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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

America comes to resemble the Soviet Union; Tyranny under the auspices of "national security"

Tyranny Triumphing

(The New American) -- by Jack Kenny --

America is sliding into tyranny, and few Americans seem to recognize it. Before you dismiss this as alarmist propaganda, consider the following:

A September 8 ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, often described as the nation’s most liberal, offers another example of a tortured balancing act. The court ruled that private persons may not sue over the government practice of rendition and torture of terrorist suspects because the defense would require the government to compromise “state secrets.” This extension of the “state secrets privilege,” argued by the George W. Bush administration and again by the Department of Justice under President Barack Obama, was used to cover even a subsidiary of Boeing, the giant aircraft manufacturer, that allegedly transported the suspects overseas for interrogation. Now even Boeing apparently enjoys the privilege of “sovereign immunity.”

Writing for the majority in the court’s 6-5 decision, Judge Raymond C. Fisher described the case as “a painful conflict between human rights and national security.” But the court’s majority assigned all the pain to human rights and gave all the security to those in both the government and private sector who plan and carry out the transfer of prisoners in U.S. custody to overseas jurisdictions, where interrogations are carried out in a fashion that is, to say the least, pre-Miranda.

The plaintiffs were five prisoners who claimed they were tortured during their detainment, a charge that the United States, so far, does not need to refute. That could change if the U.S. Supreme Court accepts an appeal from the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the suit for the plaintiffs. The court declined to hear a similar appeal in 2007 and, according to the New York Times, the high court has not taken on the limits of the state secrecy privilege in 50 years.

For most Americans the issue will, perhaps, be of minor concern. When people are out of work or fearful of losing their jobs, what happens to people overseas is, in a manner of speaking, foreign to them. But Ronald Reagan was fond of saying that elections are not merely about who gets what, but about who we are as a people. And if we stop to look now at who we are as a people, we might not recognize the face in the mirror.

No Wonder Why
For we are to blame. Even though the judges may have erred in deciding the case against the plaintiffs and ranking human rights below the state secrets privilege, they did not create the policy of “extraordinary rendition.” They did not decide that sending people to secret prisons run by our Central Intelligence Agency was essential for the defense of America. They may have permitted, but did not invent policies that more resemble those of the Soviet Union than the principles enshrined in our Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States. No, our executive branch did that and the council of cravens known as the Congress of the United States lets the executive get away with it. And We the People let the Congress get away with that. What Congressman has lost his seat for not opposing “extraordinary rendition”?...MORE...LINK

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