Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Like a Laser

Glenn Greewald has an excellent post covering, in great detail, all the things dangerous about the current assertions by the administration concerning the powers of the President in a time of war while they attempt to justify their illegal wiretapping of American citizens without a warrant.

While it is a well written post and should be read by everyone concerned about the erosion or in many cases the complete disregard for our rights, it suffers from the fact that only truly interested people will spend the time to read it.

Somehow this very cogent message needs to be distilled into an "elevator speech" that can be related quickly to those too lazy or disinterested to read it or the equivalent.

Here is my submission:

The Administration is claiming that Article II grants it the power to do to you, an American citizen, whatever it is allowed to do against our enemies in a war with no oversight from the courts or Congress. This includes wiretaps, imprisonment without habeus corpus, torture and confiscation of all rights protected by the Contitution and Bill of Rights. Do you trust this President and all future Presidents to excercise these powers without restraint? If there is any doubt just look at what Bush has done to Jose Padilla an American citizen.

This is serious business and we need to be able to focus like a laser on the meat of this issue. We won't be able to hold the attention of the average American with some long winded explanation of the history of civil rights or what Thomas Jefferson or James Madison said. We need a short and focused message that we can get out in a couple of sentences that captures the essence of the problem and risks of ignoring it.

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