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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

[+/-]
 The Enabling Act of 2006

We are so fucked:
[M]ake no mistake: Just as the 1933 Enabling Act created the context for dictatorship, so does this one. The German legislature told the executive that it had the power to make law and ignore the constitution. If Congress passes this bill, the American legislature will second the motion.

It is just one bill, you may object; it only applies to terrorists, you may say; we are not Nazi Germany, you may insist. And yet. The forthcoming FISA bill extends Enabling Act thinking to additional unreviewable executive powers. The slippery slope has been well-oiled. The Niemöller poem stands waiting.

It is probably unrealistic to expect bright lines to be obvious at the moment they are crossed. But they don’t get much brighter than this: Congressional leaders have agreed to suspend habeus corpus, grant the President of the United States the power to torture, and allow the executive branch to operate beyond judicial review.

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