Tyranny’s Signature–Preventive detention

It has taken the Obama presidency four months to hit moral rock bottom of totalitarian tyranny. It did so over the past week. The occasion was an official White House announcement in which a spokes-lady stood forward to inform Americans and the world that Mr Obama is: “The first President of the United States to introduce a preventive-detention law.” “Preventive detention” allows for indefinite imprisonment not based on any proven crimes or past violation of law. In effect, it can be a life sentence.  Even in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia, similar laws were partially disguised by using such terms as “Protective Arrest” or “Protective Detention”. These were euphemisms meaning that a person had been grabbed by the authorities to protect the public before they committed a crime or that a person had been taken into custody for the same purpose with no crime having been committed. The US mainstream press took note of the White House announcement and went on to other matters. On the internet, the American political “left” was silent – Obama is their man – while the American political right wing sites applauded.

“Preventive Detention”:
In the US case of “Preventive Detention”, there is no access to the US courts. The Constitution has been bypassed as if it no longer exists. The worst part of it is that the Obama White House is looking at this as merely a matter of a change of procedure and therefore in itself of no great importance.
The First Rule Of Law:
The first rule of law is that when a person has been grabbed by the authorities, that person must be brought before a court at the earliest opportunity. Once there, the authorities have to give the judge very good reasons as to why they took that person into custody because the deprivation of liberty is the most serious thing that can be done to a person short of killing the individual. This is what Habeas Corpus – “present the body” – is for. The writ compels the authorities to present the arrested person in an open court which ensures that an arrested person does not disappear inside a jail somewhere. If a judge then agrees with the authorities, the person stays in jail, but now in the custody of the court, until a speedy trial can take place. If the judge does not agree with the authorities, the arrested person is promptly released.

The Power Of Precedent:
The Obama law of “Preventive Detention” will likely initially be applied inside the War on Terror claim but the law of precedent ensures that as time goes by, it will also be applied by authorities on all levels in more and more instances. The next problem arises when people picked up under this heading have to be on the record of the arresting authorities – somewhere. What if this is not made public? If it is not, then we are in the political area of the “disappeared” – as historically practised all over Latin America where people disappeared and were not heard from again until all the military regime fell into a heap.

From Here On – The Political Risks Climb:
Political risk is normally a term used in economics when foreign investors in another country face a climbing danger of having their investments expropriated. In the strict political context, it is where people face a climbing danger of having their individual freedoms and liberties expropriated. This is the case in the United States today. Bad laws are one thing. They can be changed over time. But when the political power reaches for the direct detention of people and the power to hold them without trial, then the political power in the land is literally making war upon the liberties of the people in their own nation.  Millions of Americans in the time to come may well say: “‘We couldn’t believe it could happen here.”