May 8, 2010
The climate of fear, created out of the well exaggerated Times Square incident last week has allowed Joe Lieberman and fellow establishment lawmakers to introduce a bill that would drive the final nail into the coffin of the Bill of Rights. Lieberman says the bill is design to “close loopholes” that allow individuals on the FBI’s terror watch list purchase firearms, explosives and to have basic rights of due process if and when they are tried for a crime.
|The dangers of Lieberman’s legislation are vast.|
Despite the fact that the FBI’s terror watch list has been repeatedly found to contain children, people of mistaken identity and individuals whose only crime was to attend antiwar rallies, the media is pushing the agenda as a fight over whether or not so-called terrorist should have any rights at all. The problem is that none of these people have been charged with a crime, let alone tried and found guilty by a trial of their peers. Nearly 1.5 million Americans would be stripped of their rights without trial and without recourse.
Are we still the land of the free if we begin to strip people of their civil rights based on their political/religious beliefs? If we being to strip innocent children of their god given rights based solely on their names and do not provide any legal recourse or action of defense for these people, are we still a free society? Or has the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned of in his farewell speech grown to such proportions that it has swallowed this republic whole? Has the promise of security convinced us that we should relinquish our rights as Americans? Most likely not enough of us, which is why the media is doing all they can to frame this as a debate about terrorists. These are not terrorists; they are Americans who have committed no crime. If they have committed a crime, then they should be charged and tried publicly, not by military tribunal as Lieberman would have it, so that the American people can see the full evidence against them.
When we do not demand to be part of the system of justice and demand that the burden of proof lay with the government, not the accused, then we will continue to see more fear mongering and assaults on our liberties. One example, the recently demonized Hutaree Militia, was arrested and lambasted by the media for their supposed plans to kill police officers. Since then even the Judge presiding over the case as publicly questioned the government’s case against the men saying there is no evidence linking such a plot to the Hurtaree Militia. Yet, the media cannot be expected to recant or to reconsider their smear campaign against American’s who are active in militias, as this was their intended purpose. The Hurtaree case, the Times Square incident and second Times Square incident just yesterday (involving what the media called “a suspicious package”, yet turned out to just be a cooler) shows that the media is more concerned with pushing fear then they are with informing us.
The dangers of Lieberman’s legislation are vast. Existing legislation, the Military Commissions Act, already allows for indefinite detention of Americans deemed “enemy combatants”. Now with Lieberman’s legislation, if passed, Americans can be in essence declared “enemy combatants” without even committing a crime. They can be stripped of their rights, convicted using secret evidence or anonymous testimony and shipped to a secret “black site” prison. No legal action or appeals process, only a direct act of Congress to reverse the law would save them- if it was even known who was being held where.
We are in serious risk of crossing a line that cannot easily be undone. We are about to hammer the final nail into the coffins of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. If we do so; if we exchange our liberties for the illusion of security, we forfeit the very ideals that make America great. The concepts of individual liberty and equal justice that this nation was founded upon will be forsaken and we will join the ranks of dozens of other nations whose government’s chief task is to police the people.
As Benjamin Franklin said: “Those who would surrender their liberty for security, deserve neither”.
This article was posted: Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 12:44 pm