Friday, October 20, 2006

A (great) guest post from Akiva

Though I haven't been commenting much here lately on the intreped DB blog, [DB: Why in the hell not? You were always a stalwart] longtime DB readers may remember me as having been a member of the Republican party, the Republican Jewish Coalition, Blogs for Bush, and GOP Bloggers. I took my GOPness seriously.

Unfortunately, the GOP did not. Out of control spending and big government with no limits was the first clue. National priorities that clearly were exclusively for big business (rather than the citizens, for example the bankrupcy law) were another. Unrestricted illegal Mexican immigration was yet another. And as I've been called and mailed over 20 times by the Republican party, I've told them that every time.

But the GOP has always been involved with business, and pork barrel politics are nothing that unusual. But there was one final clue that the GOP has left everything relating to it's members and the citizens of this country behind. That was the Military Commissions Law signed on Tuesday. What do I find about such a banal piece of legislation so troubling? Well, here's what it actually says (contrary to various reports):

If you are not a US citizen, and you take an action or provide support for an action that the US military or president or those judging such things for the president decide is 'hostile' against the US , and you are not a member of a military of another country that is actively battling the US and take the hostile action or supportive action in uniform, regardless of where in the world the 'hostile' act occurs, then the US can pick you up (whether you are inside or outside US territory), try you, and execute you. And you have no legal recourse to challenge this.

So lets take a crazy example. My cousin gives 50 shekel to Kach in Israel, who deposit it in their international fund. A Kach supporter in LA is accused of trying to blow up a religious site (a mosque) in Anaheim and used access to the Kach international account to buy the computer on which the plans were found. My cousin has thereby provided support for a hostile action against the US, can be picked up by the CIA in Israel, brought the US [DB: Or sent to Syria!!] and executed. [DB: After being tortured!!] And, it's perfectly legal.

Of course, if the US decides to take over your country and you fight against it, or help someone else fight against it, or let someone who's fighting against it sleep in your house, and that someone isn't in uniform (or you're not in uniform), well then, you're eligible for the US treatment.

Sound crazy? Why not let the US pick up those terrorist scum wherever they may be? And frankly, emotionally I agree with that. The problem is, the president personally (or those he selects and authorizes, any number of them gets to decide who a terrorist is and what actions are hostile or support of hostile actions. And neither you, me, the Congress, the courts, or any international body has any say in the matter. It's all nice and legal. (Full law text here - http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c109:4:./temp/~c109i7eNgy:: )

The problems with unlimited laws needed for security is it requires trust of the authorities and those authorities to be exceptionally responsible in use of those laws. Historically, this scenario is good for about a week (ok, maybe a year). We've seen even seemily minor measures such as the IRS right to seize assets for taxes get out of control, and law enforcement rights to seize property involved in drug deals. No limits, no checks and balances means it absolutely positively will be abused.

Small government, limited powers, that's the GOP I know. I don't know this one, and I'm not voting for it. [DB: Amen brother]

------------
Akiva blogs at Mystical Paths He's been commenting at DovBear for almost two years, and appears occasionally as a guest blogger.

He's also living proof that I celebrate diversity, and encourages open debate. I mean, what right-wing blogger frequently allows people from the other side of the aisle to guest post? No one. [Not Soccer Dad, not Seraphic Secret, not that dopy Tzemach Atlas, not any of the fire-breathing "Zionist" blogs, no one] That's who.

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