Thursday, September 28, 2006

800+ Years Backwards

Hecate's summary of the US House passage of the prisoner treatment/torture bill (The Senate voted for it also today - 9.28) ->

The writ of habeas corpus in common law countries is an important instrument for the safeguarding of individual freedom against arbitrary state action....

As Wikipedia notes: Since the 18th century the writ has also been used in cases of unlawful detention by private individuals, most famously in Somersett's Case (1771), where the black slave Somersett was ordered to be freed, the famous words being quoted from an earlier case: "The air of England has long been too pure for a slave, and every man is free who breathes it."

Habeas Corpus appears to predate even the Magna Carta: From Magna Carta the exact quote is: "no free man shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed except by the lawful judgment of their peers or by the law of the land."” The practice and right of Habeas Corpus was settled practice and law at the time of Magna Carta and was thus a fundamental part of the unwritten common "law of the land" as was expressly recognized by Magna Carta.

The air of England must be better than the air of America. By the end of this week, the Bush junta will be able to imprison and torture anyone they like and the person imprisoned and/or tortured will have no legal right to challenge that. Thus, Americans will have fewer rights than did those Englishmen who gathered on the meadow of Runnymeade in 1215. In just five short years, the Bush junta has driven this country 800+ years backwards...

Slate has an article Forget Nuremberg.

Bush says, "People shouldn't forget there's still an enemy out there that wants to do harm to the United States." He also said some months back, "See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."


People are looking for the cycle - where have we seen this before. When has there been a country with this much power compared to the rest of the world? What other tyrants took away people's rights? What all milestones of history are crumbling?

It may be that civilization is moving like an arrow (see the Snake in the Road post) - everyone wonders when it's going to hit a tree - or did it already? Maybe the civilizations that are based the cycles of nature will keep going. The ones trying to go in a straight line will fall or get lost.

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