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Wednesday, October 18, 2006


As of yesterday, non-citizen residents of the United States -- like, say, my wife Esther -- have lost the right of habeas corpus.

Esther can legally be seized on American soil and detained indefinitely with no opportunity to challenge her detention in court.

She can be interrogated using secret procedures whose conformance with international standards for prisoner treatment has been "interpreted" by the President, "a provision intended to allow him to authorize aggressive interrogation methods that might otherwise be seen as illegal by international courts." (AP)

She can be convicted, and put to death, on the basis of coerced testimony.

Actually the last two provisions may apply to US citizens as well.

The Onion does not need to exaggerate much. In fact, if anything, the Onion understates: would that Congress actually were regulating interrogation methods, however feebly.

White House press secretary Tony Snow offers a much wittier bit of dystopian satire on the death of the separation of powers, rejecting the idea of Congressional oversight of interrogation by saying "The only way accountability doesn't exist is if you believe that the military is not committed to it."

Scalzi and Meisner capture some of my mood.

Posted by benrosen at October 18, 2006 11:47 PM | Up to blog
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