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Friday, May 29, 2009

Obama' "indefinite detention" is Cheneyism without Cheney...

Justin Raimondo has a dense, cogent, attack on what he calls Cheneyism without Cheney.

Despite the popularity of military memory in the United States, we remain a country without memory. It isn't about forgetting the sacrifices of the past or our debts to our forfathers. It's about remembering what we ourselves were thinking and saying as recently as six months ago:

This Memorial Day should be devoted to reviving and refreshing the failing memory of the American people, or, at least, those millions who voted for Obama in hopes of a better day. Remember the campaign promises, the soaring rhetoric about "the rule of law" and our "constitutional liberties"? Remember this: "Gitmo. That’s an easy one: close it"? Remember the promise of "change"?

Rachel Maddow's piece on MSNBC, linked to the article, is worth listening to closely. She doesn't go into the constitutional history, but she doesn't need to. All we have to do to start is compare the current administration with the last one.

I would almost say she didn't go far enough in her comments about Obama's proposal to create a new legal framework for arrest and indefinite detention without trial, however. The whole thing reminds me - someone who thought the claims of creeping fascism under Bush II made by authors like Naomi Klein to be alarmist - of the German Ermaechtigungsgesetz - the Enabling Law that let the Nazis do whatever they wanted. That was the creation of a new legal framework, a legalized carte blanche for the executive. As Maddow rightly points out, what Obama is proposing is already far more dangerous than in any comparable democracy on earth. We need to be watching this process very closely.

I would like to thank David Beito for pointing out the article.


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