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US Senate Fails To Reinstate Habeas Corpus

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the bound-by-oath-or-affirmation dept.

United States 790

Khyber notes that yesterday a vote in the US Senate fell four votes short of what was needed to restore habeas corpus — the fundamental right of individauls to challenge government detention. Here is the record of the vote on the Cloture Motion to restore Habeas Corpus. Article 4 of the US Constitution states that habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless in cases of rebellion and invasion when the public safety may require it.

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Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 7 years ago | (#20682839)

Just like the updates to the Insurrection Act of 1807 didn't enable martial law under nearly any circumstances or revoke Posse Comitatus, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 didn't revoke Habeas Corpus. To believe otherwise about either is politically charged fantasy.

Note that the linked article is an opinion piece from The Nation, self described as "the flagship of the left", so when it says things about Habeas Corpus such as, "which the Republican Congress revoked", it's not a fact, it's just what the type of article it is explicitly states: an opinion. Further, we don't have a Republican Congress anymore, so I'm not sure how that is even meaningful. I guess I'm supposed to assume that even a Democratic Congress doesn't want to "restore Habeas Corpus"? (And naturally, surprise, this is posted by kdawson.)

The fact of the matter is that Habeas Corpus was not suspended in any way, shape, or form. The Military Commissions Act does not apply to US citizens, permanent residents, or persons with a valid legal status within the United States. Only US citizens have a right to Habeas Corpus (Gonzales' ridiculous statements on the issue aside). MCA only applies to "aliens [that is, not US citizens] with no [US] immigration status who are captured and held outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States"; that is, MCA does not apply to US citizens. Therefore, Habeas Corpus was not suspended, and to argue that it was is puzzling to me.

The argument that Habeas Corpus needs to apply to literally everyone because otherwise there is no way to "prove" that you are a US citizen to which MCA doesn't apply is something of a curious one. MCA already does not apply to US citizens apprehended on US soil. You do not need a court to affirm what is already known. If you believe the authorities will ignore the fact that someone is a US citizen and detain them anyway, then there are larger fundamental issues than whether or not someone can challenge detention; indeed, if the government really wanted to secretly detain someone without cause or ability to challenge, US citizen or not, they simply wouldn't give them any recourse at all, Habeas Corpus or no, now would they?

On this general issue, there is certainly some merit to the argument that things like terrorism should be treated as a civil or criminal matter and not a military and national security issue. However, I do not subscribe to that viewpoint. Our freedoms and rights are things that US citizens and immigrants enjoy. Else, there is no function or purpose for immigration or even borders.

Some tend to confuse US citizens and residents with everyone else on the planet, and pretend that the Constitution actually applies to everyone on Earth (which it doesn't), or that it should (which it shouldn't - perhaps in an idealized world, someday, everyone can expect and enjoy such a baseline of freedoms and rights).

And to those who will come out of the woodwork saying, "What about Jose Padilla?"

That was before MCA, which is what people say "suspended Habeas Corpus". That is, Jose Padilla did have Habeas Corpus rights and yet was still detained. That's part of reason MCA came into existence: to clarify this situation. Such detention of a US citizen apprehended on US soil, regardless of designation, has subsequently been clearly determined to be legally inappropriate, and, as such, does not fall under MCA.

On top of all of this, to those that think that administration officials are going to lie and ignore any and all laws anyway, then what difference does any wording of any law really make?

Disclaimer: portions of this post were culled or paraphrased from a couple of previous posts of mine here on the topic, but is precisely on point, so there is no need to retype.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1, Redundant)

navygeek (1044768) | about 7 years ago | (#20682939)

This needs to be modded up more than damn near anything else posted today.

All Hail Caesars Horse! (1, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 7 years ago | (#20683341)

Caligula reigns [urbandictionary.com]

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20682951)

Glad someone got a clarification right on top before the inevitable flamewar started.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20682977)

Where does the Constitution say "Citizen" or "Resident" when dealing with rights other than holding office or voting? Everything is phrased in term of "Government" and "Person".

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (0, Troll)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | about 7 years ago | (#20683337)

In the UK it is "Her royal subject" Personally I wish the PIRA succeeded in blowing up the Royal family. There is no place for them in an equal society.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (2, Insightful)

thule (9041) | about 7 years ago | (#20683453)

The US Constitution is a sort of contract between the Federal Government and the People. The People signed on to the "contract" by voting for it. It would be ridiculous to try to made the document apply to people outside of the US as it is just as ridiculous for judges here to apply law outside the US to people inside the US unless otherwise defined by a treaty.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (5, Interesting)

Jhon (241832) | about 7 years ago | (#20683471)

Right at the beginning...

"We the people of the United States of America" So where it says "the people" generally applies to citizens.

Yes there are some ambiguities that the courts have addressed (see MATHEWS v. DIAZ, 426 U.S. 67, for example), but just because it doesn't SAY "citizen" or "resident" or whatever doesn't mean it covers the world's population.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1, Funny)

Jhon (241832) | about 7 years ago | (#20683539)

Ug... remove "of America" -- that's what I get for trying to recite the preamble from a song and filling in from memory...

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1)

Duffy13 (1135411) | about 7 years ago | (#20683481)

If I recall correctly it starts with "We the People of the United States...", which, to me anyways, indicates that the only people bound by it are those who happen to be citizens of the United States. Notice how people is capitalized to indicate an emphasis on a specific group. Your comment would also mean that all our federal laws apply elsewhere in the world and therefore we should go about enforcing them to insure "rights" for everyone. I think that's a lovely idea, but I have a strange feeling not too many other countries will agree with us on that.

And for future reference that's how all legal documents are, they define a term early on then use it throughout the rest of the document. On it's own it usually has little meaning, but within the context it is usually and sometimes amusingly quite elaborate.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (0, Flamebait)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | about 7 years ago | (#20682979)

Good job on getting some common sense and reality as fp on this article. Too bad there are people who already posted without reading this.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (5, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | about 7 years ago | (#20683007)

I stopped reading when you said that only U.S. citizens have a right to Habeas Corpus. Sorry, but the Constitution was not written with the word "citizen" used often. The Constitution applies to the U.S. Federal government, and how it interacts with ALL people EVERYWHERE.

The rights written in the Bill of Rights apply to all humans, and are not granted by the Constitution. The Constitution just reminds the Federal government that it can not revoke these rights, or change them. Habeas Corpus is an inherent right for all humans that we must demand to keep fully removed from any government's desire to remove it or restrain it.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (4, Informative)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about 7 years ago | (#20683085)

Just to clarify, the US Constitution does use the word "Citizen" in places and in other places it uses "Person." Thus only a Citizen can run for President, but many rights extend to non-citizens.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (4, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | about 7 years ago | (#20683217)

Thanks for your clarification, I concur there. To clarify your clarification, though, ALL rights that "we" and the founding fathers considered inherent are rights afforded to all humans, regardless of citizenship and government. Government should never have the power to censor speech or opinion, nor the power to search your person or property with proof and a warrant, nor the power to restrict what arms you own or carry, nor the power to jail/enslave someone without giving a reason for it -- and allowing that person, citizen or not, the ability to defend themselves quickly and with a jury of their peers (again, not necessarily citizens).

Government doesn't give you freedom, it doesn't grant you rights, and it isn't there to protect you from other individuals. The Federal government is there for four reasons: to PROTECT the inherent rights of individuals from any government or State, to coin money in gold or silver only, to call up militias of individuals in order to defend against a real attack within the borders of any State, and to defend against piracy on the high seas.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683451)

Thanks for your clarification, I concur there. To clarify your clarification, though, ALL rights that "we" and the founding fathers considered inherent are rights afforded to all humans, regardless of citizenship and government.
Well I wouldn't say *all* humans. The 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments were needed to fix that gap.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1)

mjpaci (33725) | about 7 years ago | (#20683255)

To clarify...
No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1, Insightful)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | about 7 years ago | (#20683167)

No sorry man.... try again

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
I think it says CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES. But hey you have free speech so yeah glad you can use it, but please think before you speak.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | about 7 years ago | (#20683259)

Your quote proves his point. The quote says no state shall abridge the privileges or immunities of a citizen, but then goes on to say that states cannot deprive any person from life, liberty or property without due process. It is very clearly drawing a distinction between the term "citizen" and the term "person".

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (4, Informative)

dada21 (163177) | about 7 years ago | (#20683271)

You're quoting the 14th Amendment to the Constitution -- which dictates that the individual States are also barred from usurping the inherent rights of the citizens, yes. But the Constitution itself was not written to give citizens rights, but to stop the Federal government from harming those specific rights of ANYONE it involves itself with -- foreign, domestic, citizen, alien. Have you read the Constitution, the debates before it, and the Articles of Confederation?

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1)

blcamp (211756) | about 7 years ago | (#20683521)


I have. And while IANAL, I have read other laws which supplement the Constitution.

Case in point:

The United States Congress granted all federal courts jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 2241 to issue writs of habeas corpus to release prisoners held by any government entity within the country from custody in the following circumstances:

* Is in custody under or by color of the authority of the United States or is committed for trial before some court thereof; or
* Is in custody for an act done or omitted in pursuance of an Act of Congress, or an order, process, judgment or decree of a court or judge of the United States; or
* Is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States; or
* Being a citizen of a foreign state and domiciled therein is in custody for an act done or omitted under any alleged right, title, authority, privilege, protection, or exemption claimed under the commission, order or sanction of any foreign state, or under color thereof, the validity and effect of which depend upon the law of nations; or
* It is necessary to bring said persons into court to testify or for trial

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habeas_corpus [wikipedia.org] (scroll down to "Scope").

As the OP indicated, there are situations to which Habeus Corpus does not apply... not even within the USA. This is not only a matter of law and constitutionality, but of common sense as well.

Further, your contention (in a previous post) that it, as well as the Bill of Rights applies to "all humans" is simply false.

And why there is even a debate regarding the conveyance of the rights enjoyed by US Citizens in peacetime towards enemies and enemy combatants of the US, outside of the US, in a time of war, is simply beyond me.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683303)

Quote:

No sorry man.... try again

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

I think it says CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES. But hey you have free speech so yeah glad you can use it, but please think before you speak.

Endquote

Hey, man, okay, let's try this one on for size then:

If I have the authority to imprison you, doesn't that pretty much mean I have jursidiction over you? How did that quote end again? " . . . nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Maybe I'm just too simple a man, BUT, the way my momma taught me to think, if the US Federal government is imprisoning people over whom it has no jurisdiction, that is a blatant attack against the rights of the nation that DOES have jurisdiction. So, either way you want to paint this one, the act of our Federal government imprisoning people without providing the right of Habeus Corpus is illegal. One way, under our own rule of law. The other under international rule of law.

Any other bullets you would like to put in your fet?

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (3, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | about 7 years ago | (#20683319)

nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

What part of "any person within its jurisdiction" isn't clear? Too bad we can't give these right wing fucktards their own country to trash instead of ruining this one.

Just because we started out united doesn't mean we have to stay that way. I want a divorce.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (-1)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 7 years ago | (#20683371)

Speaking of fuckwads, I think a mirror is in order for you. If you actually think that the US Constitution applies to everyone in the World, then you need to find a new country.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683391)

Well technically we had a chance once and royally screwed it up....

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | about 7 years ago | (#20683431)

Fine then YOUR taxes can pay for the rest of the worlds problems...I will use mine on the homeless CITIZENS in OUR country.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1)

alatar_b (670896) | about 7 years ago | (#20683505)

Then leave

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683325)

It uses "citizens" when referring to "abridg[ing] the privileges or immunities", and it uses "person" when referring to "due process", including habeas corpus. These choices of words are quite deliberate, not accidental. Maybe you should try actually reading the document in question and then coming to your conclusions, instead of deciding on your conclusions first and then attempting to find passages which support them.

The constitution uses the word "citizen" when it talks about US citizens, and elsewhere it uses "person" or "people". Any interpretation which assumes that these two meanings are identical is deliberately pathological.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (4, Insightful)

Ajehals (947354) | about 7 years ago | (#20683417)

I have no idea what the legal position is and frankly US constitutional law is an internal American matter (if the US violates my rights then my government can deal with the US on my behalf), that said however, looking at your quote in isolation I would read it as follows:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States
Right, it would appears that this element applies to what states can do to *citizens* clearly any non citizen doesn't get this protection.

nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law
This seems to apply to any person, US citizen or not.

nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
And again, any person so I would assume that this too seems to apply to any person, US citizen or not.

That for me makes sense, Citizens have basic rights plus additional privileges and immunities, whilst everyone else just gets a basic subset of rights.

It does not suggest that the entire statement applies only to Citizens. As I said, I cant comment on the legal situation, but in my opinion detention without charge of anyone, anywhere is unjust. If you hold someone for something charge them with something and give them the opportunity to defend themselves, that prevents injustices being committed, more importantly it also means that a decent standard is being adhered to and prevents people from having to justify the actions of a "proud, free and just" nation by comparing it to regimes run by despots and tyrants.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1)

Mr.Intel (165870) | about 7 years ago | (#20683203)

Says you.

The Constitution has a limit of legal power and that limit is (surprise) to United States Citizens, unless otherwise mentioned in the document.

Not even a psychic understanding of the Founder's intentions can change this fact. The US constitution doesn't apply to British Citizens except through treaties. So it doesn't matter if the word citizen isn't used often. Application makes it so.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683227)

I stopped reading when you said that only U.S. citizens have a right to Habeas Corpus.
Good plan: Stop reading as soon as you disagree with any one part of a discussion.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 7 years ago | (#20683241)

is != ought

Whether or not it's a cosmic rule that it's immoral to deprive humans of these rights, the constitution only legally guarantees them to US citizens. If the guy's not a citizen (or legal immigrant etc) yes, you're doing wrong, but you're not doing illegal- another dimension to the Is-Ought problem.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (5, Informative)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about 7 years ago | (#20683243)

The rights written in the Bill of Rights apply to all humans

It's also worth pointing out that those rights aren't there to protect the guilty, they are there to protect the innocent. And there's good reason to believe that there are innocent people detained in these camps:

  • The vast majority were turned in by people looking for reward money or to suck up to U.S. forces. [nationaljournal.com] Witch hunt, anyone?
  • We know that innocent people have been detained and then killed by U.S. forces. If you're not familiar with the case of Dilawar the taxi driver, you need to read this [nytimes.com] . This guy was captured by an Iraqi warlord trying to deflect suspicion from himself for an attack on U.S. troops. Then, because they thought he screamed funny, a bunch of United States soldiers "pulped" (the words of the doctor who performed the autopsy) his legs. The other four guys were shipped to Gitmo and held for a year or so before they finally decided they posed no threat.
  • The soldiers there "know" these are bad guys, and treat them that way, regardless of who they are. You ask how I know that? So, a U.S. soldier at Guantanamo is asked to impersonate an unruly detainee for a drill. Unfortunately, the soldiers sent in to subdue him aren't told it's a drill. He ends up with brain damage and seizures. [cbsnews.com]

Detaining 'enemy combatants' makes sense, to an extent. But they are still entitled to a tribunal under the Geneva Convention to determine if they actually are 'enemy combatants'. Go ahead, read Convention III, Article 5 [icrc.org] for yourself. Signatories (like the U.S.) are supposed to extend protection preemptively, until and unless a tribunal has determined that the Geneva protections don't apply.

Sure, the U.S. is better than a Soviet gulag or Saddam Hussein's torture rooms. So what? That's not much to brag about. We ought to be an example to the world of the rule of law, like when we advocated and won trial against the Nazis in WWII. The Soviets and the British were all for summary executions... how far we've fallen.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (0, Troll)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 7 years ago | (#20683317)

And exactly under which Army or Country do these militants fall so as to be extended Genevea Convention rights again?

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (0, Flamebait)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 7 years ago | (#20683273)

stopped reading when you said that only U.S. citizens have a right to Habeas Corpus. Sorry, but the Constitution was not written with the word "citizen" used often. The Constitution applies to the U.S. Federal government, and how it interacts with ALL people EVERYWHERE.
OMFG, you have to be f'in joking, right? Please tell me you are just intellectually devoid and not the World's Largest Troll?

So how exactly does the United States enforce the supposed "inherent right for all humans" to have Habeas Corpus when you hippy types get your panties all in a wad anytime the United States tries to implement US policies anywhere outside our borders? Are we "occupying" Iraq, perhaps to institute your mythical view of the US Constitution? If not, should we? If we should, then why do you and your ilk complain so loudly when we do?

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683393)

I think you pretty much answered your own question.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | about 7 years ago | (#20683301)

Spot on. The Constitution does not give us rights, it simply innumerates basic human rights that the government is not allowed to mess with, as well as setting up the basic rules under which the government is allowed to operate. It's primary purpose is not to limit the rights of the people, but rather to limit the power of the government.

This recent drive to define non-citizens as nothing more than cattle with whom we can do anything we please is distressing. How would we feel if we travelled to, say, France, and the government there decided to detain us for no apparent reason and deny us access to the courts or any other means of pleading our case. Would the US Government stand for that sort of behavior? If not, why is it suddenly okay for us to treat non-citizens the same way?

The Constitution is careful to use the word "citizen" when it intends to refer to only citizens, and "person" elsewhere. The idea that the word "person" in the Constitution ever refers only to "citizens" is pure fantasy.

Boy was that dumb (2, Insightful)

Quadraginta (902985) | about 7 years ago | (#20683355)

The rights written in the Bill of Rights apply to all humans

No shit? Let's read the first sentence of the Bill of Rights [earlyamerica.com] , then:

"After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred representatives, nor less than one representative for every forty thousand persons."

Son of gun, you're right, it says "persons" not "citizens!" So I guess every forty thousand persons -- anywhere on the planet, whether or not they're the subject of some other king, or citizen of some other republic -- have been entitled to a representative in the US Congress since 1789. Amazing! And those bastards in Washington have just ignored this fundamental right of South Africans, Samoans, Libyans and Mongolians since the very founding of the Republic. Most of the planet has been disenfranchised for the last 220 years, apparently.

Not only that...did you notice they didn't make a distinction between criminals and free citizens? So all felons worldwide -- Nazi war criminals, Stalin's secret policemen, Pol Pot and his henchmen, Idi Amin's murdering thugs, and South African apartheidists -- have always been entitled to vote in American elections, too.

For that matter, they didn't make a distinction between adults and children, either! So this business of not letting people vote until they're old enough to, say, read and write, is totally unconstitutional.

Although...I suppose a cynic might say that the context of the Bill of Rights matters, and that only an idiot would assume the "persons" the document addresses are meant to be understood as all people everywhere, anytime as opposed to, say, the "people" specifically addressed in the opening sentence ("We the People of the United States....do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America...")

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1, Troll)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 7 years ago | (#20683055)

Excellent point. If those filthy savages living (if it can be called living) outside of the United States want to be treated like human beings, they can damn well apply to become a vassal of the Union. If we just give them basic human rights, then what's their incentive to knuckle under?

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | about 7 years ago | (#20683221)

I think(hope?) you dropped your <sarcasm> tag back there somewhere....

Well said (1)

Quadraginta (902985) | about 7 years ago | (#20683059)

That was the most misleading and infantile summary of a worthless piece of sloganeering shit I have ever seen on this site. I'm impressed you're even willing to argue the point(s) raised in the linked article, since the gross intellectual dishonesty apparent in the article and the summary suggest the authors and any of their fellow travelers would be quite immune to the influence of reason and good sense.

George W. Bush: Criminal (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683061)

The nature and extent of our current national crisis, as well as its causes and cures, are the subject of intense political struggle. I offer this letter as a contribution to that struggle and debate in hopes of helping to pave the way for people of every sex, race, and socioeconomic status to fulfill their own spiritual destiny. Although not without overlap and simplification, I plan to identify three primary positions on George W Bush's ravings. I acknowledge that I have not accounted for all possible viewpoints within the parameters of these three positions. Nevertheless, if Bush's bons mots get any more shabby, I expect they'll grow legs and attack me in my sleep. The idea that people want maledicent cozeners to win support by encapsulating frustrations and directing them toward unpopular scapegoats is a fundamental misunderstanding of the human condition, which makes it obvious to me that Bush twists every argument into some sort of "struggle" between two parties. Bush unvaryingly constitutes the underdog party, which is what he claims gives him the right to prevent us from getting in touch with our feelings. He wants to pigeonhole people into predetermined categories. Such intolerance is felt by all people, from every background.

Bush is unquestionably up to something. I don't know exactly what, but there is no such thing as evil in the abstract. It exists only in the evil deeds of evil people like Bush. If my own experience has taught me anything, it's that he wants nothing less than to undermine the basic values of work, responsibility, and family. His apostles then wonder, "What's wrong with that?" Well, there's not much to be done with moonstruck, bloody-minded serpents who can't figure out what's wrong with that, but the rest of us can plainly see that Bush wants to produce an army of mindless insects who will obey his every command. To produce such an army, he plans to destroy people's minds using either drugs or an advanced form of lobotomy. Whichever approach he takes, if natural selection indeed works by removing the weakest and most genetically unfit members of a species, then Bush is clearly going to be the first to go. Life isn't fair. We've all known this since the beginning of time, so why is Bush so compelled to complain about situations over which he has no control? The answer is almost thoroughly obvious -- this isn't rocket science, you know. The key is that if, five years ago, I had described a person like Bush to you and told you that in five years, he'd outrage the very sensibilities of those who value freedom and fairness, you'd have thought me anti-democratic. You'd have laughed at me and told me it couldn't happen. So it is useful now to note that, first, it has happened and, second, to try to understand how it happened and how if everyone does his own, small part, together we can set the record straight. Whether or not you realize this, many savages have an intense identification with nit-picky converts to racialism. In fact, I have said that to Bush on many occasions and I will keep on saying it until he stops trying to sweep his peccadillos under the rug. He recently stated that he understands the difference between civilization and savagery. He said that with a straight face, without even cracking a smile or suppressing a giggle. He said it as if he meant it. That's scary, because his put-downs are as predictable as sunrise. Whenever I act as a positive role model for younger people, Bush's invariant response is to pursue a condescending agenda under the guise of false concern for the environment, poverty, civil rights, or whatever.

Bush has abandoned ethics altogether. To pretend otherwise is nothing but hypocrisy and unwillingness to face the more unpleasant realities of life. Far too many people tolerate his ebullitions as long as they're presented in small, seemingly harmless doses. What these people fail to realize, however, is that Bush wants to get me thrown in jail. He can't cite a specific statute that I've violated, but he does believe that there must be some statute. This tells me that that fact is simply inescapable to any thinking man or woman. "Thinking" is the key word in the previous sentence.

Bush is the picture of the insane person on the street, babbling to a tree, a wall, or a cloud, which cannot and does not respond to his calumnies. He obviously didn't have to pass an intelligence test to get to where he is today, because his knowledge of how things work is completely off the mark. First of all, Bush will probably never understand why he scares me so much. And he doubtlessly does scare me: His press releases are scary, his prevarications are scary, and most of all, it's easy enough to hate him any day of the week on general principles. But now I'll tell you about some very specific things that he is up to, things that ought to make a real Bush-hater out of you. First off, he talks a lot about Stalinism and how wonderful it is. However, he's never actually defined what it means. How can Bush argue for something he's never defined? That's the question that perplexes me the most, because Bush has nothing but contempt for you, and you don't even know it. That's why I feel obligated to inform you that we can divide his précis into three categories: inaniloquent, effrontive, and gormless. I find Bush's apologues prurient, unholy, blathering, and more than a little incompetent. But what, you may ask, does any of that have to do with the theme of this letter, viz., that jackbooted scoundrels are unable to see that we can see the damage that is done when he tries to advocate fatalistic acceptance of an indelicate new world order? The only clear answer to emerge from the conflicting, contradictory stances that he and his spin doctors take is that I get concerned when I see him reinforce the concept of collective guilt that is the root of all prejudice.

Essentially, there are some simple truths in this world. First, Bush clings to any argument or principle, however treasonous or ridiculous, that appears to support his revenge fantasies. Second, Bush needs to step out of the dark ages. And finally, Bush is an interesting character. On the one hand, he likes to promote the total destruction of individuality in favor of an all-powerful group. But on the other hand, a person who wants to get ahead should try to understand the long-range consequences of his/her actions. Bush has never had that faculty. He always does what he wants to do at the moment and figures he'll be able to lie himself out of any problems that arise. Better, far better, that Man were without the gift of speech than that he use it as Bush does. Better that Man could neither read nor write than have his head and heart perverted by the slimy and saturnine tommyrot that oozes from Bush's pen. And better that the cut of Man's coat and the number of his buttons were fixed by statute and enforced by penalties than that Bush should make today's oppressiveness look like grade-school work compared to what he has planned for the future. If he wants to bar people from partaking in activities that cannot be monitored and controlled, let him wear the opprobrium of that decision.

Many people aren't aware of how sexist Bush's jokes are, so let's present a little breakdown. First off, this is a very real and serious concern, and everyone with half a brain understands that. Gloomy dissemblers like Bush always lie. Even an occasional truth is intended only to cover up a bigger falsification and is therefore, itself, a deliberate untruth. Unsettling as that is, the more infuriating fact is that I believe in "live and let live". Bush, in contrast, demands not only tolerance and acceptance of his artifices but endorsement of them. It's because of such foul-mouthed demands that I, for one, assert that I have had to restrain myself from rebuking him more vehemently. And that's why I'm writing this letter; this is my manifesto, if you will, on how to chastise him for not doing any research before spouting off. There's no way I can do that alone, and there's no way I can do it without first stating that he says that cultural tradition has never contributed a single thing to the advancement of knowledge or understanding. Wow! Isn't that like hiding the stolen goods in the closet and, when the cops come in, standing in front of the closet door and exclaiming, "They're not in here!"?

It's irrelevant that my allegations are 100% true. Bush distrusts my information and arguments and will forever maintain his current opinions. His companions have been staggering around like punch-drunk fighters hit too many times -- stunned, confused, betrayed, and trying desperately to rationalize his mephitic taradiddles. It is clearly not a pretty sight. Bush occasionally shows what appears to be warmth, joy, love, or compassion. You should realize, however, that these positive expressions are more feigned than experienced and invariably serve an ulterior motive, such as to encourage and exacerbate passivity in some people who might otherwise be active and responsible citizens.

I maintain I am not alone when I say that I'm at loggerheads with Bush on at least one important issue. Namely, he argues that the few of us who complain regularly about his criticisms are simply spoiling the party. I take the opposite position, that Bush's argument that national-security interests can and should be sidestepped whenever his personal interests are at stake is hopelessly flawed and absolutely circuitous. He labels anyone he doesn't like as "revolting". That might well be a better description of Bush. Since he claims to know more than the rest of us, I'm sure he's aware that he keeps trying to deceive us into thinking that we can change the truth if we don't like it the way it is. The purpose of this deception may be to shred the basic compact between the people and their government. Or maybe the purpose is to weaken family ties. Oh what a tangled web Bush weaves when first he practices to deceive. Isn't it interesting which questions he dodges and what tangents he goes off on? Those dodges and tangents make me think that it's easy for armchair philosophers to theorize about him and about hypothetical solutions to our Bush problem. It's an entirely more difficult matter, however, when one considers that you should never forget the three most important facets of his conjectures, namely their egocentric origins, their internal contradictions, and their tendentious nature.

For better or for worse, if I had to choose between chopping onions and helping Bush insist that our society be infested with demagogism, allotheism, chauvinism, and an impressive swarm of other "isms", I'd be in the kitchen in an instant. Although both alternatives make me cry, the deciding factor for me is that I've heard Bush say that at birth, every living being is assigned a celestial serial number or frequency power spectrum. Was that just a slip of the lip or is Bush secretly trying to toss quaint concepts like decency, fairness, and rational debate out the window? Before you answer, let me point out that he thinks that he can make me get torn apart by wild dogs if he can abuse science by using it as a mechanism of ideology. Now that that's cleared up, I'll continue with what I was saying before, that his scare tactics always follow the same pattern. He puts the desired twist on the actual facts, ignores inconvenient facts, and invents as many new "facts" as necessary to convince us that he can override nature. Sure, we could just sit back and let Bush till the contentious side of the priggism garden, but that prospect really grates on people who have any kind of common sense. As someone who enjoys brandishing words like "anthropogeographical" and "proconstitutionalism" as a smoke screen to hide his zingers' inherent paradoxes, he must decidedly be at a loss when someone presents a logical counterargument to his unprincipled exegeses. His methods are much subtler now than ever before. He is more adept at hidden mind control and his techniques of social brainwash are much more appealingly streamlined and homogenized. Bush spews out so many falsehoods, distortions, and half-truths, that rebuttal requires some lengthy documentation. But that's not all: Every time he tries, Bush gets increasingly successful in his attempts to seek vengeance on those unrepentant souls who persist in challenging his overgeneralizations. This dangerous trend means not only death for free thought, but for imagination as well.

In the strictest sense, on a television program last night, I heard one of this country's top scientists conclude that, "One day, Bush's modes of thought will degenerate into hotbeds of rumor and innuendo." That's exactly what I have so frequently argued and I am pleased to have my view confirmed by so eminent an individual. Whether or not Bush should do exactly the things he accuses infernal warmongers of doing ought to be a simple question, far beyond the realm of debate. However, he has been doing "in-depth research" (whatever he thinks that means) to prove that the ancient Egyptians used psychic powers to build the pyramids. I should mention that I've been doing some research of my own. So far, I've "discovered" that our path is set. By this, I mean that in order to shatter the adage that it is Bush's moral imperative to acquire public acceptance of his witless cop-outs, we must make a genuine contribution to human society. I consider that requirement a small price to pay because his smear tactics are definitely uncalled for. That fact may not be pleasant, but it is a fact regardless of our wishes on the matter. Don't be intimidated by Bush's threat to force us to tailor our schemes just to suit his fickle whims. Finally, any mistakes in this letter are strictly my fault. But if you find any factual error or have more updated information on the subject of George W Bush, Bush-inspired versions of nihilism, etc., please tell me, so I can write an even stronger letter next time.

Mod This up!! It's a kdawson troll.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683071)

Seriously, is kdawson an alias for kos? Because his stories look just like those you can find on dkos.

Habeaus Corpus never went anywhere and kdawson is just trolling when he says it has been revoked. It's just a flat-out lie that he should be fired for saying.

Your post should be modded +5 insightful. Anybody who mods this overrated or troll is just abusing mod points.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (2, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 7 years ago | (#20683087)

daveschroeder wrote: "Note that the linked article is an opinion piece from The Nation, self described as "the flagship of the left"... it's not a fact, it's just what the type of article it is explicitly states: an opinion."

That may be so, but other links could have been used. Here's RTE news [www.rte.ie] , for example, or tothecenter [tothecenter.com] , or any of a hundred other links you could get from Googlenews or your search engine of choice.

daveschroeder continued: "The fact of the matter is that Habeas Corpus was not suspended in any way, shape, or form."

The co-sponsor of the bill, Senator Leahy, explicitly stated that the bill was about habeas corpus [nytimes.com] : "The truth is, casting aside the time-honored protection of habeas corpus makes us more vulnerable as a nation because it leads us away from our core American values and calls into question our historic role as a defender of human rights around the world."

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1)

navygeek (1044768) | about 7 years ago | (#20683173)

So a misinformed Senator makes a statement based on his own bias and misunderstanding or reality, and you take it as Gospel?

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (-1, Flamebait)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 7 years ago | (#20683209)

Of course the cosponsor of the bill said that. What do you expect? He also said that the the Insurrection Act changes in the 2007 Defense Authorization Bill enabled the president to easily declare martial law, when in reality the changes were made in large part because of the outcry related to Hurricane Katrina, and actually had stronger guidelines for domestic use of the military than the previous provisions of the act had for the prior two centuries.

This is a political move, and if it was as clear cut as you claim it is, this act to "restore" a fundamental principle of our country should have passed unanimously. Except that it didn't, because it is nothing more than a political move. To believe otherwise believes that the Constitution applies equally to every human on the planet, whether they are a US citizen or permanent resident or not. That notion is ridiculous to me and many others, for some of the reasons I briefly alluded to in my post.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1)

tdent1138 (832732) | about 7 years ago | (#20683239)

Uh, yeah. Patrick Leahy is a reliable source. No bias in his comments. As I recall he had to resign from the Intelligence Committee in the 80s for passing classified documents to reporters. That used to be called treason. "in a 1985 television appearance Leahy disclosed classified information that one of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's telephone conversations had been intercepted. The information that Leahy revealed had been used in the operation to capture the Arab terrorists who had hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship and killed American citizens, and the Union-Tribune claimed that Leahy's indiscretion may have cost the life of at least one of the Egyptian operatives involved in that operation. In 1987, The Washington Times reported that Leahy had also leaked secret information about a 1986 covert operation planned by the Reagan administration to overthrow Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Leahy allegedly had said, "I thought [the operation] was probably the most ridiculous thing I had seen, and also the most irresponsible," and had threatened to expose the operation to CIA Director William Casey. A few weeks later, details of the plan appeared in The Washington Post, and the operation was cancelled." ... "Another example of Leahy revealing confidential information occurred just before the Iran-Contra hearings were to begin, when he allowed an NBC reporter to look through the Senate Intelligence Committee's confidential draft report on the burgeoning scandal. After NBC used the privileged information in a January 1987 report, Leahy came under increasing fire, and after a six-month internal investigation he was forced to step down from his seat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Leahy's leak was considered to be one of the most serious breaches of secrecy in the Intelligence Committee's then-10-year history. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2038 [discoverthenetworks.org] A True Hero of the Left!

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | about 7 years ago | (#20683409)

I think you're frothing at the mouth again. Better have that looked at.

And as for citing non-partisan resources, way to use DiscoverTheNetworks [discoverthenetworks.org] as a resource, a site run by righty David Horowitz [wikipedia.org] , or if you prefer, David Horowitz [conservapedia.com] . He's precisely the objective individual we should quote in a constitutional crisis such as this!

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | about 7 years ago | (#20683103)

Sorry, I got lost in your post. What problem do you have with Habeas Corpus again?

I know several countries where it never did exist if you would prefer, but personally I like my rights: what is so wrong with the Legislature reaffirming them?

Personally I find it rather disturbing that anyone would vote against this. If someone is in the U.S. they should be subject to U.S. law. The good and the bad. After all, laws were made to protect the public. It is unfair to expect people to be accountable for actions without holding up our (collective) end of the bargain.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (3, Informative)

Lally Singh (3427) | about 7 years ago | (#20683109)

You'll note that every Democrat voted to restore it.

The MCA doesn't "clarify" anything that us citizens care about. It "clarifies" that folks in the current administration shouldn't go to jail for what they've done.
From FindLaw: http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dorf/20061011.html [findlaw.com]

It immunizes government officials for past war crimes; it cuts the United States off from its obligations under the Geneva Conventions; and it all but eliminates access to civilian courts for non-citizens--including permanent residents whose children are citizens--that the government, in its nearly unreviewable discretion, determines to be unlawful enemy combatants.


Oh, and the definition of Habeas Corpus, from those left-wing nutjobs at Wikipedia:

In common law countries, habeas corpus (/hebis kps/) (Latin: [We command that] you have the body) is the name of a legal action, or writ, through which a person can seek relief from unlawful detention of themselves or another person. The writ of habeas corpus has historically been an important instrument for the safeguarding of individual freedom against arbitrary state action.


No legitimate government action should have problems with Habeas Corpus.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 7 years ago | (#20683331)

Except for the ones who didn't think it was worth the time to vote on this.

Or do they not hold a majority anymore?

What are you talking about? (2, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 7 years ago | (#20683119)

Some tend to confuse US citizens and residents with everyone else on the planet, and pretend that the Constitution actually applies to everyone on Earth (which it doesn't), or that it should (which it shouldn't - perhaps in an idealized world, someday, everyone can expect and enjoy such a baseline of freedoms and rights).

Who are these "some" that you're talking about?

On top of all of this, to those that think that administration officials are going to lie and ignore any and all laws anyway, then what difference does any wording of any law really make?

If you have to ask that then there's no use explaining it to you.

The LAWS we pass are what defines our country. So the wording of those laws DOES matter, even if the law will be ignored.

Most everyone would be opposed to having a law that said that no Jews could hold public office. Even if that law was mostly ignored.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683125)

Only US citizens have a right to Habeas Corpus (Gonzales' ridiculous statements on the issue aside).

This statement alone shows you no nothing. Every person regardless of citizenship is afforded the right to Habeas Corpus as per US constitution. Why do you think the DOJ argued that the people being held in Guantanamo didn't have to be afforded the same rights as people living in the US because they believed those people were not on US soil?

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683213)

It would appear that you also "no nothing," asshat.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | about 7 years ago | (#20683233)

"The Military Commissions Act does not apply to US citizens, permanent residents, or persons with a valid legal status within the United States."
That covers the entire spectrum of people who US laws can apply to, so, in effect, the Military Commissions Act applies to no-one and the current actions of the US government are being done on an entirely arbitrary basis.
Anyone or anywhere to which the power of congress applies, the constitution should apply also - otherwise, what else is there to prevent areas or people subject to unchecked government power? Or do you think that the US government should be allowed to define certain areas or people over which/whom it has unchecked power?

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1)

niola (74324) | about 7 years ago | (#20683249)

While overall your post is accurate and the title of this article is not fitting, you did not comment or touch one one issue people have with the Military Commissions Act that is the catalyst for this whole debate - the definition of "unlawful enemy combatant."

There is a loophole with how "unlawful enemy combatant" was defined in this bill in such a way that under certain circumstances the writ of habeas corpus COULD be suspended for a US citizen.

I think if this one part of the MCA was clarified most people, left and right, would have no concerns with the MCA as written.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683267)

Our freedoms and rights are things that US citizens and immigrants enjoy. Else, there is no function or purpose for immigration or even borders.

Well said! The only reason I care about freedoms and rights is to provide a "function for borders" (and immigration too - gotta have that).

Some tend to confuse US citizens and residents with everyone else on the planet,...

I hear you, dude! I just can't tell the difference. Some guy lives in France and claims not to be a US citizen but, dude, I just don't know what that means.

...and pretend that the Constitution actually applies to everyone on Earth (which it doesn't), or that it should (which it shouldn't - perhaps in an idealized world, someday, everyone can expect and enjoy such a baseline of freedoms and rights).

I hear you! The US should feel free to take freedoms and rights away from people in other countries whenever it wants! The USA needs to send a clear message that it doesn't care about rights and freedoms of people in other countries and the best way to do this is for the USA to aggressively take away the rights of people in other countries.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683293)

Your post is the most intellectually feeble piece of drivel I've had the misfortune of reading today. Full of strawmen, defines opposing arguments in a lame incorrect fashion and then skewers them, uses terminology and concepts that don't exist in constitutional framing, wording, and law to "explain" the constitutional intent, need I go on?

lame

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about 7 years ago | (#20683365)

Your response is incorrect. Habeas corpus applied to all persons detained within the United States (Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, as well as previous cases), including (Rasul v. Bush) the detainees of Guantanamo Bay. Citizenship was not required. The Constitution delineates between rights afforded specifically to citizens and those applied generally. The courts have upheld this interpretation multiple times.

The Military Commissions Act essentially removes habeas corpus for aliens detained by the United States who have been determined to be enemy combatants or are awaiting such determination.

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683381)

Some tend to confuse US citizens and residents with everyone else on the planet, and pretend that the Constitution actually applies to everyone on Earth (which it doesn't), or that it should (which it shouldn't - perhaps in an idealized world, someday, everyone can expect and enjoy such a baseline of freedoms and rights).
I agree that us Americans should not expect other countries to uphold our constitutional rights, but consider this passage from the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,...


Our constitutional rights are an enumeration of these inalienable rights. If we truly believe they are inalienable, then should we not treat everyone the same?

Re:Habeas Corpus not "revoked" (2, Insightful)

KiahZero (610862) | about 7 years ago | (#20683387)

Yes, on it's face, the MCA doesn't apply to U.S. citizens. However, you're not thinking about this clearly, or you'd notice how the existence of the MCA denies habeas to everyone.

Let's say, for whatever reason, the military comes to your home and takes you away to Guantanamo or some other military installation. You demand to be let go, of course, because you've done nothing wrong, and what's more, you're a U.S. citizen and they aren't legally allowed to do this to you. They say, "No, you're not a citizen." Well, now what? Normally, you'd file a habeas corpus claim challenging your detention. But, since they're alleging you're not a citizen, you have no habeas claim to challenge your detention. No court can hear your case. You have no way to prove that you're a U.S. citizen, and therefore no way to free yourself. Congratulations, you've just been disappeared.

When you take habeas corpus rights away from any class of people, you necessarily remove them from every class of people; all the government has to do to disappear anyone is allege that they are in the non-habeas class, and the detained will be unable to prove that they are not.

Details, details. Look at the bigger picture. (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 7 years ago | (#20683425)

MCA already does not apply to US citizens apprehended on US soil.
My bitch about this point, as true as it might be, is that it's a point of law. It totally ignores the values behind the law, and the foundation that my country supposedly rests upon. The hypocritical disconnect between

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..

and the laws we apparently have, is pretty damned embarrassing to me. America seems to keep becoming more and more un-American, and I'm rather displeased by that.

Republicans seem disturbed about it too, when they're not in power. I so love Republicans when they're at a disadvantage. At least, unlike Democrats, they can talk the talk.

You fail polysci 101 (2, Informative)

eli pabst (948845) | about 7 years ago | (#20683533)

Further, we don't have a Republican Congress anymore, so I'm not sure how that is even meaningful. I guess I'm supposed to assume that even a Democratic Congress doesn't want to "restore Habeas Corpus"?
It's a motion to end the Republican filibuster. They need 60 votes, not a simple majority. Not a single democrat voted nay, so to say the democrats did this is intellectually dishonest.

Bleh. (-1, Offtopic)

zsouthboy (1136757) | about 7 years ago | (#20682851)

Asstunnels.

Way to go Democrats! (-1, Troll)

michaelmuffin (1149499) | about 7 years ago | (#20682859)

This is exactly why everyone voted you into office! Keep up the good work!

Re:Way to go Democrats! (5, Interesting)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 7 years ago | (#20683083)

The only democrat who voted nay was Lieberman, who's not even a democrat any more. The problem is that the democrats don't have a 3/5 majority, even with 6 republicans voting outside their party. I think the people you need to be thanking about the republicans how stuck to their party line instead of doing what they know is right.

Re:Way to go Democrats! (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 7 years ago | (#20683489)

Who stuck to party lines more, Reuplicans or Democrats? It seems six Republicans broke away, but only 1 Democrat did the same...hmmmm. So what you really meant to say is, "why can't those stupid Republicans see they are voting incorrectly and they should vote the way I want them to vote". Or maybe you meant to say, "since I agree with the Democrats on this issue, it is obvious that Republicans are stupid." Scary.

Disgustingly Partisan Vote (5, Insightful)

Kelson (129150) | about 7 years ago | (#20682891)

Republicans voting yes: 6 out of 49 (1 non-voting)

Hagel (R-NE)
Lugar (R-IN)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Sununu (R-NH)

Democrats voting no: none

Every single Democratic senator voted in favor of the amendment. 85% of Republicans voted against it.

Its just sad that legislation to confirm a constitutionally-guaranteed right which (in theory) protects people from government abuse has been reduced to partisan bickering.

Re:Disgustingly Partisan Vote (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | about 7 years ago | (#20682975)

The whole country has been reduced to partisan bickering. There is no independent thought anymore. You pick a party, and you automatically agree with whatever they believe in. Individual critical thinking does not enter into the process at any point.

Re:Disgustingly Partisan Vote (4, Insightful)

Kelson (129150) | about 7 years ago | (#20683411)

The whole country has been reduced to partisan bickering. There is no independent thought anymore. You pick a party, and you automatically agree with whatever they believe in. Individual critical thinking does not enter into the process at any point.

And that's the tragedy of it. Sure, part of the point of political parties is so that politicians can pool resources and have built-in allies. But automatic support shouldn't be unconditional support. You should get more people like Specter & co. who said, "This is a good idea no matter what the party leadership says." And it shouldn't translate into unconditional opposition for the other party.

It's been reduced to the level of a football game. Politicians are more concerned with which party "wins" than with what's actually a good idea. And the general populace is just as bad. There's a disturbing number of people -- or at least disturbingly vocal people -- who make the leap from "Dubya/Hillary/whoever supports position X!" to "I must oppose X!" without stopping to think that no, if someone on my side had proposed the same thing, I would be in favor of it. (And vice versa of course.)

Re:Disgustingly Partisan Vote (1, Flamebait)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 7 years ago | (#20682983)

Not 'partisan'. Republican.

Re:Disgustingly Partisan Vote (2, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | about 7 years ago | (#20683099)

I thought Lieberman was still a Democrat, or at least I took the ID by his name to mean Independent Democrat. And, frankly, I have no problem with non-citizens who are detained by the US being denied the rights of citizens. I don't approve for the US citizens that have had their rights denied, though.

Re:Disgustingly Partisan Vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683183)

Lieberman didn't run as a Democratic candidate. He tends to vote democratic more often then republican, but he isn't a democrat. I actually like that about him... he votes for what he thinks is right, not along party lines. I disagree with him about what is right as often as not, but I at least respect him for making his own choices.

Re:Disgustingly Partisan Vote (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683113)

It's sad how people like you have zero understanding of how the Constitution works. Legislation has no need or authority to "confirm" (or deny) a constitutionally-guaranteed right.

Obviously, the current situation is that habeas corpus is NOT constitutionally guaranteed to non-citizens captured outside of the US as terrorist suspects. Yet you continue to pretend that it's otherwise, because it's more convenient for your Republican bashing, which you do while at the same time complaining about "partisan bickering."

Re:Disgustingly Partisan Vote (1)

darnoKonrad (1123209) | about 7 years ago | (#20683123)

I'm proud to say my senator Lugar voted in favor of this bill. Maybe all my email writing does pay off.

Re:Disgustingly Partisan Vote (1)

taskiss (94652) | about 7 years ago | (#20683133)

110th Congress (2007-2009)
Majority Party: Democrat (49 seats)
Minority Party: Republican (49 seats)
Other Parties: 1Independent; 1 Independent Democrat

Total Seats: 100

Note: Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut was reelected in 2006 as an Independent, and became an Independent Democrat. Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont was elected as an Independent.

http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/history/one_item_and_teasers/partydiv.htm [senate.gov]

Re:Disgustingly Partisan Vote (0)

Radon360 (951529) | about 7 years ago | (#20683205)

So is the case for most votes. What's so special about this one?

FWIW, last time I checked, there's 100 seats in the U.S. Senate. If the Dems really wanted it to pass, all they would have had to do was to get a few more of their party to actually cast a vote.

Re:Disgustingly Partisan Vote (2, Informative)

wifeshack (1116839) | about 7 years ago | (#20683469)

There was only one abstainer, Chambliss (R-GA). Every Democrat voted and voted aye.

Re:Disgustingly Partisan Vote (1)

Khopesh (112447) | about 7 years ago | (#20683517)

Democrats voting no: none

Actually, Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) [wikipedia.org] , the incumbent who failed to win the Connecticut Democratic primary but then went on to win the general election as an "Independent Democrat," voted NAY. Good old Joe; a Democrat who is so right-leaning that he fell out of his party. Good old two-party system; the Dems are so starved for a majority that they're happy to have him caucus with them. (The other independent, Bernie Sanders (I-VT) [wikipedia.org] , who also caucuses with the Dems, voted yea.)

As an independent voter, I might have considered voting for McCain in the Republican primary (assuming my Democrat pick was projected to win), but his vote against this bill dampens my interest in that plan.

Re:Disgustingly Partisan Vote (1)

GreggBz (777373) | about 7 years ago | (#20683529)

I'll be sad when Spector finally leaves the Senate. He seems to actually think about an issue objectively, rather then rationalize his decision so that it aligns with team little R in parenthesis.

Now, his stance on online gambling annoys me, but hey, better than most still.

Well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20682935)

Habeas Corpus lasted 9 centuries so at least we can say it had a good run.

Look at this article and look at the last one (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20682941)

Guess what, America? George Bush sold you the fuck out!!

And, before anyone tries to blame the Senate, the conditions that exist today are a direct result of George Bush prior to 9/11 scrapping the anti-terrorist measures left in place by the previous administration. Plus a lot of rather bad decisions Bush has made since then.

Just because parent is modded flamebait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683397)

...that doesn't make it any less true!

Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20682947)

How about a list of the people who voted against?

I'm sure they would love to hear from 40 zillion angry /.ers

Re:Who? (2, Informative)

Fengpost (907072) | about 7 years ago | (#20683131)

Just look here and take out the Republicans mentioned above:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/110th_United_States_Congress [wikipedia.org]

Pick up the phone and call them!

Better yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683541)

Just vote all fucktarded Republican Rednecks out of every office along with their fucktarded Libertarian redneck counterparts, including the Democrat In Name Only Lieberman.

Do unto others... (4, Insightful)

Lucas123 (935744) | about 7 years ago | (#20683015)

as you would have them do to you". Luke 6:31

Re:Do unto others... (3, Funny)

michrech (468134) | about 7 years ago | (#20683291)

Naa, naaa.. You got it all wrong, 'ya see.. It's .. uhh.. "Do unto others.."...."uhh.."... "Do unto others before they do unto you. I can't get fooled again." "heh heh heh heh heh..."

G.W.

as you would have them do to you". Luke 6:31

Re:Do unto others... (1)

tolydude (1080033) | about 7 years ago | (#20683339)

Do unto others BEFORE they do unto you.

Re:Do unto others... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20683345)

Well, if all those porn actresses want to masturbate to my picture on the Internet, they're certainly welcome to do so. (I hope they let me watch too!)

Politics as usual (0, Flamebait)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 7 years ago | (#20683029)

As usual, the vote tally isn't actually about the topic at hand. Instead, we get this from one partisan, " [we politicians] faced a decision either to cast a vote in favor of helping to restore America's reputation in the world, or to help dig deeper the hole of utter disrespect for the rule of law that the Bush Administration has created."

What a totally loaded statement. No wonder it got voted down. Hidden agendas should always be outed.

My credo (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | about 7 years ago | (#20683033)

It's shit like this that makes me believe in my credo that much more: "I may answer to the government, but the government answers to Smith & Wesson!"

Re:My credo (1)

hickory-smoked (969938) | about 7 years ago | (#20683237)

As much as I admire your gritty individualism, the government has ample resources to answer to Smith & Wesson. And it usually involves blowing you and your entire family to bits.

surprise (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | about 7 years ago | (#20683043)

Article 4 of the US Constitution states that habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless in cases of rebellion and invasion when the public safety may require it.
or more precisely which suits their poltical agenda. these powers were self-given and not surprisingly the polical party with the most to lose from reinstatment of habeas corpus largely voted against it.

Just demands some creativity (0, Troll)

saterdaies (842986) | about 7 years ago | (#20683093)

Constitution states that habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless in cases of rebellion and invasion when the public safety may require it.
See, the Republicans just need some creativity to get around the constitution. For example, the United States is being "invaded" by cold Canadian air this winter. Scary thought. Oh, and I heard that my local electronics store is "rebelling" against high prices. Both clear justifications for the suspension of habeas corpus.

Bill O' Rights? (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | about 7 years ago | (#20683179)

Despite this not really applying to US citizens, shouldn't this be viewed as an unalienable right of the people, regardless of affiliation? Even if other gov't choose to not pursue this right(since you ARE human, right?) as yours and cannot be taken away, shouldn't this be a "practice what you preach" sort of deal?

Re:Bill O' Rights? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | about 7 years ago | (#20683265)

The American constitution, federal and state laws apply to non-citizens [e.g. residents] and visitors alike.

This is being reported incorrectly (5, Informative)

kithrup (778358) | about 7 years ago | (#20683207)

This was not a failed vote to reinstate habeas corpus; this was a failed vote to end a threatened filibuster by Republican Senators.

After years of crying that Democrats threatened filibuster, and the media reporting it as such, we have come to a time where the Republicans have turned almost every debate leading to a vote into a threatened filibuster... and the media are not reporting it as such. Instead, they swallow the GOP line that there needed to be 60 votes for it.

Stupid, lazy, cowardly reporters.

Re:This is being reported incorrectly (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 7 years ago | (#20683435)

I think it's a given that, regardless of the makeup of any particular Congress, that the minority will spend a good deal of time threatening fillibusters, and the majority will be decrying the minority's interference with the process. It makes not one bit of difference who makes up the majority and the minority.

In short, ever civics class should teach this simple truth about politics in democratic states; "What is good for the goose is hardly ever good for the gander."

yet another reason (-1, Flamebait)

butterflysrage (1066514) | about 7 years ago | (#20683287)

for me to never cross the boarder. As a Canadian citizen I would be without the rights of habeas corpus, while I don't plan on doing anything illegal, that wouldn't stop them from arresting me anyway.

no thanks, would rather just stay up here where I have a reasonable expectation of human rights.

Know Thy Enemy (-1, Flamebait)

mi (197448) | about 7 years ago | (#20683351)

I browse "The Nation"'s drivel to know, what the illiberal enemies are up to...

Now, thanks to KDawson, I can get some forewarnings right here on Slashdot.

The sooner the comrade gets sent to Siberia (for having been born and having relatives in a capitalist country) the better...

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