My previous headline about this was “House approves torture“, but in reality it’s much more sinister than that. Glenn Greenwald points out that no longer is Bush simply assuming the legal authority to throw anyone – including US citizens who have never left the country – in a secret jail without the right to challenge in court, he now actually has that authority (or will, when the bill passes the Senate as expected).
This last point means that even if there were a habeas corpus right inserted back into the legislation (which is unlikely at this point anyway), it wouldn’t matter much, if at all, because the law would authorize your detention simply based on the DoD’s decree that you are an enemy combatant, regardless of whether it was accurate or not. This is basically the legalization of the Jose Padilla treatment — empowering the President to throw people into black holes with little or no recourse, based solely on his say-so.
To get down to brass tacks, all that crap from the right that liberals are “aiding terrorists” is now more than sufficient to justify the legal jailing of any of us, for an indefinite period of time, without access to legal council, and without recourse.
That’s it. It’s over. Freedom of speech is no longer a right, it’s a privilege granted by the state. Say something the state doesn’t like, and they have the legal authority to “dissappear” you. My gut feeling is to say that we’ve lost. And by “we” I mean Americans. Where do we go from here?