From the October 2006 Idaho Observer:

We’ve been down this road before

The constitutional ink was still wet when the first of several special acts, passed by Congress and signed by the president, were used to silence voices of opposition. In each case, the federal government claims to be acting to protect the public from potential enemies; in each case the public is encouraged to believe an official story that does not accurately reflect the reasons why it should regard target populations fearfully. The passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 is the latest in a long line of persecutory acts signed by presidents. In hindsight, we can see that the federal government invents stories to justify persecuting specific groups of people as covers for its own crimes and/or diplomatic blunders.

Per the Jay Treaty (1794), the U.S. betrayed the French to ally with the British. The decision prompted a wave of dissent and criticism of President John Adams who signed the Alien and Sedition acts in 1798. People and publishers who opposed the president were jailed for sedition; primarily French and Irish aliens were rounded up and deported. The acts were repealed by President Thomas Jefferson in 1802.

The sinking of the Lusitania was orchestrated to justify U.S. involvement in WWI. Woodrow Wilson then signed the Espionage Act to justify the persecution of German Americans as potential enemies of the U.S.

Though FDR ignored repeated attempts by the Japanese to avoid war with the U.S. and ignored warnings that an attack on Pearl Harbor was coming, after the attack, he signed an act authorizing Japanese Americans to be rounded up and placed into detainment camps as potential enemies of the U.S.


The administration of GW Bush and the Congresses serving during his watch have committed so many crimes and diplomatic blunders that "any person" anywhere in the world could potentially be an "enemy" so they passed a "law" authorizing themselves to detain/torture "any person."

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