- "By their fruits ye shall know them." And by
their nuts as well.
- The acorns of any presidential administration never fall
very far from the tree -- thus, the remarks made last week by one of George
W. Bush's appointees to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission give us a pretty
fair indication of what the future will look like if the Regime's seeds
of tyranny ever come to full flower.
- Bush emissary Peter Kirsanow told a Detroit crowd last
week that America could "forget about civil rights" if there
is another terrorist attack on the United States by "the same ethnic
group that attacked the World Trade Center," the Detroit Free Press
- What's more, such heathen devilry would cause the righteous
folk in the Homeland to rise up and demand that the Regime chuck every
last Arab-American into a concentration camp, Commissioner Kirsanow proclaimed.
- Kirsanow -- one of Bush's many prank appointments, a
"Civil Rights" commissioner who has spent his career opposing
civil rights programs -- said that he wasn't advocating an Auschwitz for
Arabs, you understand. He was just saying that the public outcry for one
would be almost impossible for the Bush administration to withstand. (And
you know they'd try really, really hard, too.)
- "Nobody will be crying in their beer if there are
more stops, more detentions, more profiling," Kirsanow told the crowd
-- which was made up largely of Arab-Americans, who came to protest the
ongoing, unconstitutional detention of Arabs without formal charges being
carried out by Bush's biggest joke appointment: Attorney General John Jesus
- In fact, not only will there be a dearth of salt in the
old hops, there will also be "a groundswell of public opinion to banish
civil rights" altogether if al-Qaida comes a-callin' again, Kirsanow
- Therefore, citizens should just accept the Regime's police-state
measures and stop bellyaching about the "perceived erosion of civil
rights," the commissar huffed. Otherwise, it'll be camps, curfews
and kangaroo courts for the whole damn country.
- Let's connect the dots -- or gather up the nuts -- shall
we? As Harper's reports, Bush's vice president, Dick Cheney, tells us that
"the prospects of a future attack are almost certain; not if, but
when." Bush's FBI director, Robert Mueller, tells us: "There
will be another terrorist attack. We will not be able to stop it."
Bush's warlord, Donald Rumsfeld, tells us: "It is only a matter of
time." And now Bush's point man on constitutional protection tells
us -- openly -- that we can "forget about civil rights" when
this unstoppable and absolutely certain new terrorist attack finally occurs.
- So where does that leave the future of liberty in the
land of the free? Dangling on a noose from a tall Texas tree, that's where.
- Magna Force
- But Bush is just an amateur when it comes to gutting
age-old civil rights. Sure, he's busy stripping away constitutional safeguards
that have stood for more than 225 years, but over in Tony Blair's own benighted
isle of Blighty, they're putting the axe to the Magna Carta itself -- 800
years of legal protections against the power of the state, flushed down
the loo in a trice!
- Last week, Blair's "New Labour" (i.e., Old
Tory in Nicer Shirts) government announced a sweeping "reform"
of the British criminal justice system, with draconian measures far beyond
the dreams of Maggie the Merciless -- or even murderous King John himself.
- The proposed overhaul abolishes protections against "double
jeopardy" -- being tried for the same crime more than once -- and
does away with the right to trial by jury in some cases, The Independent
reports. These were rights wrested from King John and set down in the Magna
Carta in 1215. They are, as the paper notes, part of the cornerstone of
Western jurisprudence, which has for centuries been guided by this ideal:
that justice should be prejudiced in favor of the rights of the individual
against the vast, untrammeled power of the state.
- Now the Nicer Shirts will allow defendants to be relentlessly
persecuted by the state, tried over and over again until the desired verdict
is reached. You can never again be "proven innocent" of a crime,
however malicious or sloppy the charges. They can always come back for
another go at you.
- The "reform" will also allow judges to try
"complex cases" of criminal fraud and "risky" cases
against mobsters without bothering with those pesky juries -- a plan provoking
much glee in corporate boardrooms and Mafia hangouts (often one and the
same place these days, of course). The wiseguys know it's much easier to
corrupt one judge than 12 jurors.
- What's more, judges will now be allowed to reveal any
past convictions of a defendant on trial in a new case -- a heavy thumb
tilting the scales toward conviction, especially in the many cases based
on circumstantial evidence.
- British justice once seemed an enlightened counterweight
to more primitive concepts of law, which vested all rights and power in
the state and left individuals to the mercies -- tender or otherwise --
of arbitrary rulers. It sought to hedge in the corrupting nature of power
with safeguards that stood between the accused and the great engines of
coercion embodied in the state.
- But it takes courage and wisdom to uphold such an ideal,
to transcend our monkey-brain urges toward herd and hierarchy. And the
leaders of the West are plainly losing their nerve -- and their senses
-- in the headlong flight from individual liberty now infecting the "civilized"
- Nice shirts, though.