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"It Was Not Clear They Had Any Such Rights"

A blog entry from Rafe Colburn, reproduced here in its entirety (because it's important):

John Ashcroft overruled a panel of immigration judges yesterday and ruled that illegal immigrants can be detained indefinitely without any legal recourse for "national security" reasons. You can shelve him with Donald Rumsfeld as a government official probably better suited for service in a totalitarian regime, but we already knew that. The real kicker in this case is that the ruling was issued in reference to Haitian immigrants. Ashcroft says that they threaten national security by consuming homeland security resources. By detaining them for as long as we want, we will deter other potential Haitian refugees from coming to America, Ashcroft theorizes. So now you no longer have to threaten this country yourself, you just have to soak up resources that might potentially be used against people who are actual threats to earn imprisonment without trial for as long as these sleazebags want to hold onto you. I have to admit that this story made my jaw drop, some days I don't even feel like I know what country I live in any more.
From the Washington Post article Rafe references (emphasis mine):
[Ashcroft's] order means that groups of asylum seekers and other aliens -- in this instance Haitians -- can be locked up without hearings and without recourse to release on bond. Ashcroft rejected claims that denying them bail on broad national security grounds would violate their due process rights. He said it was not clear they had any such rights.
Is the average person generally aware of the frontal assault on our basic liberties that the Bush administration has conducted in response to 9/11?

For the record, I would like to declare that if I am ever killed in a terrorist attack, under no circumstances would I agree with the use of my death as justification for the suspension of liberties promised in the US Constitution.


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