This had been diaried before. I guess Bush fatigue has finally set in. Perhaps we've become too cynical, too used to our civil liberties being thrown away.
Because the previous diary got four comments and three recommends. Like any other non-story.
The Bushies explain that they're not allowing the two men entry, because their cousin was convicted of supporting terrorism. That's right, in America today, a guilty relative is enough to have your citizenship rights taken away. without a trial, just at the stroke of a bureaucrat's pen.
The government claims it just wants to interview the men:
Federal authorities said Friday that the men, both Lodi residents, would not be allowed back into the country unless they agreed to FBI interrogations in Pakistan. An attorney representing the family said agents have asked whether the younger Ismail trained in terrorist camps in Pakistan.
But wait -- the men were interviewed!
"They've been given the opportunity to meet with the FBI over there and answer a few questions, and they've declined to do that," Scott said.
Mass said Jaber Ismail had answered questions during an FBI interrogation at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad soon after he was forced back to Pakistan. She said the teenager had run afoul of the FBI when he declined to be interviewed again without a lawyer and refused to take a lie-detector test.
What the men declined was a second interview, without a lawyer present.
Now if the FBI suspects these men of a crime, by all means arrest them. and give them "a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury " as the sixth amendment.
If the FBI doesn't have enough evidence to arrest them, then by all means tail them. Get a FISA warrant and listen to their phone calls if a judge agrees.
But how can the FBI decide two America an citizens can never come home again, unless they give up their constitutional rights under the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments?
And where's the public outcry over this? what happened to all the "black helicopter" crowd so jealous of their rights during the Clinton administration? Where are the Libertarians when a with the stroke of a pen and no process a citizen can be bared from his country?
(Update: Thanks to Fabian for a link to Glenn Greenwald's commentary on this. Greenwald's analysis of this unprecedented exile-in-fact-if-not-name merits a close reading, but put subtlety aside, we need to be shouting about this from the rooftops!)
Why isn't this the talk of daily Kos? Have we all become so inured by the study erosion of our rights? The Constitution is our levy, and Liberty in America is going the way of New Orleans.
And as The Hindsight Times reminds us below
It always starts with one "brown" guy.
One Bolshevik, one kulak, one "Enemy of the People", one Jew, one Japanese-American, one Communist, one educated person, one literate person, one Arab.
(Roughly in chronological order; I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to connect each "Enemy" to the society that demonized them. Feel free to add other examples.)
That one guy, or two in this case, is supposed to be our warning that it's time once again to fertilize the tree of liberty.
Because if we don't, suddenly it's not "just one" anymore; it's a thousand, a hundred thousand, six million, 20 million. And then everybody exclaims in surprise, "how could this happen in a civilized nation?!"
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