The most recent liberty-abridging, Terrorism-justified controversies have focused on diluting the legal rights of American citizens (in part because the rights of non-citizens are largely gone already and there are none left to attack). A bipartisan group from Congress sponsors legislation to strip Americans of their citizenship based on Terrorism accusations. Barack Obama claims the right to assassinate Americans far from any battlefield and with no due process of any kind. The Obama administration begins covertly abandoning long-standing Miranda protections for American suspects by vastly expanding what had long been a very narrow \”public safety\” exception, and now Eric Holder explicitly advocates legislation to codify that erosion. John McCain and Joe Lieberman introduce legislation to bar all Terrorism suspects, including Americans arrested on U.S. soil, from being tried in civilian courts, and former Bush officials Bill Burck and Dana Perino — while noting (correctly) that Holder\’s Miranda proposal constitutes a concession to the right-wing claim that Miranda is too restrictive — today demand that U.S. citizens accused of Terrorism and arrested on U.S. soil be treated as enemy combatants and thus denied even the most basic legal protections (including the right to be charged and have access to a lawyer).
This shift in focus from non-citizens to citizens is as glaring as it is dangerous. As Digby put it last week:
The frighting reality is that not even Dick Cheney thought of stripping Americans of their citizenship so that you could torture and imprison them forever — even right after 9/11 when the whole country was petrified and he could have gotten away with anything. You\’ll recall even John Walker Lindh, who was literally captured on the battlefield fighting with the Taliban, was tried in civilian court. They even read him his rights.
I think this says something fairly alarming about the current state of our politics.
Not all that well according to Glenn Greenwald.
It took less than this to bring the populace out with their muskets last time around. And the Great American Public is rather better armed now than it was in 1776.