This column is archived at http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/c2006/cbarchive_20061205.html
In an interview with nationally syndicated radio talk show host Alex Jones, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas recently discussed President Bush's support for the Military Commissions Act. During the interview, Paul said that "the law officially allows for citizen concentration camp facilities."
Paul also warned that "the Military Commissions Act and the Defense Authorization Act . . . essentially wipes out Habeas Corpus."
Paul continued by noting, "Right now we don't have concentration camps, but . . . the authority has been given so that concentration camps can come without Habeas Corpus." He then said, "If they can lock you up, what good is freedom of speech or what good is a gun?"
Couple the implementation of the Military Commissions Act with the already-passed USA Patriot Act and all the legalities necessary to completely eviscerate America's constitutionally-protected liberties are in place. Think of it. Without firing a shot or dropping a bomb, President George W. Bush has done more to strip the American people of their liberties than all the world's despots and dictators combined!
Consider further the recent statements of former house speaker Newt Gingrich. According to the (Manchester, NH) Union Leader, "Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich yesterday [Monday, Nov. 27] in Manchester said the country will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism.
"Gingrich, speaking at a Manchester awards banquet, said a 'different set of rules' may be needed to reduce terrorists' ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message."
Of course, Mr. Gingrich did not say how he plans to reduce people's free speech rights. Neither did he say a word about the fact that our greatest potential for terrorism is coming in the form of an invasion of illegal aliens across our southern border, and that it has been the words and policies of one George W. Bush that have mostly contributed to this threat.
Will someone please tell me how expunging the free speech of the American people is going to make the United States safer? And, pray tell, why are our brave troops fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, ostensibly to "promote democracy," if the same political leaders who sent them to the Middle East are working to shrink democracy here at home?
Ladies and gentlemen, please wake up! Under the leadership of President George W. Bush, rights and freedoms that have been lost to you include your right to an attorney, your right to know the charges being levied against you, the right to a speedy trial, the right to trial by a jury of your peers, the right to not be subjected to torture, the right to not have your home and personal items searched and seized without warrant, the right to not have your personal conversations (including letters and email) intercepted without court order, and the right to not incriminate yourself, just to name a few. And now we learn that our government has authorized and is planning to build "concentration camp facilities."
Furthermore, just because you or I have not yet been personally subjected to this tyranny, does not mean that we won't be! The seeds are already planted; the die is already cast. The time to act is not when you are being carted off to an "undisclosed location." By then, it is too late.
Thank God for Congressman Ron Paul. If it weren't for him, there would be practically no one on Capitol Hill willing to sound the alarm for the American people. I wish someone could convince him to run for President of the United States on the Constitution Party ticket. The GOP would never support his candidacy for president, but the CP would welcome him with open arms. And, given the American people's frustration with both major parties, a serious third party challenge is very possible in 2008.
In the meantime, the power establishment in Washington, D.C., continues to undermine our Constitution and fritter away our freedoms.