Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Please Pay Attention

While our media has been lapping up the Tea Bag freak show and sniffing Sarah Palin’s skirt, a rather nasty bill has been filed in the Senate. And folks, you just know it’s got to be bad when you see the co-sponors are John McCain and Joe Lieberman. It’s called (cue “Psycho” strings) the Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010. So far the only folks I see talking about this are lefty-socialist-types like Glenn Greenwald and the Marxists at AlterNet, who warn the bill’s passage would
set this country on a course to become a military dictatorship.

Among the bill’s more troublesome passages:

An individual, including a citizen of the United States, determined to be an unprivileged enemy belligerent under section 3(c)(2) in a manner which satisfies Article 5 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War may be detained without criminal charges and without trial for the duration of hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners in which the individual has engaged, or which the individual has purposely and materially supported, consistent with the law of war and any authorization for the use of military force provided by Congress pertaining to such hostilities.

Basically what this means is that Congress would be giving the President the power to indefinitely detain anyone declared an “enemy belligerent,” anyone at all, without a trial, in a military prison. Even a U.S. citizen.

This is the kind of Constitution-shredding, civil liberties abolishing, tyrannical legislation you’d think would have the Tea People screaming at the top of their lungs and Sarah rethinking her support for its sponsor, John McCain. That it has slid by unnoticed with the largest screamers on the national stage right now is perhaps more troubling than the bill itself, which let’s hope dies a quick death.

Pay attention, people. Yes, I’m talking to you idiots in the tri-cornered hats yammering about crap of which you have no clue. Giving citizens access to a private, for profit health insurance market is not fascism, tyranny, or totalitarianism. Declaring U.S. citizens “enemy belligerents” and detaining them in military prisons indefinitely without trial is.

If there is anyone sensible in the Tea Bag movement they will step away from their crazy compatriots and work to grind this heinous piece of legislation into the dust. And then let’s work to get its sponsors, one John McCain Republican of Arizona and one Joseph Lieberman Independent of Connecticut, out of the U.S. Senate so they can’t do any more damage.