Wednesday, November 15, 2006

that was a close one 

What with the big Dem tsunami washing over the land and purifying everything, one might suspect the the police state would be somewhat endangered. Never fear, freedom is on the march:

Animal rights advocates who threaten scientists conducting animal research or companies funding or affiliated with it could be fined and imprisoned under a bill the House passed Monday and sent to President Bush.

The legislation extends those prohibitions to interfering with third-party organizations such as insurance companies, law firms and investment houses that do business with so-called animal enterprises. Supporters said the bill is aimed at protecting people and companies from animal rights terrorists.

Violators could be sentenced up to a year in jail for economic damages of less than $10,000, and up to five years in prison if a threat produced a "reasonable fear" of bodily harm. Prison sentences of up to 10 years could result if someone is actually injured.

Of course Pravda on the Potomac leaves out the de rigueur Creepy Orwellian Title of the legislation: The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.

So what were merely illegal activities can now be classified as 'terrorism', and previously legal activities have been criminalized and 'terrorist-ized'. There's a good analysis of the ins and outs here, but the upshot of it is that we are about to officially have "thought-crime" in this country.

An indirectly related cherry that could possibly top this shit sundae comes from the "Justice" Department:

American civil rights lawyers expressed outrage yesterday at a justice department court motion arguing that immigrants living in the US could be held indefinitely on suspicion of terrorism and had no right to challenge their imprisonment in court.


The six-page justice department motion argued that under an anti-terrorist law passed last month, he was an "unlawful enemy combatant" who had no right to challenge his imprisonment in civilian courts.


Monday's motion made it clear that the US government intended the term "enemy combatant" could apply to immigrants living legally in the US as much as to gunmen captured on distant battlefields.

The justice department also noted that the new law applies to all enemy combatants "regardless of the location of the detention". It makes no distinction between prisons in the US and Guantánamo Bay.


"They have now, for the first time in the history of the United States, said that non-citizens in this country have no habeas [corpus] rights," said Jonathan Hafetz, a lawyer for Mr Marri from the Brennan Centre for Justice at New York University. "It means millions of non-citizens could be whisked off in the dead of the night and held indefinitely in a military brig."

Now all we have to do is figure out how to combine the thought-crime with the suspension of habeas and we're home free.


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