Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: The Blighted States Of America And The End Of Civilization As They Knew It ...

29 September 2006

The Blighted States Of America And The End Of Civilization As They Knew It ...

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, our sane American cousins, for now it tolls for thee.

Courtesy of your crazed crew of ruling fellown Americans.

Accuse us of alarmism and/or exaggeration if it helps you lay easier in your beds at night, but please don't claim you weren't warned -- many times -- by many people -- from many places -- continually.

So now it has finally come to pass; the end of civilization as you knew it.

And the victorious enemy came not from any far off land; the victorious enemy came from within.

But before you say This Old Brit & Richard have finally snapped -- read what's been written by Professor William Rivers Pitt in today's edition of the authoritative and widely acclaimed 'Tuthout'.

Then ask yourself this question: Has such a cerebral celebrity as Professor Pitt also snapped?

Here's a taste of Pitt's piece.

In Case I Disappear

By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t - Perspective

Friday 29 September 2006

I have been told a thousand times at least, in the years I have spent reporting on the astonishing and repugnant abuses, lies and failures of the Bush administration, to watch my back. "Be careful," people always tell me. "These people are capable of anything. Stay off small planes, make sure you aren't being followed." A running joke between my mother and me is that she has a "safe room" set up for me in her cabin in the woods, in the event I have to flee because of something I wrote or said.

I always laughed and shook my head whenever I heard this stuff. Extreme paranoia wrapped in the tinfoil of conspiracy, I thought. This is still America, and these Bush fools will soon pass into history, I thought. I am a citizen, and the First Amendment hasn't yet been red-lined, I thought.

Matters are different now.

It seems, perhaps, that the people who warned me were not so paranoid. It seems, perhaps, that I was not paranoid enough. Legislation passed by the Republican House and Senate, legislation now marching up to the Republican White House for signature, has shattered a number of bedrock legal protections for suspects, prisoners, and pretty much anyone else George W. Bush deems to be an enemy.

So much of this legislation is wretched on the surface. Habeas corpus has been suspended for detainees suspected of terrorism or of aiding terrorism, so the Magna Carta-era rule that a person can face his accusers is now gone. Once a suspect has been thrown into prison, he does not have the right to a trial by his peers. Suspects cannot even stand in representation of themselves, another ancient protection, but must accept a military lawyer as their defender.

Illegally-obtained evidence can be used against suspects, whether that illegal evidence was gathered abroad or right here at home. To my way of thinking, this pretty much eradicates our security in persons, houses, papers, and effects, as stated in the Fourth Amendment, against illegal searches and seizures.

Speaking of collecting evidence, the torture of suspects and detainees has been broadly protected by this new legislation. While it tries to delineate what is and is not acceptable treatment of detainees, in the end, it gives George W. Bush the final word on what constitutes torture. US officials who use cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment to extract information from detainees are now shielded from prosecution.

It was two Supreme Court decisions, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, that compelled the creation of this legislation. The Hamdi decision held that a prisoner has the right of habeas corpus, and can challenge his detention before an impartial judge. The Hamdan decision held that the military commissions set up to try detainees violated both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Conventions.

Here's the complete Professor Pitt piece.

Read it and weep.



Anonymous youngbrit said...

Stuff em... they deserve all they get

12:29 am  
Anonymous youngbrit said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:29 am  
Anonymous middleagedbrit said...

Correction, youngbrit. Only about half of them do.

12:43 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your friend Pitt has a real reason to be concerned. Speaking out against his holy emperor, king george, with the spineless and cowardly congress doing his every bidding, can get you declared an "enemy combatant". In fact, King Bush can now do whatever the F he wants and to anyone he wants to.

September 28, 2006 will go down in history as the day that we let a dictator take that "goddamn piece of paper" and flush it down the toilet. Who the hell needed that Habeas Corpus anyway. I never thought I'd see the day.

Many of us Americans in the left blogsphere are trading e-mail addresses. There is a very real fear that we will wake up one day soon and all of our blogs will be gone.

oh, and welcome back brit.

4:33 am  
Blogger St!ff M!ttens said...

A succinct and eloquent illustration by FUBAR:

5:28 am  
Anonymous griffon said...

If I lived in America, I would be making that "I once lived in America" and fast!

Read "No Quarter". It's the future.

9:36 am  
Anonymous Rex said...

Remember this too -- where Bush goes -- Blair follows. In fact maybe he already has. How the hell would any of us know?

11:50 am  
Anonymous kiwi said...

ANYONE who now travels to the USA for ANY reason is a dimwitted fool. The only laws still in place to protect ANYONE from ANYTHING there -- are the whims of BUSHCO.

Habeus Corpus, Magna Carter, Geneva Convention and the American Constitution (which Bush has called - just a godamned piece of paper - all gone. Pfft! As though none of these things never existed.

And what's worse is that the MAJORITY of the people's (supposedly) elected representatives have actually gone along with all this.

You are right when you say the end of civilisation as Americans knew it has arrived. How long do Brits have left? And how about lots more of us all round the world? More and more right wing governments are now saying what's good for the US goose is good for 'their' particular gander.

2:01 pm  
Anonymous kiwi said...

And talking of other extreme right wing governments ~ I just found this. Another Bush big buddy dictator ~ who has LOADS of OIL.

2:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Civilisation ending? Was it ever really there?

7:36 pm  
Blogger Sophia said...


I liked your piece and choice of article. it echoed our discussion this morning mjy husband and I. he told me that I have to be aware that political bloggers are being watched. That with the new legislation, they can do everything they want and they are going to use it against their own citizens as they did with the Patriot act, not so much against terrorists who will saty on the run with full capacity to...well... terrorise us !
We live in terror and it comes from both sides.

10:04 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

As to being watched and wondering if & when some (or all), inconvenient political blogs will eventually join the ranks of the disappeared, I agree entirely.

In fact, anyone with relevant software installed will already know that some visitors/readers arrive at their blogs/sites from the most amazing (though not really surprising), places.

I won't bore you with all the details, but since certain regular offical visitors (from more than one country's establishment), seem now to have satisfied themselves (after the first 6 or 7 months of me begining my blog), that I really am just an old Brit -- and not a threat to any country's national security -- I do get a lot less of such visits.

At my time of life I'm no longer interested in trying to impress anyone with wild imaginings or false impressions. By the same token, there's hardly anything or anyone that genuinely impresses me any more either. Or worries or scares me. Nor has it for the last 10 years, since due to a major health scare I first came to understand 'fatalism'. Nowadays it's nearest thing/belief that I have that's anywhere near close to a 'religion'. And that, believe it or not, is thanks to the late King Hussein of Jordon.

I watched him being interviewed as he was obviously nearing the end of his life. In response to some idiot interviewer's crass question, the late King responded with this (paraphrased), answer: "Untill my time comes, nothing can harm me. When my time comes, nothing can save me."

2:23 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that there are signs/posters around Europe warning people NOT to travel to America b/c they will have no rights to speak up over here.

Also, there was a comment on this old brit's blog that has stayed with me. Lemee see if I can find it.....

4:41 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry for that last comment that probably makes no sense...I was posting on my friend's blog and came here to try to find a comment that stuck with me and ended up posting on the wrong comments box!! Sorry! But I did find the comment I wanted to share - it's kiwi's comment above.

Feel free to delete both of these if you want.....

5:19 am  

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