We Are All Enemy Belligerents Now
I’d just like to agree publicly with every last word of this piece by Glenn Greenwald:
[T]he bill recently introduced by Joe Lieberman and John McCain — the so-called “Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act” — now has 9 co-sponsors, including the newly elected Scott Brown. It’s probably the single most extremist, tyrannical and dangerous bill introduced in the Senate in the last several decades, far beyond the horrific, habeas-abolishing Military Commissions Act. It literally empowers the President to imprison anyone he wants in his sole discretion by simply decreeing them a Terrorist suspect — including American citizens arrested on U.S. soil. The bill requires that all such individuals be placed in military custody, and explicitly says that they “may be detained without criminal charges and without trial for the duration of hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners,” which everyone expects to last decades, at least. It’s basically a bill designed to formally authorize what the Bush administration did to American citizen Jose Padilla — arrest him on U.S. soil and imprison him for years in military custody with no charges.
In what way does this bill differ from pure, thought-experiment grade tyranny? Of the kind that, in our country at least, is only dragged out to gesture at when you’re making an argument about something else entirely? And then you put it back up on the shelf with a quiet “but of course, that doesn’t happen here…”