Pissed off rantings from a middle class adolescent.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Military Commissions Act: The Road to Fascism

I realize it's kind of late to be addressing the issue of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, but I think the surreal realities of it are sinking in. It's overbearing and authoritarian qualities are really coming to the front for me and I felt the need to write something in regards to it.

Keith Olbermann's excellent rant on the signing of the Act was a beacon to me. I had known that the act was bad news, but he really put it out there and got me off of my procrastination stand to write about it. So really, let me first start out my soapbox speech by saying that this act (for those who don't know or have the audacity to think that this is a logical defense of terrorism) basically gives the President, in all his intelligence (little joke there) to strip away our right of habeas corpus. Not since the Civil War (and following reconstruction years) has this principle right been suspended. It may not sound like much, but this little bit of freedom gives us the right to know what our charges are along with other ways to help oneself out of unlawful imprisonment.

So, one might say that really, all they must do is avoid breaking the law and they shouldn't have to worry about this. You would be right if that was the case. But it's not.

The Military Commissions Act gives the President the right to deign anyone an "unlawful military combatant." An animal rights activist who could only face misdemeanors charges for an act of militant free speech could instead face torture in outsourcing prison camps or accusations of terrorism, if Mr. Bush thinks that this person is an "unlawful enemy combatant."

Who defines "Unlawful enemy combatant?" Wikipedia says that an "unlawful enemy combatant is:

"The term unlawful combatant (also unlawful enemy combatant or unprivileged combatant/belligerent) is a term used to label certain persons considered outside of the protection of the
Geneva Conventions; those to whom are granted such protections they refer to as lawful combatants. The Military Commissions Act codified the legal definition of this term and gave the President broad discretion in how a person is designated as an unlawful enemy combatant. An unlawful combatant is accorded neither the rights a soldier would normally have under the laws of war, nor the civil rights a common criminal would normally have."

Being the extremely vague definition that it is, it would seem that everyone should fear this. The worst part of this is that it's at the President's discretion! As if the human being was capable of making those kinds of rational decisions in the first place, we must also consider what human being we are referring to. If this act were to ever lessen it's fascist tendencies more, then that would only be by having it at a civilian workers' council discretion, not the President. To give someone like the President that kind of power, on top of what he already has, only adds to the definition of oppressive regimes that we wanted to escape for the founding of this country.

In Olbermann's attack of the act, he asked why the American people hadn't done anything (in so many words). Aside from absolutely none to lax news coverage, the American people weren't aware of this act in any way. What should scare the American people about this is the possibility that Bush and his buddies could sign away your rights in the middle of the night and you wouldn't even know. Moreso, that is.

Olbermann's point was correct. The American people should have done something about this. In other nations, especially those that fought a long, militaristic battle for their freedom recently, an attempt like this would not bring about petitions and lobbyists on the side of the people, but instead warrant an immediate uprising and removal of the ruling party. However, as Americans, laziness persists. The idea of a revolution holds to much heavy labour and dedication; dedication that the American people, generally can't afford to give. Or maybe it isn't that, but its the brainwashing fears of terrorism. It seems some of us would sign away any one of their rights if they knew it could help prevent terrorism.

What prevents terrorism more? He who seeks to eliminate ones freedom in the name of security is the true terrorist. No one else.


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