Saturday, September 10, 2005

Appeals Court Trashes Constitution

The US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that Jose Padilla - a US Citizen - may be held indefinitely without criminal charges. According to the court, such action is necessary to protect the nation from terror attacks. (Herald.NET: Appeals court OKs indefinite detainment of citizens).
Make no mistake about this. I am 100% in favor of detaining members of terrorist organizations as "unlawful combatants". To me, the protections of the US constitution do not apply to foreign nationals trying to commit acts of terror against US interests. I draw a very broad and bold line when it comes to the detention of US citizens on US soil, however. This decision by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals is perhaps the most dangerous decision issued since the inception of the Department of Homeland Security.

The definition of terrorist activities continues to broaden on a daily basis. Granting the government the authority to detain US citizens without due process under these extremely broad anti-terror guidelines effectively gives law enforcement agencies carte blanche to disregard all constitutional protections. It's simply not acceptable. That there appears to be no public outcry to this absurd ruling is equally unacceptable. Americans should be - must be - outraged by the continued erosion of the constitution.

Freedoms lost are never regained. Let's hope we wake up before we've lost everything we've accomplished these last 225 years.


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