Sunday, December 03, 2006

Habeus Corpus

Jose Padilla indicted for conspiracy to commit a terrorist act. Padilla’s Case was about to go to the Supreme Court to have his status as an enemy combatant reviewed. Without a doubt the individual who was held, without being charged for three years, was charged because of the upcoming Supreme Court Review.
This individual originally made headlines as a “dirty bomb” suspect (I believe in Chicago). Dirty bombs are a technological impossibility. So we had a U.S. Citizen being held without charges in a navy Brig for three years for allegedly attempting an impossible act. The question is whether letting this case go too the Supreme Court would have been a good thing. With our new justice: which way would it go?
I think the Stare Decisis of “Ex Parte Milligan” would have won out. We need Habeas Corpus and if wartime is the justification then rebuttal is already in Ex Parte Milligan that eternal question: “If wartime is the justification for erosion of our constitutional rights then what the fuck reason is the war being fought for?” Certainly it is not being fought to defend our freedoms. Hopefully the logic contained in such a conundrum as well as the precedent of Ex Part Milligan should lend weight to the advantage of maintaining our rights.
On the other hand the risk that the Supreme Court would fail to check the executive’s unbridled power and create a lasting precedent for the suspension of habeas corpus. This is such a terrible outcome I am at some level relieved that the decision didn’t get to the Supreme Court, to allow the possibility of such a catastrophic blow to our civil liberties. After Bush v. Gore and the decisions on not making public the documents and conversations at Cheney’s NEPDG. The Supreme Court has become co-opted by the executive and there is a chance they would agree with the “enemy combatant” status argument concerning a U.S. citizen allegedly attempting a technologically impossible act. Here is my burning question:
“Does it have to get worse before it gets better?”
Is it:
1.Better to have the Supreme Court unmasked and decried for allowing the executive to become tyrannical; thus making it apparent to everyone that the checks and balances in stalled by our founders have collapsed.
2.The executive be scared of judicial review thus providing marginal protection from the police state (One won’t be held for MORE than 3 years without being charged).
And of course there is a third possible eventuality which is far worse:
3. The Supreme Court agrees that suspension of Habeas Corpus is constitutional. They should make the corruption of the court obvious and the tyranny of the executive apparent, but most people just don’t care.
There is a strong possibility people will just ignore it.
Using terrorism to justify such a worldview and patriotism to justify apathy individuals will compartmentalize away the existence of the fascist police state that will have started ruling over us when Habeas Corpus is suspended.
Our state may have become tyrannical at the point it suspends Habeas Corpus and reverses Ex Parte Milligan.
Will such a debate emerge at the point this happens? Or will a PR blitz and the “mainstream media” help everyone forget the constitutional rights they had?

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