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Glenn Greenwald:New Target of Rights Erosions: US Citizens

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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 11:26 AM
Original message
Glenn Greenwald:New Target of Rights Erosions: US Citizens
New Target of Rights Erosions: US Citizens

A primary reason Bush and Cheney succeeded in their radical erosion of core liberties is because they focused their assault on non-citizens with foreign-sounding names, casting the appearance that none of what they were doing would ever affect the average American. There were several exceptions to that tactic -- the due-process-free imprisonment of Americans Yaser Hamdi and Jose Padilla, the abuse of the "material witness" statute to detain American Muslims, the eavesdropping on Americans' communications without warrants -- but the vast bulk of the abuses were aimed at non-citizens. That is now clearly changing.

The most recent liberty-abridging, Terrorism-justified controversies have focused on diluting the legal rights of American citizens (in part because the rights of non-citizens are largely gone already and there are none left to attack). A bipartisan group from Congress sponsors legislation to strip Americans of their citizenship based on Terrorism accusations. Barack Obama claims the right to assassinate Americans far from any battlefield and with no due process of any kind. The Obama administration begins covertly abandoning long-standing Miranda protections for American suspects by vastly expanding what had long been a very narrow "public safety" exception, and now Eric Holder explicitly advocates legislation to codify that erosion. John McCain and Joe Lieberman introduce legislation to bar all Terrorism suspects, including Americans arrested on U.S. soil, from being tried in civilian courts, and former Bush officials Bill Burck and Dana Perino -- while noting (correctly) that Holder's Miranda proposal constitutes a concession to the right-wing claim that Miranda is too restrictive -- today demand that U.S. citizens accused of Terrorism and arrested on U.S. soil be treated as enemy combatants and thus denied even the most basic legal protections (including the right to be charged and have access to a lawyer).

This shift in focus from non-citizens to citizens is as glaring as it is dangerous. As Digby put it last week:

The frighting reality is that not even Dick Cheney thought of stripping Americans of their citizenship so that you could torture and imprison them forever --- even right after 9/11 when the whole country was petrified and he could have gotten away with anything. You'll recall even John Walker Lindh, who was literally captured on the battlefield fighting with the Taliban, was tried in civilian court. They even read him his rights.

I think this says something fairly alarming about the current state of our politics. There is, of course, no moral difference between subjecting citizens and non-citizens to abusive or tyrannical treatment. But as a practical matter, the dangers intensify when the denial of rights is aimed at a government's own population. The ultimate check on any government is its own citizenry; vesting political leaders with oppressive domestic authority uniquely empowers them to avoid accountability and deter dissent. It's one thing for a government to spy on other countries (as virtually every nation does); it's another thing entirely for them to direct its surveillance apparatus inward and spy on its own citizens. Alarming assaults on basic rights become all the more alarming when the focus shifts to the domestic arena.

It is not hyperbole to observe that all of the above-cited recent examples are designed to formally exempt a certain class of American citizens -- those accused of being Terrorists and arrested on U.S. soil -- from the most basic legal protections. They're all intended, in the name of Scary Terrorists, to re-write the core rules of our justice system in order to increase the already-vast detention powers of the U.S. Government and further minimize the remaining safeguards against abuse. The most disgraceful episodes in American history have been about exempting classes of Americans from core rights, and that is exactly what these recent, Terrorism-justified proposals do as well. Anyone who believes that these sorts of abusive powers will be exercised only in narrow and magnanimous ways should just read a little bit of history, or just look at what has happened with the always-expanding police powers vested in the name of the never-ending War on Drugs, the precursor to the never-ending War on Terrorism in so many ways.

What's most amazing about all of this is that even 9 years after the 9/11 attacks and even after the radical reduction of basic rights during the Bush/Cheney years, the reaction is still exactly the same to every Terrorist attack, whether a success or failure, large- or small-scale. Apparently, 8 years of the Bush assault on basic liberties was insufficient; there are still many remaining rights in need of severe abridgment. Even now, every new attempted attack causes the Government to devise a new proposal for increasing its own powers still further and reducing rights even more, while the media cheer it on. It never goes in the other direction. Apparently, as "extremist" as the Bush administration was, there are still new rights to erode each time the word Terrorism is uttered. Each new incident, no matter how minor, prompts new, exotic proposals which the "Constitution-shredding" Bush/Cheney team neglected to pursue: an assassination program aimed at U.S. citizens, formal codification of Miranda dilutions, citizen-stripping laws, a statute to deny all legal rights to Americans arrested on U.S. soil.
============================

"It never goes in the other direction"

Exactly
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Vinnie From Indy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. Fear has ALWAYS been used as the club to beat down freedom and it is no different today
Edited on Thu May-13-10 11:44 AM by Vinnie From Indy
This is an issue that should have people marching in the streets tomorrow. It is the very soul of the illusion that we live in a free society. The noteworthy aspect of this repetition of history is that this is the moment when the fig leaf is actually removed and we citizens are made to understand in a very public way that we are ruled by men and not by laws.

The unrec crew is obviously out and obviously too chickenshit to respond directly to this latest by Greenwald. Might make 'em look all fascist-like and stuff.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yeah I saw that the Cons here are un-rec'ing
Oh well ...besides the point, really
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. "The unrec crew is obviously out and obviously too chickenshit to respond directly"
Article summary: run for your lives Obama is Bush. Holder is Bush. Kagan is Bush. Be very afraid, Bush lives.

I agree with his analysis of Bush's policies, but his attempt to draw parallels as if Obama just picked up where Bush left off and is making things worse is hyperbolic.

Lieberman's bill to strip citizenship is moronic, and has no Democratic support. In fact, Senator Schumer immediately denounced it.

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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yeah, just more bullshit from greenwald that
gets eaten up with a shovel.
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #7
43. Yet it's absolutely true.
You can bury your head in the fucking sand if you want to but the fact remains that the Obama administration is continuing many of the blatantly unconstitutional Bush policies regarding indefinite detention (check out the expansion of the black site prison at Bagram for one thing).

Obama fans simply cannot face facts.
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Vinnie From Indy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. And yet you completely neglect to address the specific points by Greenwald about the parallels
Edited on Thu May-13-10 01:04 PM by Vinnie From Indy
Would your post have greater import were it to actually discuss the points presented?

For example there is this passage:
"Barack Obama claims the right to assassinate Americans far from any battlefield and with no due process of any kind. The Obama administration begins covertly abandoning long-standing Miranda protections for American suspects by vastly expanding what had long been a very narrow "public safety" exception, and now Eric Holder explicitly advocates legislation to codify that erosion."

The first part of this passage presents the idea that Pres. Obama has never renounced the idea that the Executive has the power to kill Americans with no judicial review.His Admin. has argued just such a position in the past. That would be direct evidence that Obama is, in fact, continuing one of the most dangerous, and in my mind illegal, policies of the GW Bush era.

"The Obama administration has acknowledged its continuing a Bush-era policy authorizing the killing of US citizens abroad. The confirmation came from Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair in congressional testimony last week. Blair said, Being a US citizen will not spare an American from getting assassinated by military or intelligence operatives overseas if the individual is working with terrorists and planning to attack fellow Americans.

more at:
http://www.pacificfreepress.com/news/1/5581-assassinati...

In addition, in regard to expanding and FURTHERING policies that erode civil liberties Greenwald offers this SPECIFIC example:

"The Obama administration begins covertly abandoning long-standing Miranda protections for American suspects by vastly expanding what had long been a very narrow "public safety" exception, and now Eric Holder explicitly advocates legislation to codify that erosion."

Holder said exactly that on one of last week's talking head shows.

So, as it stands your rebuttal contains zero discussion of the points presented. It is a testament to either laziness, deception or ignorance. You pick! Cheers!
:)

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. ""Barack Obama claims the right to assassinate Americans far from any battlefield "
Hyperbolic bullshit.

Addressed.

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Vinnie From Indy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Well done!
I am actually happy that you are at DU! I believe that your comments do represent a slice of American thought quite well and I believe it is important for all fair-minded, rational, intelligent readers to witness just how little you have to offer in the way of honest, thoughtful debate. It is my hope and my belief that most readers are swayed by intelligent debate and fact based responses rather than one line zingers and obvious segways designed to avoid real discussion! Congrats and thanks again!
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #11
33. Well stated
it is a kind of public service to see that stuff. Good point.
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #11
46. It is my hope that by now, most readers are able to spot agents provocateur when they see them.
Edited on Fri May-14-10 02:33 PM by guruoo
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
26. Adrian Kuzminsky termed it best: The USA political system has morphed into ...
Edited on Thu May-13-10 06:53 PM by ShortnFiery
a right-wing duopoly.

http://www.counterpunch.org/kuzminski08182004.html

The coming darkness is the eclipse of American political freedom and the unchecked reign of a venal, arrogant, and ignorant ruling class. Onerous as its depredations at home are likely to be, even more omnious is its immoral, illegal, and criminal policy of preemptive war abroad. There is no end to the war on terrorism, since a terrorist is increasingly defined as anyone who opposes the duopoly at home or abroad.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #26
34. +1000 nt
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #1
28. One Nation Under CCTV
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
3. I'm currently reading an excellent book ...
The End of America, Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot by Naomi Wolf.

This book was written in 2007 and dealt with the topic in the OP. The author is VERY critical of the Bush administration and the loss of liberty caused by Bush's war on terror.

Unfortunately, we continue down the same path today.



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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Quote:
"Bush legalized torture, but Obama is legalizing impunity. He promised to roll stuff back, but he is institutionalizing these things forever. It is terrifying and the left doesnt seem to recognize it."
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
4. What they do over there eventually
they will do even here.

The biggest cost of empire is always freedom and liberty for the ordinary citizens of the home country - sobering to consider, when you think of how badly the empire has already drained and hollowed out our economy.

Come back, America. Your time is running out.
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spiritual_gunfighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
10. It is mindblowing that the candidate that I supported and campaigned for
in 2008 and the guy that I supported and voted for in the US senate race, is the same guy implementing these anti-American policies.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. It doesn't, and won't, matter which "electable" admin is in place. Every one from here out will...
... ensure the current direction
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ipaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. +1 nt
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spiritual_gunfighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. +2 n/t
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. If we couldn't turn the ship after the 8 yr disaster movie of Bush + the self-inflicted GOPlosion.
we just ain't turning this ship ever.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. And *that* is the true Starting Line going forward...hence the enormous effort to blur distinctions
(by some)
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
15. knr
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
16. Bump
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NJmaverick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
17. Oh the irony of a lover of the Citizens United ruling would have the nerve
to talk about rights. Too bad he already threw everyone who is not a millionaire under the rights bus.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. He is better than the guy that made a sweetheart deal with Big Pharma
to ban the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada and elsewhere.

Glenn Greenwald hasn't killed any innocent civilians in Iraq or Pakistan.
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freddie mertz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #17
29. Geez.
Do you ever give it a rest? :shrug:
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #29
42. No. n/t
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freddie mertz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #42
45. The Department of redundancy department. nt.
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #17
41. A display of intellectual thriftiness.
One threadbare thought endlessly rinsed and reworn.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
18. Bump
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
21. Bump
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
22. .
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
23. K&R
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
25. K/R
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 05:46 AM
Response to Original message
27. Ask the Germans about how a nice, constitutional republic can change.
And, the nightmare it can become when the citizens are convinced they want security more than liberty.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #27
36. Nah!...human beings & their social systems were fundamentally quite different in 1930s Germany
:sarcasm:
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #36
44. We have our exceptionalism, so I guess they have theirs.
;)
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The Damned Donating Member (284 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
30. Well hey!
They've obviously run out of the usual suspects!
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WeDidIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
31. I wanted to say thank you.
Edited on Fri May-14-10 09:54 AM by WeDidIt
Thank you for including the first two words in your subject line. That was all I needed to know. I wish more DUers that publish this particular author's work would follow your lead on this. I promise, this will be the last post I make in any thread that starts a subject line with those two words when referencing the work of this author.

Again, thank you.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
32. Yep.
And the choir calls names in response, for that is all they have.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
35. K & R nt
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muffin1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
37. K&R n/t
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
38. It's hard to be alarmed when the Drug War has been far more brutal to far more people
with nary a comment from the well-heeled Left. In fact, I was shocked when I went to college and was first exposed to "left wing" people who supported the Drug War as much or more than any right winger, and that, conversely, many "rightwingers" I knew took the extreme libertarian stance on the issue.
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. The Drug War was launching ground for the concept that SUSPICION is enough to revoke 4th Amendment
The War on Drugs built the foundation for subjugation of citizens and the War on Terror just expands on it.

The first chink was getting the Supreme Court to say that SUSPICION as opposed to CONVICTION is enough to seize and sell SUSPECTED drug offenders property and then turn over the profits to the seizers. The moment we decided in this country that there was a special class of miscreants who did not have rights, we opened the doors to ever expanding that class of miscreants. Drug dealers/users, terrorisists, who could possibly care about their rights? Except you always have to remember it's ACCUSED or SUSPECTED drug dealers/users and terrorists who are losing the rights. What will the next class of SUSPECTED miscreant who can be locked away indefinitely without trial be? I can already make some educated guesses.

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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-10 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #39
40. Precisely. And if the 4th Amendment does not apply to my neighbors, it goes without saying
that it doesn't apply to a "terrorist".

I'll comb through the Greenwald archive for an article on the subject...
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