Tuesday, September 13, 2005

What The Hell Has Become Of This Country?

From the USA Today this morning, OpEd. It speaks for itself:

The editorial.

An excerpt:

"Jose Padilla, who was born in New York and grew up in Chicago, landed at O'Hare airport more than three years ago and hasn't been seen since. He disappeared into a succession of jails and military prisons without being charged with a crime, without trial and without even a hearing on the allegations against him.

In a ruling that puts the liberties of every citizen at risk, a federal appeals court said Friday there's nothing wrong with that.

Worse, the ruling — expected to be appealed — isn't limited to O'Hare airport or to Padilla. The court said Congress has given the president authority to order the jailing of anyone anywhere for as long as he wishes, as long as he claims it's connected to the war on terrorism.

That sounds more like the power accorded a dictator than the president of the United States. Repeal of the Constitution's Fourth, Fifth and Sixth amendments wasn't part of the package when Congress passed that anti-terrorism resolution after the 9/11 attacks."

This, my friends, is the definition of an "activist judge", a term that the far-right fringe of the GOP has hijacked and applies only to so-called "liberal" judges. It goes both ways, people, it goes both ways. And this judge's ruling sickens me.

The direction of the country MUST be reversed, before it's too late.


Josh Harris said...

A republican friend of mine says FDR was the worst President in history because he jailed Japanese people during WWII for no reason. But defends the Patriot Act because its a legal act. I asked him are you serious? He said yeah. I say, no wonder the moron got re-elected and this country and its direction is in a world of hurt right now.

BJ Stone said...

Ah, the modern day lemmings of the right, eh, Josh?

PeoriaDad said...

I'm not a lemming. Not even an R. But your arguments put me in mind of someone getting pissed at firemen for running red lights and driving fast to go put out a housefire.

A state of war (and we have the dead bodies to show for it) is another name for a state of emergency. And in an emergency, the rules get tweaked for the common good.

If FDR hadn't bullied for his way and made things happen behind the scenes (without Congressional concent) to prepare for and fight a war Americans didn't want, we would be living in a very different world today. And we would have had our collective butts handed to us.

In war, a president must wield more power. You can't fight effectively day-to-day by committee. Imagine our city council coming to agreement on anything important...in time to take advantage of a strategic opportunity or dealing with an imposing threat, etc. The grandstanding and nashing of teeth alone would all but proclude us from winning anything.

I'm grateful for the Constitution. And I'm thankful to live in the amazing country that both conceived of and implemented it. But I'm also thankful for the folks that are trying to keep another 9/11 from happening to me and mine. That's why I'm willing to give 'em a little leeway here and there...like the firemen trying to save my house.

BJ Stone said...


There's a difference, IMO, between "a little leeway here and there" and The Patriot Act.

Searching my bag at an airport more thoroughly? Absolutely, go for it.

Being more proactive in acquiring background checks and proof of identification for people entering this country? Absolutely.

Jailing someone for three years and not charging him or her with anything? Um. No.

BJ Stone said...

By the way, thanks for the comment and thanks for reading! I enjoy reading your comments on other blogs as well.

Josh, same to you, thanks for coming by so often. How are you, BTW? I've not chatted with you much. Baseball league we're in seems to be quiet.

Josh Harris said...

A little leeway is ok in my book, but I agree with BJ, jailed for 3 years is wrong. But, wtf, how can someone say FDR is one of the worst pres. because he jailed Japanese but Bush is a decent pres. and the Patriot act is ok. It's the same damn thing.

PeoriaDad said...

Thanks, BJ. Like the blog.

I'll agree to disagree on this one. I just think there's a lot about this camper that we don't know. Letting the guy out to play, while a nice idea to our midwestern sensabilities, probably has a real national security downside. No way we know the real story here. And pressuring our guys (that's OUR GUYS) based on the comments of attorneys for the bad guys seems a bit, well, stupid. Who we gonna trust here...or at least give the benefit of the doubt?

And Josh, anybody who would say R. was one of our worst presidents -- for ANY reason -- is an idiot. Especially since there's such a deep list of truly horrible presidents from which to choose.