Input Junkie - Such other matters as the President considers appropriate.
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Such other matters as the President considers appropriate.|
McCain and Leiberman have proposed a bill which allows for indefinite detention of American citizens at the president's whim.
Niemöller  is not mocked.
The whole point of "enemy combatant" was to put people outside the law, so that the government could do whatever it pleased to them. The law isn't an absolutely reliable protection, but it's a good bit better than nothing.
It was obvious to me that there was no reason for American government lawlessness to be limited to people who aren't American citizens.
I don't take the abuse of non-Americans lightly. A good bit of the anger in this post is for the Americans who thought indefinite detention without charge could only happen to someone else.
SEC. 5. DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL OF UNPRIVILEGED ENEMY BELLIGERENTS.
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.
Information about the bill from Glenn Greenwald, from an article at The Huffington Post which I found out about it because Steve Barnes was interested in the people from the French Television show who weren't willing to give big electric shocks.
I'm feeling let down by my friendslist. What happened to the glory days when every frightening thing the government was doing was urgent news? Teapartyers behaving like assholes is not a substitute.
Perhaps I'm being unfair-- I don't follow facebook or twitter, and lj's been kind of quiet lately. Has anyone else heard about this monstrous bill?
Anyway, here are the sponsors of the bill:
Sen. John McCain [R-AZ]
Scott Brown [R-MA]
Saxby Chambliss [R-GA]
James Inhofe [R-OK]
George LeMieux [R-FL]
Joseph Lieberman [I-CT]
Jefferson Sessions [R-AL]
John Thune [R-SD]
David Vitter [R-LA]
Roger Wicker [R-MS]
More, more, more. Did Obama really authorize INTERPOL to operate independently in the US, without regard for the bill of rights.
 First they came for the..... and when they finally came for me, there was no one to speak up.
This is the first I'm hearing about it. It's all Republicans and Liberman--are they going to try to grandfather in what the Bush admin. did? Or is this just because the GOP is afraid to let the Guantanamo Bay prisoners into regular Federal prisons? I don't know, something is fishy, they haven't been all that bipartisan...
Yes to all of the above, but particularly this is an effort to keep everyone currently in Guantanamo there forever- guilty or innocent.
|Date:||March 19th, 2010 01:39 am (UTC)|| |
I'm not certain what there is to worry about with this bill. Certainly it's horrific, but it's also being supported by Lieberman, whose burned through a lot of his political capital, and by a bunch of far-right Republicans. One of them (James Inhofe) voted for the recent jobs bill, but the rest have pretty much voted against everything supported by the Democrats, and so this bill has zero chance of passing. It looks to me merely like one of those horrific bits of pointlessly evil grandstanding that the far right loves so much.
I agree that they should be widely denounced, but given that most of the people who vote for these monsters actually like this sort of vileness, I'm not certain how useful or important denouncing this sort of grandstanding actually is.
|Date:||March 19th, 2010 01:43 am (UTC)|| |
Holy *censored*. What happened to the America I thought I knew?
I don't know how much attention you've been paying, but torture was legal for rather a while, and even though Obama says he's stopped it, none of the people who permitted or (falsely) legalized torture are going to be prosecuted. Unless something else changes. Obama was probably the most idealistic candidate who could have been elected.
America was never as good as it said on the label, but it's been going downhill.
I begin to suspect that courage hasn't been sufficiently valued, and that's got something to do with the panicky response to 9/11.
Technically, torture is still legal in the United States- or, at least, the President has the power to either define it away or prevent any and all domestic prosecutions of officials who torture. That was all in the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
The only thing- the ABSOLUTELY only thing- Obama has done to reverse the Bush-Cheney torture regime is to issue a single executive order... which can, and certainly will, be reversed immediately by the next Republican President.
I looked up the Interpol thing. You can read the executive orders here: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Executive_Order_12425
There's no mention of Constitutional abridgement. It's basically to let Interpol operate like an embassy (well, I don't know, not a lawyer, I'm just reading the damn thing. You read it and see what you think.) The main difference between the Reagan and Clinton versions and the Obama version is taxes. Obama's given them a tax break, who knows why.
From section 2: (b) International organizations, their property and their assets, wherever located, and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy the same immunity from suit and every form of judicial process as is enjoyed by foreign governments, except to the extent that such organizations may expressly waive their immunity for the purpose of any proceedings or by the terms of any contract.
I don't know whether this means they're immune from prosecution for what would ordinarily be called crimes.
Edited at 2010-03-19 01:56 am (UTC)
I think it makes them like an embassy. Google says:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_mission#Extraterritoriality
"Rather, the premises of diplomatic missions remain under the jurisdiction of the host state while being afforded special privileges (such as immunity from most local laws)"
Here's what US Interpol says
in the .pdf on the page at the link text, " Expanding INTERPOL's privileges and immunities in the United States":
The new order does not enable or authorize INTERPOL or its officials to conduct searches or seizures, make arrests or take any other law enforcement actions in the United States.
The additional privileges and immunities accorded include:
- Immunity from search and confiscation of its property and archives;
- Exemption from customs duties and taxes related to the importation of baggage and household effects;
- Exemption from federal income tax and Social Security contributions;
- Exemption from federal property taxes.
I wonder why they don't have to pay social security and income taxes? I'm guessing this is a sort of bribe to get Interpol to do more for us on the terror/intelligence front. It kind of sucks for US employees of Interpol, doesn't it?
I wonder why they don't have to pay social security and income taxes?
Because they're not Americans?
If I visit the USA for more than 30 days I'm supposed to go talk to the IRS about paying tax. So, to preserve my "non-resident alien" status I don't do that -- I never visit for more than 3 weeks.
Presumably INTERPOL has situations where officers -- who are citizens of other nations -- have to visit the USA and work there for more than 30 consecutive days, and they don't want to bug cops working a case with the hassle of registering with a foreign tax authority and paying tax in two jurisdictions simultaneously in the middle of a sufficiently serious criminal investigation that there are cops working overseas for months on end.
Edited at 2010-03-19 10:09 am (UTC)
I don't know whether this means they're immune from prosecution for what would ordinarily be called crimes.
Yes, it does- diplomatic immunity, except where Interpol has waived immunity as part of, say, the treaty that forms Interpol in the first place.
So Interpol can double-park and ignore the tickets, but they can't arrest anyone without the cooperation of local officials.
|Date:||March 19th, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)|| |
Pass it, sign it, and then use it to arrest all of the sponsors as traitors to the Constitution...at the signing ceremony.
Who's doing the arresting?
|Date:||March 19th, 2010 02:20 am (UTC)|| |
Elegant, if improbable. You'd have to arrest all those who voted for it. Maybe a "day at the races" strategy would work (qua Amazing Grace, the movie, in which the opposition to the bill all got free tickets to a day at the races at the same time as a most boring speaker was slated to introduce a most boring bill.)
Why do I see Ezar Vorkosigan's face hovering over this?
|Date:||March 19th, 2010 04:53 am (UTC)|| |
I find it disturbing to see you using the epithet "teabagger," which is characteristically used by people who (a) wish to heap scorn on the Tea Party movement (b) without actually arguing against the positions of its adherents. I haven't myself attended such an event, and don't expect to. But I do follow Web sites of some people who have, and the major themes they remark on seem to be fiscal responsibility, limited government, and stricter adherence to the Constitution . . . all of which strike me as desirable. After the past decade of the "right wing" being increasingly theocratic/social conservative, I find it a great improvement to find people on the right talking about the classic Republican issues and deliberately turning their focus away from recent obsessions with abortion and same-sex marriage.
Yes, there are reports of obnoxious behavior on the part of some Tea Partiers. There are reports of obnoxious behavior on the part of nearly every large-scale political movement. But arguing against ideas by pointing to the character flaws of people who assert them is a fallacy, and using abusive language to refer to those people is falling victim to the same obsessive political hostility you decry in them. I'm disappointed to see you doing this; your past posts have made a better impression on me.
|Date:||March 19th, 2010 06:57 am (UTC)|| |
The theocrats and social conservatives have always (well, for longer than I've been alive, anyway) appealed to fiscal responsibility, limited government, and the Constitution while pushing their theocratic or socially conservative policies. I don't see anything in the Tea party movement to convince me that they're different.
|Date:||March 19th, 2010 07:43 am (UTC)|| |
For the past decade, we've heard increasingly little about that. Bush was blatantly a big government conservative, responsible for Medicare D and No Child Left Behind as well as the abuses of civil liberties following the creation of the Department of Homeland Security; neither McCain nor Huckabee had much sympathy for "small government" policies; and the big selling points of the Republican Party have been opposition to abortion and to same-sex marriage. Now, in contrast, we see the Tea Party people not simply saying that they want fiscal conservatism, but making a point of not wanting to campaign on "values voter" issues limit their appeal to that group. That strikes me as an improvement. Of course, I'm part of the "socially liberal and fiscally conservative" faction, and find the theocrats and the progressives equally repulsive.
But even if you flatly disagree with their ideas, calling them by abusive names is not legitimate debate. Take what they say and show what's wrong with it. Namecalling is the tactic of a playground bully, not of a citizen of a free society.
|Date:||March 19th, 2010 08:37 am (UTC)|| |
When GW Bush accepted the Republican nomination, his speech included passages on privatizing Social Security, local school control, abolishing the "death tax", and general tax reduction, and he sneered at the Democrats as "the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt". Tax cuts were a constant refrain of his campaign and early presidency. Just like Reagan before him, he talked the small government talk, but walked the big government walk.
And whining about the word "teabagger" isn't legitimate debate either. People of my political persuasion have had invective heaped on our heads for decades. Now that we've finally got our hands on an epithet that stings, we're suddenly supposed to disarm?
It isn't obvious to me that epithets are a useful sort of weapon.
It's interesting (if true) that "Teabagger" (which I'd say is almost contentless-- I guess it has an implication of triviality) has more effect than "Rethuglican". In a sane world, (which I grant we aren't living in), being called a thug would be much worse.
And in the spirit of the fact-checking you usually do here..... What do you mean by "whining"?
Complaining about insults isn't debate-- it's meta-debate.
|Date:||March 19th, 2010 02:44 pm (UTC)|| |
Yes, you certainly are. When you are arguing with contemptible idiots who use abusive epithets, and you conduct yourself in a civilized manner, arguing the issues, the evidence, and the logic, they are committing ad hominem and proving that their position has no merit. When you hurl abusive epithets back at them, you are joining them in being contemptible idiots.
And your argument about Bush's position is really beside the point. Yes, Bush claimed to be an advocate of small government, and lied. And Obama ran as an advocate of restoring the Constitutional guarantees of civil liberties that Bush had trampled underfoot, and lied. Politicians are mostly cynical liars. But that would not justify claiming that all the people on the left who voted for Obama in protest against Republican abuses cared about nothing but achieving a left-wing seizure of power; nor does it justify claiming that all the Tea Party attendees who talk about old-style small government conservatism care about nothing but putting the right-wing scum back in power. In each case, what you have is people who honestly believe in something and politicians who are trying to exploit that belief by lying. The lies are parasitic on the genuine belief.
Now, if you want to say that strict adherence to the Constitution, small government, and fiscal conservatism are honestly bad positions . . . well, that is a possible political view, and could be argued for. But calling people who hold it "teabaggers" is not an argument. And "he started it" is not a justification.
I've changed it to Teapartyers.
I do think "Teabaggers" is a pretty mild insult, but courtesy is fairly cheap, and I think it does lead to being clearer-headed.
I would prefer a government which is smaller in many ways, but I wasn't arguing with their ideas, I was disgusted with the behavior of some of them.
Citizens of free societies seem to be pretty free with their insults-- that's part of what freedom means.
|Date:||March 19th, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)|| |