Today, President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act, otherwise known as the terrorist interrogation bill. With that one action, habeas corpus is dead, and all of our civil liberties are in peril.
The American Civil Liberties Union said the new law is "one of the worst civil liberties measures ever enacted in American history."
"The president can now, with the approval of Congress, indefinitely hold people without charge, take away protections against horrific abuse, put people on trial based on hearsay evidence, authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero.
Fear is a truly terrible thing. To keep our country "safe", we seem willing to give up every freedom we hold dear. Terrorism is the new boogeyman; mention it and we quake in our beds like little children in the night. Where do we draw the line? If Bush says his administration can't step down because we are at war, and to leave office would aid the terrorists, would we let him have an illegal third term? Will we arrest journalists for "aiding terrorists" by reporting the truth in Iraq? Will we bankrupt our future to "protect" our present?
Really -- how afraid are we?