Wednesday, July 20, 2005

America the Home of the Free Is Almost Dead

So many scary things have happened in this country since 9/11 that it would seem impossible to be shocked anymore. But this is fucking terrifying.

A government attorney argued yesterday that America is a battlefield and President Bush therefore has the authority to detain enemy combatants indefinitely in this country.

This is in the context of the legal appeal in the Jose Padilla case. The government wants the court to overturn a lower court ruling that Padilla has to be charged with a crime or released. The government doesn't want to charge Padilla with a crime. They want to be able to detain him for the rest of his life without charging him with a crime.

Jose Padilla is an American, as most of us know.

How far away in time are sports stadiums filled with American college students, university professors, writers, journalists, intellectuals, who have been arrested because they have expressed opposition to, or have relationships with people who have expressed opposition to, or once belonged to an organization that is opposed to, or work in a profession that everyone knows is opposed to, the U.S. government's policies in the "war on terrorism"? How long before dozens, or hundreds, of Americans start disappearing -- every month, every week, or every day?

Goddammit, WAKE UP, America! While American troops are in Iraq and Afghanistan supposedly fighting for our freedom, our own government is trying to take our freedom away. If we want to continue to have our freedom, we can't just let the government pull it out from under us, like a carpet, inch by inch.

Please, people. Wake up and smell the lousy coffee.

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