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10/18/2006 Archived Entry: "Habeas Corpus, RIP"

HABEAS CORPUS 1176 - 2006.

Yesterday a grubby little liar signed away 830 years of progress in restraining tyranny. He was assisted by a Congress infested with poltroons, pederasts, and traitors. The nation yawned and changed the channel.

Silver here. You have to go back to medieval times to find the origins of the doctrine that prisoners have the right to face their accusers in open court, before a (supposedly) impartial judge. The Assize of Northampton codified the king's right to have certain cases brought before his court, or so Wikipedia says. The king was the highest court in those days, and presumably would compel the transfer of prisoners and their cases instead of having them tried by barons or other nobility with a direct interest in the outcome.

Trying to read the text of The Assize of Northhampton doesn't shed a whole lot of light on Habeas Corpus, but it does bring up some interesting parallels with yesterday's outrage.

In 1176 trial was by "the ordeal of water," in 2006 we all learned about waterboarding.

In 1176 "whoever refuses to swear fealty is to be seized as an enemy," in 2006 we have illegal combatants by executive fiat, no oath required.

In 1176 the "justices shall make inquiry concerning custody of castles... and give the information to the lord king." In 2006, the NSA does the wiretapping of all voice and all internet traffic, and gives it to the king. They do this despite a law expressly forbidding it.

In 1176 one who "confesses (a felony) before lawful men, he may not afterwards deny it before the justices." In 2006, torture is used by "lawful men" to elicit confessions, and the tortured are not given access to the justices. In 2006, if one so much as misleads a federal lawman, even when not under oath, that IS a felony.

This will not end well. This path has been followed before, and the results are always the same. What is remarkable about this time is the apathy of the 300 million people who are about to be marched away to the Gulag.

Where were you when tyranny became the law of the land?

Posted by Silver @ 03:21 PM CST

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