Habeas Corpus Murdered, Few Notice
- Habeas Corpus Murdered, Few Notice
Written by Kurt Nimmo
Monday, 02 October 2006
Now that Congress, at the behest of Bush's Schmittian fascist
puppetmasters, has nullified habeas corpus, a legal tradition going
back to the 12th century, we can concentrate on more important
subjects, for instance "space tourist" Anousheh Ansari, who "offers
uncommon insight into life on the International Space Station," in
particular "the hazards of washing hair in zero gravity," according
to the Australian.
On the Google News page this morning, mention of the Detainee bill is
nowhere to be found, whereas "Anna Nicole Smith's exchange of vows
with her lawyer Howard K. Stern on a boat near Nassau" is all the
rage, as the Boston Globe would have it.
Determinedly keyboarding in "detainee bill" on the Google News Search
page returns mundane results, headed by a Los Angeles Times article
declaring the "complex bill," wrangled through "backroom
negotiations," will give Republicans "a rhetorical club to use
against Democrats on terrorism" come the midterm elections.
Trashing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and blotting out
specific mention of the "Writ of Habeas Corpus," enshrined in Article
One, section nine, represents a long sought after coup de grâce, far
worse than even Lincoln's suspension on April 27, 1861, during the
"Civil War," more accurately described as a war waged by the federal
government against states declaring their intent to secede from the
"Union." Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and set-up military courts
to persecute Copperheads, a faction of Democrats in the North who
opposed Lincoln's war against the South.
As an example of what we can expect in the months ahead, consider
Clement Vallandigham, leader of the Order of the Sons of Liberty, who
denounced "King Lincoln" and demanded his dethronement. Vallandigham,
an Ohio politician, was arrested as a violator of General Order No.
38, issued by General Ambrose E. Burnside, denied a writ of habeas
corpus, convicted by a military tribunal of "uttering disloyal
sentiments," and sentenced to two years of internment in a military
In Ex parte Milligan, an important United States Supreme Court case
involving civilians and military tribunals, the Court, according to
Wikipedia, "decided that the suspension of habeas corpus was lawful,
but military tribunals did not apply to citizens in states that had
upheld the authority of the Constitution and where civilian courts
were still operating, and the Constitution of the United States only
provided for suspension of habeas corpus if these courts are actually
forced closed. In essence, the court ruled that military tribunals
could not try civilians in areas where civil courts were open, even
during times of war . It further observed that during the suspension
of the writ of habeas corpus, citizens may be only held without
charges, not tried, and certainly not executed by military tribunals.
After all, the writ of habeas corpus is not the right itself, but
merely the ability to issue orders demanding the right's enforcement."
Ex parte Milligan left unaddressed the president's ability to suspend
habeas corpus independently of Congress. Of course, all of that is
now water under the bridge, as Congress, brimming with neocon
sycophants, has slavishly deferred to King Bush, who has joked that
it would be "easier" to rule as a dictator.
Copperhead Democrats may have gone up against the Republican Lincoln
- who we are told saved the republic and freed the slaves (in fact,
Lincoln was a racist who wanted to ethnically cleanse Blacks from
America; see Lerone Bennett, Jr.'s Forced Into Glory: Abraham
Lincoln's White Dream) - but we should not expect such hardihood from
the current crop of Democrats, many who indeed voted against Bush's
detainee bill but don't have what it takes for sustained opposition
to the neocon drive to dismember the Constitution.
As presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton characterized it, Democrats
who voted against the Schmittian detainee bill put "winning elections
ahead of a smart strategy for winning the war on terror," according
to the New York Times. "Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, a Democrat up
for re-election who often breaks with his party, said he was willing
to follow the lead of Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who
lent the final legislation his strong endorsement," apparently a
slick move on Nelson's part as John "Keating Five" McCain, friend of
racketeers and Mafia dons (Joseph "Joe Bananas" Bonano, head of the
New York Bonano crime family), is yet another presidential hopeful, a
man with all the power and personality of a waterfront syndicate boss.
If you go into a backroom with dogs, however, you're going to come
out with fleas. "Nelson, a Democratic senator from Tallahassee,
supported a failed amendment that would have retained habeas corpus
rights . Nelson said he welcomes legal challenges to the bill,"
according to the Gainesville Sun. In the meantime, thugs in black
vans will be free to disappear Mr. Nelson's relatives and friends,
that is if King George deems them a threat to the war on terr'ism,
that is to say the manufactured terrorist threat engineered to
provide a pretext to invade small countries where putative haters of
our freedoms reside.
As the blogger Adam Ash explains, the term enemy combatant "means a
legal non-person. The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben likens them
to the first humans to be so designated, under Roman law a few
millennia ago. They didn't call them 'enemy combatants' then, they
called them 'homo sacer'. This was a human being who could be killed
by anyone, without the killer ever being guilty of homicide."
In fact, the idea of homo sacer was contrived as an excuse to impose
justitium, or a state of exception, that is to say a suspension of
civil liberties and the imposition of martial law. Agamben argues,
"the so-called sacred and inalienable rights of man prove to be
completely unprotected at the very moment it is no longer possible to
characterize them as rights of the citizens of a state."
Indeed, our civil liberties, enshrined in the Constitution and the
Bill of Rights and once considered our birthright, as Agamben would
have it, may no longer be characterized thus, as they were
systematically plowed under the manure of tyranny on the day after
"everything changed," including a liberal tradition (as in classic
liberalism, as opposed to social liberalism) spanning back to the
Magna Carta Libertatum, originally issued in 1215.
Finally, as a side note, it should be remembered that the Levellers,
a mid-17th century English political movement, believed the only
traceable right of their day going back to the Magna Carta was due
process. In our day, not even due process of law, as formerly spelled
out in the Fifth Amendment, has survived the onslaught of the
neocons, who are at base nothing more or less than followers of the
Nazi crown jurist Carl Schmitt and his "Die Diktatur" philosophy.
In America, the Reichspräsident rules supreme, and now shall issue
lettres de cachet, arbitrary orders issued directly from the king,
not subject to appeal.
But never mind. If you're feeling glum over the turn of events, you
can always retreat to Cook Island with Survivor members of the
Aitutaki tribe, even if as a passive spectator on the receiving end
of the idiot tube.
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