Bloggers may be tempted to kick back and bask in the glow of Preisent Obama’s Heath Care achievement. It sure would be fun to write a few easy-to-write columns about some innocuous topic such as a road test comparison of a blimp ride vs. a zeppelin ride (and we may do that soon) but while the passage of Health Care takes up the attention of much of the media, both in the blogosphere and on vitriolic conservative talk shows, there are some other Republican political moves that are very ominous that are going almost unnoticed. (Which is just the way the Republican strategists like it.)
Isn’t the irony of Senator John McCain sponsoring a bill that would legitimize the ability of the government to apprehend and incarcerate citizens without the need to arrest and charge them with a crime, something that should get a mention in the media that is supposed to be “pro liberal”? In addition isn’t yet another Republican move to imitate Hitler’s efforts to neuter and eliminate his political opposition in Germany, something that should cause some newspaper managing editors deem newsworthy and needing some commentary?
Some debaters might assert that Americans can’t be jailed without a charge since there is a thing called the right of <em>habeas corpus</em> which has been a part of the English speaking judicial system for about a thousand years.
The case of Attorney Richard Fine might be an outstanding way to refute the allegations that it can never happen, because it is happening to Fine. Luckily for the Republican strategists, not only are editors ignoring the Fine case (with a few exceptions such as the continuing coverage by the Full Disclosure Network), but since it is a complicated legal issue and can’t be reduced to a bumper sticker sized sound bytes; it isn’t likely to get much media attention.
Fine is in “coercive custody” and so his dire plight can’t be reviewed by the Ninth Superior Court of Appeals, nor the Supreme Court of the United States, because Fine hasn’t been charged with a crime and therefore not subject to their review.
If Fine can be kept in custody like that, and if the McCain sponsored bill (S 3081) is passed, then any future President can use the McCain measure as the basis for apprehending and jailing people on the basis of their beliefs.
A hypothetical example would be sometime in the future, a Republican President (such as Jeb Bush?) could have people confined to jail for suggesting that his brother should be subjected to a war crimes trial. Rush Limbaugh would be safe (for sure) but Rachael Maddow might have to move her program studios to . . . Kalgoorlie?
Some avid Republican supporters might want to post some snide remarks about this columnist in conjunction with strong assertions designed to assure swing voters that it could never happen. Just like back in the old days when veterans of World War II swore (on a book that’s popular in the Bible-belt?) that America would never ever condone extreme coercive questioning of Prisoners of War with methods such as the Gestapo approved “waterbording.” It seems like “never” has arrived during this columnist’s lifetime.
Buy some Girl Scout Cookies and enjoy Spring Break 2010
Herman Goering has said: “Shoot first and inquire afterwards, and if you make mistakes, I will protect you.” Wasn’t he backed by legal opinions form John Yoo?
Now the disk jockey will spin the “Let’s Play Master and Slave,” song, Johnny Paycheck’s “11 months and 29 days,” and “Jailhouse Rock.” We have to go send an e-mail to the Airship Ventures press relations department. Have a “Fort Liquordale” type week.