Wednesday, October 18, 2006

America the (used to be) free

America is officially no longer a free country.

George Bush has signed a law that is blatantly unconstitutional and that takes away our most basic rights as American citizens, including the right of habeas corpus. The term habeas corpus is commonly heard on television, but few Americans actually know what it means, or more accurately, what it means in terms of our basic rights.

A writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate to a prison (or detention center, as the case may be) ordering that a prisoner be brought to court to determine if their imprisonment is legally justified. It does not addres the question of innocence or guilt, but rather the simple matter of whether or not the powers that be have the legal justification to detain the inmate.
Common examples would be someone who has been held without trial or someone who was put in jail indefinitely after being declared in contempt of court by a judge. In the latter instance, judges certainly have the right to imprison someone for contempt for legitimate reasons, but not for a reason such as wearing denim jeans to court because they lacked the money to purchase a business suit.

This new law, however, suspends the right of habeas corpus for anyone deemed to be an enemy combatant. The term enemy combatant is, of course, supposed to refer to someone actively fighting against you (ie - an enemy soldier in time of war), but it is such a loosely defined term that technically, I can be declared an enemy combatant for writing this article.
George Bush has eliminated one of our most basic rights. More importantly, he has violated MY rights, and I will not stand for it. I love this country, but I will not sit idly by while my own government denies me my most basic rights. Habeas corpus is my right. I am entitled to it, and I will not allow ANYONE to take it away from me. That is the whole concept behind the writ - one whose right to liberty has been denied MUST be given the opportunity to challenge the denial of said right.

No doubt I will be called a traitor by the uninformed "armchair patriots" for taking this position, but I tell you now that our nation was founded on the concept that when a government becomes destructive, we have the right to change it.

Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government[...] But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government.

These words are taken directly from the Declaration of Independence, the very statement on which this nation was founded. I am a natural-born citizen of these United States of America, and as such I am directly ordered by the founding document of this nation to take action rather than sitting idly by and allowing the government to abuse their power and deny me my rights. Every citizen of this great nation is likewise ordered to do the same.

We are one step away from Marshall Law. Will you allow such an abhorrent abomination to take place in your own land? I will not. Will you allow a corrupt and blatantly self-serving government to remain in power while they continually abuse that power? I will not. Will you sit idly by and watch the inevitable civil war brewing on CNN without taking action to protect this great nation from such a fate? I will not.

This day and every day, we must focus on the matters of true importance, namely the internal sickness that is openly plaguing our nation. No longer can we afford to allow our rights to be taken away under a veil of partisan propoganda designed to hide the true infection. Further delay will only result in inevitable bloodshed of our own people, fighting against one another in what can only be a bloodier conflict that any civil division in the history of the world. This cannot be allowed to happen, and must be stopped before it snowballs out of control and we end up with military policing of our own streets and the deaths of patriotic citizens who only desire to maintain the freedoms which we already possess.

Our nation was divided once before, with brother fighting brother, but this time both sides will have much more aggressive weapons. Our nation cannot be allowed to decline into a state of internal war - we cannot fight pitched battles amongst one another and protect ourselves from outside forces at the same time.

Our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence becuase the King of England at the time was found to be committing, among other abhorrent actions, the following unfair practices:

1. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
2. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
3. For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
4. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

Does any of this sound familiar? George Bush has no problem hand-picking the laws and regulations (or lack thereof) that personally benefit him, despite the negative effect on the population as a whole. He has kept the military free from civil power by declaring that any investigation into his actions as Commander in Chief violate or otherwise jeopardize national security, which is the age-old cry of the oppressor. He has taken away our rights one after another. He has constrained our own citizens to bear the burden of punishment and civil ex-communications in the form of calling them unamerican or unpatriotic, merely by utilizing an improperly managed budget to providing media propoganda.

There is something wrong with this country. The nation is sick, and must be cured before it causes the death of our beloved country as we know it.

My name is Jake Russell, and I, with a broken heart over the course in which this country is heading, wholeheartedly approve this message.

Text of the law (PDF):

Other related links: