Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Lettre de Cachet

Quoted in full from the National Review Online:
"Crane says he was disappointed with Romney's answer to his question the other night. Crane asked if Romney believed the president should have the authority to arrest U.S. citizens with no review. Romney said he would want to hear the pros and cons from smart lawyers before he made up his mind. Crane said that he had asked Giuliani the same question a few weeks ago. The mayor said that he would want to use this authority infrequently."

It's worth noting that the title of the post was "Rommey on Enemy Combatants". So enemy combatants/ U.S. citizens... same difference. It's funny- just today I'm reading about the absolutist French Kings and the lettre de cachet, which served much the same purpose. Detaining citizens with no review at the whim of the King. Responding to the NRO post, Glenn Greenwald details all of those radical terrorist lovers, like Winston Churchill and Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers of this country who opposed this "authority" and actually felt that denying any ruler such powers was at the heart of what it means to be a democratic civilization. (On a personal note, I remember as a child in the 1980s that this was the sort of shit we hated about the Soviet Union.) And yet, this is now the Republican litmus test to be President. What conservatives should ask themselves is this: Would you support President Hillary Clinton having the authority to arrest any U.S. citizen that she wanted to with no review?

Ten Zen Monkeys asked a group of thinkers the somewhat tongue-in-cheek question: "Is it fascism yet?" It's a pretty easy question for us historians. Nope, not yet.

But is it still democracy?

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