Sunday, January 14, 2007

Is the United States a military dictatorship?

Is the United States a military dictatorship?  Three stories all from January 14, 2007:

    1. The Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency are using ‘noncompulsory’ ‘national security letters’ to compel disclosure of private financial information about Americans.  Congress has rejected attempts by the Pentagon and CIA to be able to use mandatory versions of the letters, but the distinction is irrelevant as who is going to deny the Pentagon or the CIA?
    2. The Army has decided that it no longer has to worry about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in obtaining a wiretap.
    3. Charles ‘Cully’ Stimson, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, called for a corporate boycott of law firms who dared to represent victims of Guantanamo.  Although later rejected by the Pentagon as official Pentagon policy, the damage is already done.  Anyone representing a Guantanamo detainee has to kiss his or her future livelihood goodbye. 

The United States has been a military dictatorship since November 22, 1963, but a lot of the niceties hiding this fact are falling away all of a sudden.  Of course, the ‘rights’ of the victims of Guantanamo will be a model for the ‘rights’ afforded all Americans once the domestic detention camps are functioning.

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