News about the John McCain torture bill gets worse. I already knew that the legislation would strip habeas corpus rights, allow testimony obtained through torture, and deprive us of the right to a fair trial. Now, I'm reading through it again, and seeing that the newest version of this legislation allows for prosecutors to obtain evidence from people's homes without a search warrant.
No, I'm not kidding. Yes, it's wild. It's outrageous. It's so out of hand that I needed to check my own reading on the matter to make sure I wasn't just seeing things. I'm not. Read this article yourself. Catch the part where it informs us that "prosecutors could ignore American legal standards on search warrants" under this new legislation? Catch the part where it says that, over the weekend, the Republicans in the White House and Congress purposefully removed the provision that would have protected these warrantless searches of people's homes within the United States?
Catch the part where it says that the Democrats aren't sure yet whether they're going to oppose this?
Am I living in some kind of crazy nightmare? If our politicians won't stand up against this insane legislation, if they won't stand up for our basic Constitutional rights to a fair trial, to freedom from self-incrimination, to the right to due process, and to the right of protection from unreasonable search and seizure, then what the bloody hell will they stand up for? This legislation rips away half of the protections of the Bill of Rights, for goodness sakes!
Don't believe the excuse that only the Constitutional rights of foreigners will be taken away. The President of the United States will get the power, through his own secret committee, to declare ANYONE an enemy combatant, seized here in the United States or not, and then all the Constitutional rights of that person get taken away instantly - because there is no more habeas corpus right for the prisoner. If you aren't recognized by the legal system as even existing, you have no access to lawyers, no contact with the outside world, and no opportunity to do anything about it. They get to do anything to you that they want - and you never ever get the right of appeal, or even the right to a trial.
These freedoms that the Republicans are trying to take away are the freedoms that we Americans won way back in the Revolution of 1776. Senator Patrick Leahy is right. This legislation is downright unAmerican... if you believe that an essential part of being an American is having freedom. If all that you believe is that being an American is about waving the flag, don't worry. They're not taking away your right to wave the flag.
Where are the Republicans on this issue? Why aren't they jumping up and down and screaming about how this expands the power of big government? Are the Republicans for big government now?
How about you, Biggus Dickus, the only other blogger who is covering this race between Michael Arcuri and Ray Meier any more? Why aren't you writing about this? How come all you can write about is how sad you are that you couldn't see Laura Bush? Are you not paying attention?
I'm grateful that Michael Arcuri spoke out against this terrible legislation last week, though he did so in meek, uncertain language - and in the Rome Sentinel, which is neither widely read on paper nor easily available online.
The last we heard from Ray Meier, he supported the fake "compromise" that's the foundation of the terrible legislation now being proposed. Since then, Ray Meier has been busy in an ideological embrace with George W. Bush's wife, who supports the attempt to take our freedoms away through this new law.
If Ray Meier stands against this totalitarian legislation, then he needs to say so - loud and clear. We need to hear from both Mike Arcuri and Ray Meier in a way that this grave issue merits - in clear, official statements released to all area newspapers, and published online where everyone can see them.
This issue ought to be above partisan politics, something that Republican and Democratic voters alike can agree upon. No mealy-mouthed half answers and evasions. You now either stand up for freedom or you sit down and watch American freedom being torn apart. Which is it? Are for freedom, or are you against it?