Benjamin, Aaronson, Edinger & Patanzo, P.A.

Either way Americans lose, Al Qaeda wins.

If you are one the thirty-two percent of the American people that still believe in and trust George W. Bush, then we hate to inform you that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda have won.  Should you not be one of the tunnel visioned thirty-two percent then we hate to inform you that the American people have lost.

What are we talking about?  Well, George W. Bush has stated over the last several years, too many times to count, that Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and the terrorists hate us because of our freedom.  He has somehow made our freedom as the basis of why we were attacked by Al Qaeda and despised by Muslim radicals.  In stead of going out of his way to ensure our freedom, to rub our freedoms in the faces of those who allegedly hate us because of our freedoms, George W. Bush and our government did the opposite and on October 17, 2006 capitulated to these terrorists.

Our government didn’t throw in the white towel, did not put out the white flag, did not issue any press release that we surrender, did not send any envoy to Al Qaeda saying we give up, but rather, capitulated to their hatred of our freedoms, by taking away our most fundamental freedom.  This freedom, this right, this lynch pin of our society and justice system, the right to habeas corpus.

What is habeas corpus?  The Latin interpretation in essence is “produce the body”.  What it means however in our system of justice and government, is that nobody can be held for periods of time without having the right to court redress for that detention and without the courts having the power to stop that detention.  Now, with a signature from your President, that right no longer exists to anyone who the President decides to designate as an enemy combatant.  Most of you, even if you knew that this occurred, believed that this only applied to known terrorists that were not American citizens.  Wrong!  This new law applies to anyone that the President designates as an enemy combatant and by that simple designation, all rights to justice in this country no longer exists.

What is really scary about all this, again is that it is the President’s determination solely that makes somebody an enemy combatant.  It is not too far fetched to believe that this definition will be stretched and molded to fit any and all that the government wishes to detain without redress.  It may be farfetched, but it certainly is within the realm of possibilities, that enemy combatants in the future could be members of the opposing political party, journalists that write articles opposing the government’s point of view, and yes even the ordinary American citizen who dares to protest this new law or any decisions of the government.

Therefore, for those of you who followed George W. Bush blindly and believed that Al Qaeda and the Muslim terrorists hated us because of our freedom, can now feel assured that they must not hate us any longer because our basic freedoms are being taken away.  But, those of you who follow that party line, must now acknowledge to yourselves, that if they hated us because of our freedoms, they have won because we are no longer as free as we were the day before 9/11.

For those of you who are not part of that 32%, you must all acknowledge now that our country has lost.  A country that stood for rights and freedoms is only as strong as the protection of those rights and freedoms.  With the taking away of the right to habeas corpus, no one in this country is as free, as safe, and as protected from evil doers within our own government as we were before 9/11 and now actually before we were on 10/17/06.  For those of us who believe in our freedoms, 10/17/06 may just go down in history as the day that our country turned the corner for the worse and that shining light of freedom and that beacon of justice shines less brightly.

Some of you may ask how did legislation such as this get passed.  The easy answer is politics.  Most of the Republicans in Congress voted for this bill.  Why?  Not because they truly believed in it, but because it made a great sound bite to argue that the Democrats were weak on terror if they voted against the bill.  The Republican Party reeling from scandal after scandal threw this bill down as a line in the sand.  If you didn’t vote for it, you were unpatriotic and therefore in the 2006 elections they would have something to attack you on.

The Democrats tasting the possibility of victory in November, 2006, most of them, idly sat by and voted for this Bill even though they did not believe in it.  The ones that did not vote for the Bill, hardly made a whimper as to its egregiousness.  After all, they were scared to be branded with the title “weak on terror”.

Lastly, the journalist, both in the print and the electronic media sat by idly.  Sure, some lashed out at the egregiousness of the Bill and how horrified they were.  But they were a small minority and branded as the radical liberal left.  Most of the media, treated this Bill and its passage and eventual signature as another political story refusing to believe that this was not politics as usual, but rather an affront to the dignity of this nation.  Of course, FOX news and the like, which acts as little more than a wing of the Republican party, championed the Bill.  Of course, after the Dan Rather fiasco of 2004, the rest of the media has been cowed into submission.  The media, instead of creating fear in the hearts of politicians that truth would be told, sat in fear that they would be branded part of the reason why we are in the middle of a war on terror and scared to death that they would lose access to the President and the others in power.

So while the opposition Democratic Party sat there muzzled, and while the media  fell asleep at the switch, a law that truly transformed our system of justice was passed giving power to detain human beings indefinitely without any redress, to that former cheerleader from Yale.  That same person, who lied to you about weapons of mass destruction, that same President and administration, that outed a CIA operative, Valerie Plamu; that same President and administration that told you that we would be greeted with open arms in Iraq and with flowers thrown at our troops; that same President who has told you every six months that the insurgency was about to die down and that democracy was just around the corner in Iraq; that same President who told you that he would not sleep until Osama bin Laden was found; that same President who told you that he really doesn’t think about Osama bin Laden; that same President who quite honestly is intelligently inferior to the necessities of his job.

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