Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Habeas Corpus

This post was written by Jody Dodd, WILPF's Leadership and Outreach Coordinator.
Yesterday, our elected officials voted to throw out Habeas Corpus….. a fundamental right. A right that is often cited as the difference between tyranny and democracy. The very simple right to demand that when one is being held by a government, that you have the right to go before a court and demand to know why? What charges are being made against you? And what evidence there is to hold you? This right is not only enshrouded in our Constitution, but in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

By voting to deny detainees the right to habeas, our elected officials committed an act of treason. I say this because when they were sworn in as our representatives, they swore to UPHOLD and protect the Constitution. These scoundrels moved to suspend habeas for the most cynical of reasons. First, to protect a President who a court had ruled had violated the law and second, because they think it will enhance their efforts to be re-elected. They want to argue that they are "protecting us from terrorism."

Most of us were taught in our schooling, from elementary school throughout our entire education that we are a nation of laws, not men. We were taught that the Constitution was a brilliant roadmap to democracy and protection of rights. We liked to cite this document as proof of our superior way of governing over communism or dictatorships. In fact, during the cold war, one of the examples of the difference between Us and the Soviets was the fact that under Communism, the government jailed people indefinitely, with no charges, while we professed our faith in our Constitution and due process, the rule of law.

Our elected officials, by their action, have exhibited that they do not believe in the strength of the rule of law. They do not believe that our system of justice can hold up in today’s current climate. They do not believe in the Constitution.

Now, we, the American People, have an obligation. In order to protect and defend the Constitution, we must throw these scoundrels from office. They have violated their oath of office and therefore no longer deserve our support.

Below is a link to the roll call vote on this act of treason. I encourage you to find your representatives’ name. I urge you to call him or her today and let them know that this act of treason will not stand. I urge you to write letters to newspapers and speak out. And then I urge you to join me in voting in November to throw these traitors out!

House Vote

Senate Vote

-- Written by Jody Dodd, WILPF US Leadership & Outreach Coordinator