Habeus Corpus Died Yesterday

(Updated below)

Yesterday completely changed the Legal and Political landscape in America.

Yesterday President Bush signed a bill into law that effectively killed the writ of Habeus Corpus and turned him into King George.

Sadly Habeus Corpus went out with a whimper, not a bang. No one seems to care that this bill takes away some of Americans essential rights – the right to know what crime you are being accused of and the right to a speedy trial.

With this law King George can now imprison anyone he feels like, American or not, for any reason and any period of time. All King George has to do is declare you an “enemy combatant” and he can toss you into Guantanamo and throw away the key.

This bill also says to the world “America is a country that approves torture.”

I am shamed by my government. And very, very scared.

Keith Olbermann did a piece on his Countdown last night about it. He had Jonathan Turley, a professor of Constitutional Law, on to talk about it.

Turley: “People have no idea how significant this is. Really a time of shame this is for the American system.—The strange thing is that we have become sort of constitutional couch potatoes. The Congress just gave the President despotic powers and you could hear the yawn across the country as people turned to Dancing With the Stars. It’s otherworldly..People clearly don’t realize what a fundamental change it is about who we are as a country. What happened today changed us. And I’m not too sure we’re gonna change back anytime soon.”

You can watch the video over on Crooks and Liars. I suggest you do.

I also suggest you vote Democratic in November to try and slow down this hemorrhaging of our Constitutional rights.

I am currently reading Glenn Greenwald’s book How Would A Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok and am becoming more and more disgusted by the actions of King George and his cabinet.

Between King George grabbing absolute power above the law, Congress letting him – hell, helping him, and the Judicial Branch telling him it is allowed within the Constiution (it’s not) and the Religious Right and their attempts to legislate their version of morality and stuff it down everybody else’s throat, I am becoming very scared for my country.

We are heading down not just one, but many slippery slopes and I fear it’s going to be a very long, slow climb back up, if we even get a chance to start back up at all.

And I feel powerless to affect it in any way. Sure, I can vote Democratic, and I will be doing so, but the Democrats are not that much better, and even if Congress wakes up and starts reigning in King George, it’s going to be very hard to undo the damage that has already been done.

Updated: Glenn Greenwald has a link to the actual bill (pdf) that King George signed yesterday, so you don’t have to take my word for what it says. If you don’t believe that it actually takes away the writ of habeus corpus, go read the bill.

You might also be interested in reading Glenn’s posting about the fact that Fox News is lying to it’s viewers about what this bill contains.

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