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View Diary: To the self-described "patriots" of 2013: My friends, this is NOT what tyranny looks like (177 comments)

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  •  You clearly don't understand what a police state (9+ / 0-)

    is, or a democracy for that matter. If you think that a democracy is a place in which such abuses never happen, then it's no wonder you think we live in a police state.

    The difference between our very robust democracy and a police state is that a police state prohibits victims of abuses of power from seeking any kind of redress.  Our democracy is no guarantee against abuses of power. What it does guarantee is the voice of its citizens.  Your ability to wonder aloud whether or not we live in a police state is itself evidence that we do not.

    •  Explain indefinite detention then (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Agathena, elwior

      Allowing someone to be held forever without trial does fit your above definition of prohibiting victims from seeking redress.

      There is no such thing as "a little bit of cancer". It will always spread, and the NDAA is a malignant tumor.

      •  I replied to you above. (0+ / 0-)

        You are misinformed about the Patriot Act. Indefinite detention is not codified in our law by the Patriot Act.

        •  You still have to explain it (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Agathena, Flying Goat, elwior

          Fine, I'm wrong, it's not the Patriot Act. But whatever the law is called, it's on the books and the government can do it.

          Now will you explain how that's still not a police state?

          •  There is no law of which I'm aware that codifies (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eclectablog, vcmvo2, elwior

            indefinite detention. Our Congress has never passed such a law, and last I checked, our elections are free and fair. Indefinite detention is an example of an abuse of power that can be (and has been in the case of Jose Padilla) redressed by the courts.

            You claim that there is "whatever law" (of which you don't offer an example) is problematic. Instead of insisting that I explain how an imaginary law isn't an example of a police state, why don't you do some research and provide us with a real example of your claim.
             

            •  Here it is, the NDAA signed by Obama (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Simplify, elwior

              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

              Now the article says the indefinite detention provisions can be waived. But that doesn't mean they will be waived. If the military calls you a terrorist, they can hold you forever.

              The law is also being challenged in court and sanity may prevail. But if it does not, we have real problems.

              Also, the fact that Jose Padilla's case was addressed by the courts doesn't excuse what happened. Padilla was diesels by the police state, there is no argument against that.

            •  In case you haven't noticed, Jose Padilla (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Simplify, elwior, Dogs are fuzzy

              was completely destroyed by his persecution. I'm sure that whatever redress was "available" to him came as small comfort.

              The bottom line is that they can do whatever the fuck they want to you, and by the time you can get redress, it's too late -- which means the redress isn't in fact redress, it's the equivalent of a show-trial in reverse. It's just theatre. Meanwhile, only a crazy person would openly defy them, understanding the price that will be paid.

              To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

              by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:08:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Norm, who are you saying is indefinitely detained? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior

            I'm not arguing it doesn't happen, but I think you need some specific examples, here.

            Part of the issue - an important part - is that we are housing enemy combatants. I know of no law, domestic or international, that requires the release of enemy combatants before hostilities in which they were involved are concluded. (The Geneva Conventions apply to their treatment, release and repatriation. In light of cell-group/terrorist/non-state sponsored hostilities, I hope the Geneva Conventions are reexamined, for they may be anomalous in these times.)

            That said, specific examples of "indefinite detention" will move the discussion better, I submit, than a fast track to declarations that a police state exists because of what our government can do.

            2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

            by TRPChicago on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:29:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The law allows it, period (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior

              We don't need to have specific examples to address a law that violates the 4th amendment. But l'll use the Jose Padilla example. His constitutional rights were violated. And if they're willing to do it once, they can and will do it again given an NDAA law that allows it.

              •  I do not - for a second - approve of Padilla's ... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Norm in Chicago, elwior

                ... treatment as a prisoner. That was the Bush administration at its worst, among a lot of worsts. And I think Bush & Co's post-torture treatment of him was cruel and unusual.

                But ... Padilla was convicted of conspiring to kill people and to fund and support terrorism. Earlier, a Federal Court of Appeals recognized that his detention as an enemy combatant was justified but held that the US did not have power to detain a citizen arrested in the US and outside a combat zone as an "enemy combatant." It was not a constitutional decision as I understand it, but one resting on lack of congressional authority to do it.

                These are arguable legal points, to be sure. I think the Patriot Act was far overreaching and I am dismayed that Congress did not oversee it during the Bush years and that the Obama administration does not propose cutting it back in significant ways.

                But we are a nation of laws. When otherwise civilized people claim it's OK to wave guns around as an answer to laws they don't like, they're just plain wrong.

                2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                by TRPChicago on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:53:01 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elwior
              ...we are housing enemy combatants
              And have ever since 1865...but did not get around to passing a law until 2001.  Funny that the US seemed to survive very well in dealing with enemy combatants before then.

              Maybe we would be better to drop the extraordinary (that have now become too ordinary) powers and get back to a rule of law in which there are actual warrrants and due process.  A good listen at what Colleen Rowley has to say might be worthwhile; she had some significant experience in dealing with enemy combatants.

              50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

              by TarheelDem on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 04:14:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Enemy combatants don't get Due Process. (0+ / 0-)

                Nor are they entitled to all the other processes of American criminal law.

                2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                by TRPChicago on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:38:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Says what authority besides George W. Bush? (0+ / 0-)

                  Either enemy comabants get due process in US courts or they get due process as prisoners of war.  Until 2001 there were only two operative standards.  Both required due process.

                  Any other way of handling it opens up the process to arbitrary decision about who is an enemy combatant and arbitrary decisions (star chambers and kangaroo courts) about the handling.  Which is exactly what the Bush and Obama administrations have wound up doing.  And arbitrary justice is not justice.

                  50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

                  by TarheelDem on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:12:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  And the enemy combatants (0+ / 0-)

                  ...from 1865 were restored to full citizenship even after they engaged in domestic terror campaigns.

                  50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

                  by TarheelDem on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:14:41 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  How about a plutocracy then? Police state puts (6+ / 0-)

      it into too black and white terms.

      A growing oligarchy.

      Pick your term.

      But we certainly are developing a two tier justice system.

    •  seeking redress (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Agathena, Dirtandiron, a2nite, elwior

      takes expertise, which takes money and/or influence

      those who are abused by the police, the criminal "justice" system, landlords, employers, etc. don't have any of the above

      and even if eventually they get help from organizations like Legal Aid, they've probably lost more than they'll ever gain

      •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, elwior, joanneleon
        those who are abused by the police, the criminal "justice" system, landlords, employers, etc. don't have any of the above
        Yes, if it's your word against that of a police officer, the judges tend to give the police the benefit of the doubt. So that is their end run around your rights. (I am not implying all police are bad, just explaining how the ones that are that are get away with it). Also, police can be very intimidating, which gets people to consent to searches when they might not want to. (or sign confessions, etc.)
         

        Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

        by Dirtandiron on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 09:26:33 AM PST

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      •  There are some things that can't be redressed. (3+ / 0-)

        It is one of the mythologies of the Right and of Libertarians that all damages can be redressed. That's why the Objectivist "solution" to pollution is post-hoc fines, rather than preventive regulation.

        It's fucking fantasy. The average American will be completely ruined if locked up for more than about 3 weeks. There will be no redress for that fall into the underclass.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:11:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, I guess now that you have your (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior

      working definition:

      The difference between our very robust democracy and a police state is that a police state prohibits victims of abuses of power from seeking any kind of redress.
      ... you can support your assertion.

      On the other hand, since your working definition is an arbitrary criterion pulled out of your own id, it doesn't carry much freight with me, or a lot of other here.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:04:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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