By DEREK P. GILBERT
July 19, 2008
OK, it’s not quite like that, but a court ruling that slipped under the noise of failing banks, a rallying stock market, and the All-Star Game this week has effectively granted the president the power to imprison civilians legally in the United States simply by declaring them enemy combatants.
That’s imprisoned indefinitely. As in forever. No trial, no charges, no contact with the outside world.
Republican apologists argue that Al Qaeda is so dangerous that this concentration of power in the hands of the Executive Branch is essential to defending our freedom. In a word, nonsense.
In what sense are we “free” when we can be imprisoned at the whim of the president?
In the words of Justice Antonin Scalia: “The very core of liberty secured by our Anglo-Saxon system of separated powers has been freedom from indefinite imprisonment at the will of the Executive.”