Police state : Paul Craig Roberts : Power Über Alles


Richard Moore


Power Über Alles 

by Paul Craig Roberts 

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

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

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's2004 ruling that permits Guantanamo 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

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
habeas corpus.

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

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 Guantanamo. 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 "terrorists."

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 all Americans.

When a Republican next campaigns, all he can say is "vote
for me because I want power to lock you up and torture


Habeas Corpus Act 

    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 States.
    Habeas Corpus Act 
    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

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 words habeas corpus ad subjiciendum are Latin for "You
    (shall) have/hold the body to be subjected to
    (examination)," and are taken from the opening words of
    the writ in medieval times. Other habeas corpus writs also
    existed, e.g. habeas corpus ad testificandum "You (shall)
    have/hold the body to bear witness," for the production of
    a prisoner to give evidence in court.
    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."
    November 12, 2005

Dr. Roberts [•••@••.••• ] is John M. Olin
Fellow at the Institute for Political Economy and Research
Fellow at the Independent Institute . He is a former
associate editor of the Wall Street Journal , former
contributing editor for National Review , and a former
assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He is the
co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions .

Copyright © 2005 Creators Syndicate 

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