What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: Still Burning
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) proposed Amendment 2022 to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 which would “restore habeas corpus for those detained by the United States.”
The vote (56 Yea, 43 Nay, 1 not voting) fell just short of the three-fifths required for a passing vote.
And so, we will most likely go another year without this basic individual protection against government.
Notable in the vote is, as is usual, a large split between parties. The only Nay votes were from Republicans, the new pro-war party, including both Utah senators.
The GOP in recent years has been all too willing to throw away individual liberty in the process of expanding the empire and pursuing war. Senator Leahy, in his statement today in this amendment, wisely noted:
The most daunting challenge in the age of terrorism is to strike the proper balance between maintaining our national security against very real threats and preserving the civil liberties that are the proudest legacy of our Founders.
The GOP has shown that such balance is not important to them, by consistently undermining this basic Constitutional protection.