Just read Leiter.
So the record had been mixed, even before Bush & his bestiary of madmen, but describing the U.S. as a nominally democratic society seemed to make some sense. Yet even that status officially ended last week. The legislation known as "the Military Commissions Act of 2006" (usefully described by Professor Balkin here)–approved by what might be called, euphemistically, "the supine Congress" and which is sure to be signed by the alleged President (on orders from the actual President, Dick Cheney)–is the stuff of totalitarian societies, pure and simple. (As Stephen Griffin (Law, Tulane) observes, the law should really be called the "Military Dictatorship Act," because that is what it actually is, all the bullshit to one side. Or as philosopher Matt Burstein wrote to me: "these fuckers read Kafka and Orwell as a god-damned manual, not as a critique!")
The full fascist impact of this legislation won’t be felt immediately, of course, but its contours are so clear as to admit of no whitewashing: the Dear Leader, i.e., the executive, now has the right to disappear anyone, without having to answer to any other branch of government, except, perhaps, officials who serve at the pleasure of the executive. Hitler and Stalin and Mao had versions of this power; so, too, now does George W. Bush. If there is a pertinent difference, it is that the public culture in the U.S., at least currently, is still mildly resistant to capacious exercise of this power, at least against the proverbial "white folks" and other right-thinking and right-looking Americans.
OK, read Ivins, too.
In another change, a clause said that evidence obtained outside the United States could be admitted in court even if it had been gathered without a search warrant. But the bill now drops the words “outside the United States,” which means prosecutors can ignore American legal standards on warrants.
The bill also expands the definition of an unlawful enemy combatant to cover anyone who has “has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States.” Quick, define “purposefully and materially.” One person has already been charged with aiding terrorists because he sold a satellite TV package that includes the Hezbollah network.
The bill simply removes a suspect’s right to challenge his detention in court. This is a rule of law that goes back to the Magna Carta in 1215. That pretty much leaves the barn door open.
I haven’t talked about this at home, but somehow the implications are even sinking into the consciousness of sixteen year old girls (a smart 16yog, but still…).
So where are the Democrats leading the charge? Will this be a subject of discussion at YearlyKos, and can we howl at any Democrats who show up? Who else will be joining me at the protest lines at the Fascist National Convention in Minneapolis next September? How can we light a fire under the craven Democrats?
What the heck…now you can even get arrested for publicly disagreeing with Dick Cheney?
Forget civility and decorum. It’s time to impeach these slimemeisters.