Wednesday, November 15, 2006

As Al-Qaeda Makes Nuke Plans, Leahy Plans To Give Al-Qaeda Right

This is the headline I stumbled across from the Rush Limbaugh home page. He writes,

Pat Leaky Leahy, the incoming judiciary committee chairman has an idea. He wants to give Al-Qaeda habeas corpus rights. He wants to ditch the foreign surveillance legislation the president negotiated before the election, and if he doesn't ditch it, he wants to add a provision that grants Al-Qaeda prisoners of war habeas corpus rights.

This extremely authoritarian propaganda is even more sinister than the lies and deception spread during and leading up to the passage of the Military Commissions Act. Remember, it was all about torture. It was hoped that people wouldn’t be paying attention and that the bill would just slip thru and go into law.

Now Mr. Limbaugh has no quarrels about indoctrinating his listeners outright, Habeas Corpus is dangerous in the hands of terrorist. Habeas Corpus is dangerous in the hands of anyone the State considers might possibly be a threat. It’s following the Neo-conservative rationale of pre-emptive military action and applying it to individuals.  It would be just a bit easier to brush aside if he didn’t have 20 million daily listeners.

He then continues,

Patrick Leahy has let it be known, he's let the terrorists all over the world know it, that he and his Democrats are their protectors.

That just goes beyond the pale.

The headline from UPI reads,

Leahy aims at giving habeas corpus

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is expected to take over as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and The (Calif.) Daily Journal reports that Leahy is drafting a bill to undo portions of the new law in an effort to give habeas corpus rights for enemy combatants.

Give Habeas Corpus? Does anyone remember a time when this sort of language didn’t even exist in the public consciousness? With all do respect to those fighting against this assault on basic liberty, the very fact that the public has come to a place where the right to Habeas Corpus is something that can be given or taken and fought amongst politicians and courts is truly alarming. This fact alone should give us great pause.

Enemy Combatants (we need to ditch this irrational term) are entitled to the fundamental right of Habeas Corpus just as much as anyone else accused of a crime. The problem for most of the detainees is that they have not even been accused of a crime.

For those Americans who somehow have come to the conclusion that only some people are entitled to basic civil rights, the Military Commissions Act threatens to strip potentially ANYONE of the protection of Habeas Corpus.

On the legal front, lawyers representing detainees have petitioned the US court of appeals in D.C. Military Commissions Act argued unconstitutional. There is a lot of movement in the legal arena but folks should not assume that the courts will uphold the constitution.

This is far from over and the neo-conservative legacy will remain for years to come. Furthermore, there are no guarantees that a Democratic house will respect and uphold fundamental constituitional rights in the future. Many Dems actually voted for the MCA. Remember, without Habeas Corpus, what have you got?