Posts Tagged ‘The Atlantic’

One war ends, another continues

December 15, 2011

The war in Iraq officially “ended” today, for those of you who believe in beginnings and endings.

But the war on civil liberties continues. The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act contains provisions that the American Civil Liberties Union says could authorize the U.S. military to pick up and imprison, indefinitely and without charge, civilians — including U.S. citizens — anywhere on the planet, including right here in the good old US of A.

Glenn Greenwald views this development with alarm over at Salon, charging President Obama with being more concerned with executive power than civil liberties.

At The Nation, Patricia J. Williams argues that under this law, “if the Defense Department thinks you’re a terrorist, there would be no presumption of innocence; you would be presumed a detainee of the military unless the executive decides otherwise.”

Her colleague Robert Scheer declared that this “assault on the Constitution’s requirement of due process represents a direct threat to the freedom of the American people every bit as menacing as any we face from foreign enemies.”

Andrew Cohen is less alarmist at The Atlantic, saying we’re still “much closer to the beginning than to the end of this dirty business.”

I don’t know whether to be reassured or terrified by that.