As a follow-up to my post last week about the torture bill, I note that the compromise that was worked out between Bush and McCain gave the president pretty much everything he wanted, and then additional changes subsequent to that made the law even worse. Now that the bill has passed both the House and Senate, and the President is poised to sign it, we are at a crossroads, where I truly fear for the existence of our Republic -- this quite possibly is the most dangerous law Congress has ever passed. This law "authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights." It is left to the government to decide who is an enemy combatant, and anyone so designated can be "detained" indefinitely, and tortured during that detainment. As I noted in my earlier post, even when acting in good faith the government can make mistakes, and this legislation removes some of the vital safeguards that could limit the harm inflicted on such innocent people.
I don't expect to one day vanish at the hands of our government, my employer, but until today I never considered it even a remote possibility.
Tonight I can't help but feel that America is anything but the Land of the Free or the Home of the Brave. To pass such legislation, collectively we are afraid of our own shadows and so we yield some of our basic freedoms.