it responsibly what about the next or even next president? Are these orders sunsetted? what if they decide all "Patriot" sites on the net constitute threats to the government maintaining order?And you better not object if you know what's good for ya...

    IMHO Our unadulterated constitution is America...all military and leo ( I think ) swear to support and defend "the constitution" not the prez, chief of staff or speaker of the house.I don't believe mr bush is dangerous or Evil,but I believe he( they're) playing with the checks and balances is something very powerful and dangerous.

    You wouldnt crack acouple of beers, chamber a round ,cock a 1911 and toss it end over end to a buddy across thge living room. just dangerous.

    I just don't like it, don't like it one bit...
  14. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    p.s.One fleeting thought,classic guerilla warefare dominos:... guerillas ( aka terrorists) attack, government clamps down, guerillas attack again government clamps down severly (for your safety), public starts to see the government as the bad guy.always ends the sameway.. guerillas' cause wins, cuba,vietnam? . ever see the movie "v" for vendetta, its pretty good hollywood example of this.
    Love that zevon " send lawyers guns and money, the "poop" has hit the fan...
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