Terrorism Essay: American Gestapo

Terrorism Essay: American Gestapo
A land that calls itself the ?Beacon of Freedom and Democracy? has strange ways of demonstrating the accuracy of this claim. Tuesday its leader signed an executive order to the defense department that allows suspected terrorists to be tried by US military courts in US or abroad (provided the suspects are not US citizens). The orders are said to include people who have ?aided or abetted? terrorists or those aiming to ?to cause injury to the United States, its citizens, national security, foreign policy or economy.? ?It is not practicable?? it says, to apply ??the principles of law and the rules of evidence generally recognized?? The military tribunals will be allowed secret, closed hearings and can sentence suspects by a majority of two thirds of the judges (US officers of the armed forces). Same majority is needed to give the verdict of execution. No appeal is possible.First we have the interesting fact that even though the ?Declaration of Independence?, so hallowed by US of A, says that ?all men are created equal? it seems very clear that to the present regime US citizens are ?more? equal than non-citizens. Secondly, the notion that US arrogantly claims the right to set up military tribunals on foreign soil, secretly or not, to try foreign nationals, is an outrage to all democratically minded people around throughout world with more than the faintest notion of legality and justice. Thirdly the sweeping powers of the tribunals will be on a scale inviting the police fascist state to emerge without much to stop it.

The Gestapo in Nazi Germany had those kinds of powers. There was no appeal to verdicts and decisions were made in secret by people there to ?defend? the state against ?terrorists? and other enemies. In combination with all the other anti-terrorist laws (and secret orders), that have been signed by the US president, its defense Secretary and Secretary of Justice, that discard like wasted stationery many amendments in the Bill of Rights (wiretapping, spying, searches, detention etc), this order adds to the undermining of the foundation of legality in a way that can be used by unscrupulous men to limit the freedoms of citizens in pursuing their own agenda. Gestapo didn?t discriminate between nationals and non-nationals, btw.

It is not unknown that certain states have decided, usually after meetings with some high-ranking military or politicians, to execute people considered to be a danger to the nation, the system or the regime. Many countries have sent death squads or assassins to other countries to perform such executions. Iraq has done this. Likewise Turkey, Soviet Union, Germany, France, Chile, usa, Bulgaria, East Germany, UK and a host of other states. The new and really menacing aspect of the latest order is that the president of the strongest nation on the globe actually puts in writing clear orders that, in effect, say: WE DO what WE want everywhere. WE are above international law.

As someone clearly opposing US foreign policy and advocating a change, can I rest calmly in the nights when I know that it is now officially blessed and sanctioned to drag anyone in the world in front of secret military tribunals everywhere who ?aides or abets? "to cause injury to the United States, its citizens, national security, foreign policy or economy.? Where is the limit? How wide powers of discretion do these tribunals have? So far I don?t feel I?m at a great risk as I have no intentions of using any kind of force to impose my views or hurt anybody in any way to seek the changes I feel necessary. Had my skin been darker and my bookshelf contained the Koran I wouldn?t be completely at ease though. The prospects are ominous even if not immediately alarming. And I keep wondering; If a nation can accept, without a public outcry, such measures taken by its leaders, will a public outcry be allowed when the day comes that even more draconic measures are proposed?

I seem to hear faint sounds emanating from somewhere beyond the flag-wavers and blurred images passing behind patriotic cliché-peddlers. Is it the echoes of marching boots and the shadows of brown and black shirts?

This time we cannot say we didn?t know!

?First they came for the Jews, but I didn?t protest for I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the communists, but I didn?t protest for I was not a communist.

Then they came for the socialists, but I didn?t protest for I was not a socialist.

After that they come for the people in the trade unions, but I didn?t protest for I was not a member of a trade union.

Then they came for me, and by then there was nobody left to protest."

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