this is not funny.

September 29th, 2006

Constitution, revised

When I was in school, there were two things that I was told made America the best country in the world: we’d never waged a war on anyone aggressively (which was already easily debatable at the time, but still actually debatable and not a transparent lie) and you couldn’t be imprisoned without the due process of arrest, accusation, speedy trial, and conviction.

We were told that this is because the Constitution of the United States is a flexible but inviolable document subject to representative review and judicial interpretation that stemmed from that due process.

So, let’s take count:

  • Unjust, unprovoked, and morally bankrupt war? You betcha.
  • Lack of due process? Holy shit.

So, this is designed to get terrorists, right? And does it define what a terrorist is, and how we can make sure that we’ve got one when we do?

Well, we’re not allowed to know.

(posted also to Monkey Do, Monkey See.)

5 Responses to “this is not funny.”

  1. Jeff says:

    It’s heartbreaking. Follow up via some of the links here if you have the stomach for it.

    I got into a mildly heated discussion about this with my parents the other night. My mom, who leans towards the right (much to me and my dad’s dismay), asked why America shouldn’t be able to use any of the same “interrogation techniques” as the other side — what other side? — does.

    The only answer I could think of is that “we have to be better than that”.

    ~jeff

  2. Joshua says:

    Here’s a better answer:

    The Geneva Convention was designed so that those who abide by it can mutually reduce the horror of war.

    That we have spat on such a document now means that no one is beholden not to torture Americans.

    The part that I find particlarly appalling is that due process, which is designed so that we know we’ve got the right guy and can punish with the moral authority that “punishment” implies, has been overturned.

    Tell your mom this:

    There is no longer a law that prevents the FBI from capturing her, not telling her what she’s done, not telling her family what she’s done, trying her without a lawyer’s ability to see and protest evidence, imprison her indefinitely in a secret prison, and execute her.

    When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out.

  3. Jeff says:

    If you haven’t seen David O. Russell’s 1999 movie “Three Kings“, now’s a good time.

    There’s a scene where Mark Wahlberg, while being tortured by Iraqis, has his mouth opened wide and gets a CD case jammed in the mouth; all the better to shunt the crude oil in.

    And I can’t think of a better metaphor for American politics right now.

    ~jeff

  4. Joshua says:

    Me? You’re saying this to me? Who owns and has rewatched that movie maybe 7 or 8 times?

    What the fuck is wrong with Michael Jackson, bro?

  5. Jon Land says:

    You should check out John Dean’s new(ish) book “Conservatives Without Conscience”. It’s a nice semi-psychological take about how we have an authoritarian regime in charge, and how that’s bordering on fascism.

    It’s especially good that Dean wrote it, being a conservative.

    The Constitution is currently being used as toilet paper seeing as with every bill that becomes a law, Bush signs additional paperwork saying he doesn’t have to respect said law. God Bless America!