Perfidy loves company. George W. Bush instructed
his British puppet, Prime Minister Tony Blair, to get moving on the detention
issue so that he, Bush, would have company when he attacked the Constitution's
guarantee of habeas corpus.
Habeas corpus prevents authorities from detaining a person indefinitely without
charges; the guarantee of habeas corpus ensures that no one can imprison you
without a trial.
The Bush administration wants the power to detain indefinitely anyone it declares
to be an enemy combatant or a terrorist without presenting the detainee in court
with charges. In England the power to arrest people and to hold
them indefinitely without charges was taken away from kings centuries ago.
Bush apparently thinks he is the reincarnation of an absolute monarch.
The puppet Blair set to work. He soon discovered that at most he could
try to pass a law that permitted the British government to hold a detainee for
90 days, a far cry from Bush's desire for indefinite detention. Blair took what
he called his "anti-terror" legislation to Parliament and was handed
his first-ever defeat as Prime Minister.
The British Parliament knew enough history to realize that Blair's "anti-terror"
legislation was in fact the opposite. Parliamentarians perceived Blair's
proposal as a police state trick that could be used by an unscrupulous government
to terrorize Her Majesty's subjects by the use of imprisonment without charges.
The British Parliament refused to put up with such injustice. Eleven of Blair's
former cabinet ministers joined in voting down the legislation.
That happened on Wednesday November 9.
On Thursday November 10, the Republican controlled US Senate voted 49
to 42 to overturn the US Supreme Court's 2004 ruling that permits Guantánamo
detainees to challenge their detentions. How dare the US Supreme Court
defend the US Constitution and the civil liberties of Americans when we have
terrorists to fight, argued the Republican senators. What are civil liberties,
the Republicans asked rhetorically, but legal tricks that allow criminals and
terrorists to escape.
The Labour Party-dominated British Parliament will not allow 90 days detention
without charges, but the Republican-controlled US Congress favors indefinite
detention without charges of whomever Bush wants to detain.
Nothing more effectively undercuts the image that Bush paints of America as
the land of freedom, liberty and democracy than the Republican Party's destruction
of habeas corpus.
Habeas corpus is essential to political opposition and the rise and maintenance
of democracy. Without habeas corpus, a government can simply detain its
opponents. Nothing is more conducive to one party rule than the suspension of
It is heartbreaking to watch the Republican Party overthrow the very foundation
of democracy in the name of democracy. The name of Lindsey O. Graham,
Republican senator from South Carolina, the sponsor of this evil legislation,
will go down in infamy in the book of tyrants.
The next time Bush declares that "they (Muslims) hate us for our freedom
and democracy," someone should ask him how there can be freedom and democracy
without habeas corpus.
The Bush administration has also resurrected that second great feature of tyranny
– torture. "We have the right to torture," say President Bush,
Vice President Cheney, and Attorney General Gonzales.
What a hypocritical spectacle the Bush administration and the Republican Party
have made of America. They boast of "freedom and democracy"
while they destroy habeas corpus and practice torture.
Americans must recognize the Bush administration and the Republican Party for
what they are. They are tyrants. They are bringing evil to the world and
tyranny to America.
According to the Washington Post (Nov. 11), there are 750 detainees
at Guantánamo. These people have been held for 3 or 4 years.
If the Bush administration had any evidence against them, it would be a simple
matter to file charges.
But the Bush administration does not have any evidence against them.
Most of the detainees are innocent travelers and Arab businessmen who who captured
by warlords and armed gangs and sold to the Americans who offered payments for
The reason so many of them have been tortured is that the Bush administration
has no evidence against them and is relying on pain and the hopelessness of
indefinite detention to induce self-incrimination. The Bush administration is
desperate to produce some "terrorists."
What has become of the American people that they permit the despicable practices
of tyrants to be practiced in their name? The Bush administration is in
violation of the US Constitution, the rule of law, the Geneva Convention, the
Nuremberg Standard, and basic humanity. It is a gang of criminals. The
Republican Party is so terrified of losing power that it supports a tyrannical
administration that has brought shame not just to the Republican name but to
When a Republican next campaigns, all he can say is "vote for me because
I want power to lock you up and torture you."
Habeas Corpus Act of
Responding to abusive detention of persons without legal authority, public
pressure on the English Parliament caused them to adopt this act, which established
a critical right that was later written into the Constitution for the United
An act for the better securing the liberty of the subject, and for prevention
of imprisonments beyond the seas.
WHEREAS great delays have been used by sheriffs, gaolers and other officers,
to whose custody, any of the King's subjects have been committed for criminal
or supposed criminal matters, in making returns of writs of habeas corpus to
them directed, by standing out an alias and pluries habeas corpus, and sometimes
more, and by other shifts to avoid their yielding obedience to such writs, contrary
to their duty and the known laws of the land, whereby many of the King's subjects
have been and hereafter may be long detained in prison, in such cases where
by law they are bailable, to their great charges and vexation.
and from wikipedia:
In English Common Law
habeas corpus is the name of several writs
which may be issued by a judge ordering a prisoner to be brought before the
court. More commonly, the name refers to a specific writ known in full as habeas
corpus ad subjiciendum, a prerogative
writ ordering that a prisoner be brought to the court so it can be determined
whether or not he is being imprisoned lawfully.
The right of habeas corpus has long been celebrated as the most efficient
safeguard of the liberty of the subject. Dicey
wrote that the Habeas Corpus Acts "declare no principle and define no rights,
but they are for practical purposes worth a hundred constitutional articles
guaranteeing individual liberty."