Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

"Guantánamo at 10: The Defeat of Liberty by Fear" -- Michael Rattner

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » Editorials & Other Articles Donate to DU
 
KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-11-12 09:38 PM
Original message
"Guantánamo at 10: The Defeat of Liberty by Fear" -- Michael Rattner
The unprecedented executive powers assumed by both presidents since 9/11 have crippled America's body politic
by Michael Ratner

On 11 January 2002, the United States began showing major signs of what I call "Guantánamo syndrome", after one of the ailment's first and most enduring symptoms. That was the day when the Bush administration transferred the first 20 detainees to Camp X-Ray at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, after being assured by its Department of Justice that the location placed detainees outside of US legal jurisdiction.Guantánamo military prison, where 'enhanced interrogation techniques' were used. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

But the first hint of our national illness appeared earlier, in the weeks following the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centers, when the Bush administration took the lid off unlimited executive power. This is the lid that nobles, who had endured centuries of rulers imprisoning anyone who ticked them off and holding them indefinitely without having to state or prove any kind of case, affixed in 1215 with the Magna Carta. It's the lid that the original framers tightened to the specifications of the United States when they ratified the Constitution in 1790.

But after the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centers, Americans feared our still-unknown assailants far more than we feared the implications of unchecked executive power. We could not get the lid off that particular petri dish fast enough. Less than a week after 11 September 2001, Congress passed the Authorisation for Use of Military Force, which grants the president unlimited power to use force against anyone in the world – any nation, organisation, person, associated forces and so forth that the president determines was, in any way, involved in 9/11. Military Order #1, passed two months later, authorised the president to direct the capture of any non-citizen anywhere in the world allegedly involved in international terrorism, and detain that person indefinitely without access to the remedy of habeas corpus. (In another example of the deterioration of Americans' rights post-9/11, that power can now be applied to citizens as well.)

Together, these acts, plus the Bush administration's declaration of a so-called "war on terror", doubled as publicity stunt and power grab. By treating the assaults of 9/11 as acts of war rather than crimes, despite the fact that laws of war apply to battles between countries, the White House could "go cowboy". And so it did, eschewing the Constitution, kicking down doors, taking prisoners at will, and doing whatever it liked with them – without any heed for international law and without caring whether those prisoners were the right ones or not.

Most of post-9/11 America was a fairly easy sell for these shenanigans. People were still gasping from the impact of the assaults on New York and DC – nerves still shot from the anthrax scare that followed and the nightly footage of crews digging through the rubble of the Twin Towers. The Bush administration played on the public's fears of further attacks, its desire for retribution and its thirst for someone else to "Find and Punish the Bad Men". Then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld advertised the camp at Guantánamo Bay as a holding pen for "the worst of the worst". Attorney General John Ashcroft solemnly intoned, "Terrorists have no constitutional rights."

More at.......
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/01/11-3
Refresh | +3 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-12 12:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. Hi Koko
I'm still having trouble posting on the old DU, so this might not show up.

This article pretty well lays out exactly what happened, dunnit? And I doubt we'll ever see the end of those laws that destroyed the constitution. The formation of the Dept. of "homeland security" was a biggie. That law SUCKED.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
dtexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-12 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yeah, Hoaxland Security was a big part of it.
But far from all.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
dtexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-12 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
2. The defeat of liberty by proto-fascists playing on fear.
The defeat of liberty by wanna-be colonialists threatening the world behind the facade of fear of "the other."
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-12 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
4. excellent post kr
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-12 05:35 PM
Response to Original message
5. KR nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Aug 29th 2014, 07:17 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Editorials & Other Articles Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC