Atrocious and Unprecedented

I do not know how many of you have been following the recent debacle in Congress. I know, you first reaction to that statement is most likely “which debacle? There are too many to count”, and you would be right. However, there is one unimaginative debate being waged at this very moment by members of Congress, the President and Civil Rights organizations, as to whether or not the most recent allocation of military spending contains a provision allowing for the indefinite detention of American citizens without trial. Yes, I will repeat that… Because it bears repeating.

Under the most recent allocation of defense spending, there is indeed a provision that would allow for the indefinite detention of American citizens, without trial, so long as they are suspected of either being a terrorist or helping a terrorist.

Now many of you may be saying to yourself “Come on now, that can’t be right, that would be a direct violation of the Bill of Rights, and the due process clause of the 14th amendment”. And my response to you would be yes, it is. However, as many of us have come to learn, and will continue to learn, you really have no more rights than the government allows for you to have at any one given time. Something about that whole monopoly on violence thing. Anyways, this pretty much leaves the discretion of who is and isn’t a terrorist in the hands of the Department of Homeland Security, wonderful right. I feel safer already.

Needless to say this is exactly what scares me about the current political system… We can’t agree on a 2 percent cut in the payroll tax without foaming at the mouth and calling each other names. Yet we can agree, near unanimously, to spend 660 billion on defense (more than the next 10 countries combined) and simultaneously empower the government to violate the most fundamental rights of American citizens in a single blow. My would the founding fathers be proud.

Robert Singleton


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