October 17th is the day President and Petty Tyrant in Chief George W. Bush intends to sign the Military Commissions Act into law. We all knew he was a wannabe dictator by now (at least I hope we all do — those who don’t, you should learn to read), so this isn’t a huge surprise. The problem is the wankers in the Senate and House of Representatives who voted for this bill, known to some as “The Torture Bill”. It essentially reduces the prohibition against torture by US governmental officials to a mere admonishment that they shouldn’t do anything that leaves marks. Otherwise, torture is A-Okay.
Of course, despite all the press this gets as the Torture Bill, that’s not the biggest problem with the Military Commissions Act (check the BORDC website for a brief summary of some of the Act’s talking points). As much as that is a major problem, it pales beside the significant defanging of the power of the courts to issue and implement a Writ of Habeas Corpus. Habeas corpus is, in essence, the legal precedent that keeps the government from “legally” making people vanish in the night without due process, without probable cause, and without hope of ever seeing daylight again. The United States government is taking a significant step toward the worst any oppressive regime has to offer. I mourn the inexorable loss of liberty here.
If you’re curious about who to vote for or against this November when a bunch of Congresscritters come up for (re)election, you should check out this voting record on the Military Commissions Act. The Congressional districts are listed, so you can check political maps of Congressional district divisions to see who’s supposedly your “representative” in the federal legislature. The people who fucked you over are very helpfully listed in blue. Never vote for them (again).
If you don’t start voting for Libertarians now, you may as well kiss your ass goodbye.