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Building of the Secret Police Force

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A quick stroll down the path that lead to the formation of the Gestapo in Hitler's Germany will be enough to remind us how little effort it took to create this massive secret police force. If I were asked to summarize in one word the purpose for having the Gestapo, it would be control. Hitler knew that the only way he could accomplish his goals was through total control of the German population, and the only way to effectively control the German population was through fear. Hitler surrounded himself with individuals who understood these basic principles. Needless to say, history proves they did their jobs well.
"[T]he people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
~In an interview with Hermann Goering in his jail cell during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (18 April 1946)
So, what makes me write about events from sixty-plus years ago? Well, dear reader, we're being lead down the garden path again. You may or may not be aware that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that enemy combatants cannot be held in absentia at U.S. prison camps anymore. They must be afforded the basic rights under the Geneva Conventions. The United States Department of Justice, in an attempt to comply with the Supreme Court ruling is trying to come up with a set of rules that will govern their forthcoming trials. So far, so good.
But here is where we go off course. The Justice Department, in drafting its new rules, is pushing for a broad expansion of authority. To better explain this, lets look at this article from the Washington Post:
A draft Bush administration plan for special military courts seeks to expand the reach and authority of such "commissions" to include trials, for the first time, of people who are not members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban and are not directly involved in acts of international terrorism, according to officials familiar with the proposal.
The plan, which would replace a military trial system ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in June, would also allow the secretary of defense to add crimes at will to those under the military court's jurisdiction. The two provisions would be likely to put more individuals than previously expected before military juries, officials and independent experts said.
The draft proposed legislation, set to be discussed at two Senate hearings today, is controversial inside and outside the administration because defendants would be denied many protections guaranteed by the civilian and traditional military criminal justice systems.
Under the proposed procedures, defendants would lack rights to confront accusers, exclude hearsay accusations, or bar evidence obtained through rough or coercive interrogations. They would not be guaranteed a public or speedy trial and would lack the right to choose their military counsel, who in turn would not be guaranteed equal access to evidence held by prosecutors.
Detainees would also not be guaranteed the right to be present at their own trials, if their absence is deemed necessary to protect national security or individuals.
Read this excerpt again so that you fully comprehend the implications and ramifications of just how much power the Bush administration is trying to usurp. 
What they're building is a black hole from which anyone who gets sucked into it's inner-workings will most likely never see the light of day-let alone their freedoms-again. You must understand that if the Executive is allowed the powers sought by this proposed legislation, there will hardly be an act committed by an American that cannot in some way, shape, or form be defined as terrorism under our existing ambiguous definition for domestic terrorism (See USA PATRIOT Act, Section 802 for more information).
If given this power, how long do you think it will take before we hear of Americans who seem to just "disappear"? How long will it take for us to accept this practice as commonplace?


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