Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hello, Congress? This is the Constitution calling.

I am seeing in the news lately a lot of talk about legislation being passed that will retroactively exempt from criminal prosecution actions done by persons or companies acting illegally in the interests of the current administration.

Some of the legislation I'm referring to includes the cases of the new Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) update which will grant retroactive immunity to the telecoms that illegally assisted the NSA under Bush's direction in illegally wiretapping US citizens, or the government in 2006 passing the Military Commissions Act which provided retroactive legal protection to those who carried out waterboarding and other coercive interrogation techniques along with a slew of other criminal acts.

I am astounded that it seems that there isn't more attention being brought to the fact that the United States Constitution clearly states in Article I Section 9:

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No two ways about it, no Law can be passed after the fact to grant retroactive immunity for illegal activities. Article I Section 10 goes on to set this same limit against the State Governments as well.

Not to mention that Article I Section 9 also clearly states:

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

And yet, having no rebellion here at home and no invasion, Habeas Corpus is being suspended for anyone the government arbitrarily deems an "enemy combatant" or "person of interest" etc.

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