Monday, June 25, 2007

Habeas Corpus

Protecting the liberties and freedoms our nation enjoys, should be everyone's top priority. I realize, that most Americans assume that they freedoms they enjoy will always be there. Why shouldn't they, our own government is there to protect them, besides, things are good right now.

It's both naive and shortsighted to make these assumptions, but Americans do it any way. Each and every day, the Federal government looks for ways to make things easier to ensure that they stay in power. The U.S. Constitution be damned. It stands in the way of our benevolent leaders from doing their job of protecting us from the enemies they themselves created.

If we believe that the government must have the power to remove our rights to protect us in a time of war, our government will keep us in a constant state of war. (Sound familiar).

We are currently in the "War on Terror." This "War", as no clear enemy and no clear resolution. We can stay in this state for as long as someone feels that someone on the planet intends to cause harm to Americans. This is the most convenient war ever devised by a government that derives it's special powers from being in a state of war.

One of my favorite lines from the movie "V for Vendetta" is "People should not fear their government, the government should fear the people." In this movie, a Conservative government consolidates power and removes rights of the people in order to protect them from terrorists. V, the title character, sparks a rebellion of the people to return the business of governing to the people. We need to ensure, we protect our rights.

I read a fantastic explanation today of Habeas Corpus by Jacob R. Hornberger. The Bush administration has actively sought to have The Great Writ suspended. Many legal scholars believe that this is the key to all of our other freedoms. It is the great neutralizer of power in our legal system. Without it, there is no checks and balances. It provides everyone the right to question the governments ability to incarcerate them. Without it, you can not ask a court to protect any of your constitutional rights.

A humorous rendition of this was done by Keith Oberman. Check it's some dang fine political satire.

Wake up America. We need to be diligent and keep our own leaders in check. Don't give up your rights in the name of security. If you give up freedom for security, in the end, you will have neither.