They respect nothing.
Ever since I read this op-ed piece this morning, I've been trying to come up with some way to describe the sickness I'm feeling in the pit of my stomach, the dread that makes me wonder if we're already too far gone and the only option is to abandon the country that I've never left. This isn't hyperbole. This isn't a case of making a mountain out of a molehill. This is, to my mind, proof positive that this administration and the people they have placed in charge of the criminal justice system have no respect for the very tenets that this country was founded on. This is despicable, in the truest sense of the word.
ATTORNEYS FOR the Justice Department appeared before a federal judge in Washington this month and asked him to dismiss a lawsuit over the detention of a U.S. citizen, basing their request not merely on secret evidence but also on secret legal arguments. The government contends that the legal theory by which it would defend its behavior should be immune from debate in court. This position is alien to the history and premise of Anglo-American jurisprudence, which assumes that opposing lawyers will challenge one another's arguments.
Think about what this means, about what they're trying to get a judge to go along with. It's note enought that they want to be able to imprison citizens based on evidence that those citizens are not able to examine, much less challenge the validity of--they want to rig the system so greatly in their favor that those citizens can't even mount a defense.
...it [the Justice Department] urged that the case be dismissed on the basis, yet again, of secret evidence -- this time supplemented with what a Justice Department lawyer termed "legal argument [that] itself cannot be made public without disclosing the classified information that underlies it."
So answer me this--if you don't know what the evidence against you is, or even what the legal argument that you committed a crime is, how in God's name are you supposed to be able to defend yourself in court? If this is allowed to stand, how is the US any different from the totalitarian states we have the hubris to criticize?
Short answer--we aren't. In fact, I'll go a step farther--regardless of whether or not our courts disallow this treatment of one of our own citizens, our administration has crossed the line. We are Saudi Arabia. We are Saddam Hussein's Iraq. We are Communist China, North Korea, Iran, Sudan, Uzbekistan, and a dozen other freedom-raping regimes rolled into one big fat fucking capitalist-empire ball.
Thanks a whole fucking lot, red America. Thanks for deciding that your shitty little tax cut and your fear of gay marriage was worth the destruction of a nation founded on ideals instead of on a shared culture. I was getting to the point where my middle finger didn't automatically flash up when I saw a Bush/Cheney bumpersticker, but this has got it going again. Thanks a lot.