Happy Dictatorship Day

The prize for the headline of the year goes to today’s Washington Post for the following gem:

“Many Rights in U.S. Legal System Absent in New Bill”

The Post article on the military tribunal bill the Senates passed yesterday  details some of the legal and procedural rights that people seized as “enemy combatants” will not possess.  (Amnesty International has a good summary of the bill here).

The Post article gives the impression that only aliens have to fear being treated  slightly better than East Bloc dissidents. But as a superb piece in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times by law professor Bruce Ackerman noted, the legislation “authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights.”

When I clicked on the “print” version of the “absent rights” article, the page on the Washington Post website included a hefty ad:  “Helping to Deliver Air Dominance for the U.S. – the Lockheed Martin – Boeing – Pratt Whitney – F-22 Raptor.” 

Who the hell needs civil liberties when we have “air dominance”?

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