Monday, December 04, 2006

An Unbelievable Administration of Tyranny

Man, oh man, oh man.

Who would believe this could ever happen in our country - the good ol’ US of A, that bastion of freedom and democracy and ‘innocent until proven guilty’?

Who can believe that our own US government now acts terrifyingly like Darth Vadar’s minions on the Galactic Empire’s Death Star? Who can believe that our version of the Galactic Empire now apparently has no compunction with torture, illegal imprisonment, violation of the most basic of human rights and outright contempt for constitutional guarantees of freedom?

If you want to get your knickers all knotted up, just take a look at the present “Dark Side of the Force” as exemplified by the current administration’s campaign against one Jose Padilla, an American citizen born in Brooklyn, NY.

Padilla was arrested as he stepped off an airplane in Chicago on May 8, 2002 as a 'material witness'. Then, on June 9, 2002, two days before District Court Judge Michael Mukasey was to issue a ruling on the validity of continuing to hold Padilla under the material witness warrant, President Bush issued an order to Secretary Rumsfeld to detain Padilla as an "enemy combatant," and Padilla was transferred to a military brig in South Carolina without any notice to his attorney or family - and thereafter held incommunicado for almost two years.

Padilla has been held - illegally according to legal scholars and the US Supreme Court - since his arrest. He was denied access to legal counsel for almost two full years. Then, when it looked like he would have to be released, the administration in a 'legal maneuver' (talk about your oxymorons!) changed course and had him indicted as a ‘civilian' by a Florida grand jury for alleged crimes totally different from those he was being held for by the military.

General info and history of the Padilla case can be found here. Even the arch conservative Cato Institute has compellingly serious issues with the Padilla case.

And, if you think you have the stomach for it, have a look at this article from the NY Times of today. It does not matter if Padilla is innocent or guilty - no human being should be treated this way under our constitutional 'guarantees'. If the government has the evidence, the man should stand trial. If they have only suspicions and suppositions, he must be released. For otherwise, there could stand you or I at the whim of this administration.

James Madison, in Federalist No. 47, put it most succinctly: "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands ... may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."

We must free our country from the yoke of it's present tyranny, whatever it takes.

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