29 September 2006

Senate passes McCain Torture Act

So the new, updated litany of "Low points in American Democracy" reads as:

  1. Dred Scott: Supreme Court held that blacks are property and not citizens of the United States.
  2. Alien and Sedition Act: Made it illegal to criticize the president.
  3. Plessy v Ferguson: Supreme Court institutionalized racial segregation.
  4. Japanese Internment camps: Imprisoned 100,000 innocent Japanese-Americans.
  5. McCain Torture Act of 2006: Authorizes torture and rescinds Habeus Corpus as US policy.
So much for the Magna carta and 230 years of American moral authority.

Ave atque vale.


  1. Why does it always feel like we're moving backwards.....?

  2. I think that is because for most of our lifetime we have been. If the aim of society is to bring the most good to the greatest number of our citizens, than have we not been adults during a period of contraction?

    Starting in the 80s, and straight through BC's administration, we've seen poor vilified, increasing agressiveness, reduced rights in criminal trials, increased government intervention, increased wage discrepancy.

    I'm not sure how the environment tracks.

    I think we've lived on the way down.

  3. Habeus Corpus suspension is applied only to aliens. Section 948b states that "[t]his chapter establishes procedures governing the use of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants." Therefore, U.S. citizens cannot have their rights abrogated under this bill. And it's not like Habeus has never been suspended before. Lincoln's administration suspended it during the Civil War to keep southern sympathizers jailed.

  4. CRS,

    Lincoln did so in a Constitutional fashion during a rebellion.

    The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when
    in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

    U.S. Const. Art. I, Section 9.

    You just cannot minimize this. It may be the beginning of the end of the republic. A nation under the rule of law descending into the rule of men. Wake up!

  5. What do we do? Should we make repeal of this legislation the litmus test for any candidate? How do decent people become canditates and win?


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