"This is total power over human life."

The term 'terrorism' is a magic word, unlocking government powers we normally associate with wartime. The current and previous Administration have, at various times, asserted the right of the government to conduct invasive and open-ended surveillance on people it suspects of terrorism, detain suspects in terrorism cases indefinitely without trial, 'render' them to countries for interrogation and torture, kill people it considers terrorists, including American citizens, with giant flying robots, or keep such people alive against their own will.
This is total power over human life.

Persuading David Simon on the Pinboard Blog

U.S. Declare Martial Law

No, they didn't. The did pass the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA), however, which allows the indefinite detention of suspects by the military without trial (previously covered on this blog). That's as close as you can get without declaring martial law, only now it's a permanent, regular law.

They passed the bill despite good reasons against it (do you need any?). For a funny overview, watch the first few minutes of Jon Stewart's The Daily Show (hat tip to Eiko). 

I still can't believe this is happening.

The End of Justice

[Senator Lindsey] Graham added that it was right that Americans should be subject to the detention law as well as foreigners. "It is not unfair to make an American citizen account for the fact that they decided to help Al Qaeda to kill us all and hold them as long as it takes to find intelligence about what may be coming next," he said. "And when they say, 'I want my lawyer,' you tell them, 'Shut up. You don't get a lawyer.'"

The Guardian reporting on a new security bill about to be passed into law in the United States. The law would allow the US military to detain civilians indefinitely without trial.

A Proactive Sovereign

Some are of the opinion that the Arabic countries have never gone through a phase of Enlightenment, where secularism and liberalism joined hands to create a strong body of citizens, setting movements in motion that led to democracy.

I don't know if that's the case. I have been critical, however, of efforts to instill countries with democracy from the outside. I think Afghanistan and Iraq are better examples of "How not to…" than anything else.

Now it seems that many Arabic populations are taking matters into their own hands. Tunisia has rid themselves of a dictator, and now there are riots in Algeria and Yemen. To establish a system in which the people are the sovereign of a nation, I think it's a good thing when it's the people who work towards that goal.