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How Has It Come To This?

excerpts from a column by William Frey. November 17, 2005

In the name of defending our freedom, we witness the ongoing and significant erosion of fundamental civil liberties, and of the rule of law, erosions so egregious that it is indeed difficult to comprehend their reality and future implications:

We witness rulings that in the War on Terror, not only non-citizens, but even an American citizen apprehended and accused on American soil, unbelievably may be imprisoned indefinitely without charges or trial.

We witness the Administration concocting legal theories to evade both the Geneva Conventions as well as American legal prohibitions of torture. These legal theories have now expanded to include the remarkable proposition that the President, as commander-in-chief, has the “inherent right” to “set aside” American law. When the Senate requested the relevant legal memos advocating this proposition that “The President is above the law”, we have witnessed the Administration not only refuse Congressional access, but classify the legal memos so as to be inaccessible until 2013.

Despite military leaders and Republican Senators, including former POW John McCain, cautioning that American observation of Geneva Conventions prohibitions against torture have been vital to protecting our own servicemen, we have seen the administration systematically oppose Congressional efforts to re-instate these prohibitions.

Of the consequence of loosening the prohibition against the obtaining of confessions by torture, Patrick Henry said in 1789, “We are then lost and undone.”

The moral gymnastics a patriotic American one must perform to reconcile support for these positions with long honored American traditions of justice grow greater with each subsequent encroachment. How has it come to this?

You have been reading excerpts from "Confessions of a Repentant Republican" by William Frey. You can read the entire piece here: tinyurl.com/854v9. Thanks to consortiumnews.com. We visit often and we hope you will too.

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