The Assault on Liberties -- Who's to Blame?

You have to read the New York Times editorial for Sunday, March 5th. It’s a list of measures the Bush administration has put in place over the past five years that taken together add up to an astonishing attack against what we used to consider America’s most basic constitutional principles.

The Times calls for Congress to take immediate action to reverse the situation. The editorial, however, should be calling for Congress—and the media-- to do much, nuch more.

Bush’s Draconian measures range from the suspension of habeas corpus to warrantless eavesdropping to the right of the president to decide what constitutes torture, to prisons where hundreds face indefinite detention without any charges being brought against them, to other even more secret CIA facilities filled with “ghost prisoners” for whom the CIA has never accounted;and, of course, "extraordinary rendition", where detainees are packed off to face torture at the hands of America's less savory allies.. At the same time, American courts are being closed to legal challenges to these outrageous actions.

If the list weren’t indeed from the Times, one might have thought it was fiction: an updated version of Orwell’s 1984.

The Times rightly demands that Congress act to reverse this assault on democratic liberties. But the demands should go further.


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