In the October 14, 2007, edition of the Morrison County Record, Kelly Larson of Bowlus, MN, asked a very good question in her letter to the editor complaining about the smoking ban. She said, “This is just one right they have taken from us – come on people how many more are you going to let them have?”

Larson also invoked the “soldiers fighting and dying for our freedom every day” in her argument.

I have news and it isn’t good. The soldiers in Iraq are not fighting for our freedoms or rights, although they’ve been told this and we’ve been told this and many of us, soldiers and civilians alike, now know better. They are fighting for an imperialist White House administration that is deciding which rights and freedoms we will have.

Let’s take just one example of a major right we have lost due to the current administration – that of habeas corpus. Habeas corpus was our right to ask why we were being held if arrested and jailed. We had a right to challenge those who jailed us. Think about this. Now, if you’ve been labeled a terrorist or enemy combatant or any other anti-American term the administration dreams up, you can be detained without any chance of defending yourself. Detained indefinitely. And you merely have to do something this administration doesn’t like. (Like writing this blog post, maybe?)

We lost habeas corpus with the Military Commission’s Act of 2006. We almost got it back just recently, but the Senate was four votes short of reinstating it. Four votes. Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman can be thanked for that. He voted against restoring habeas corpus. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar voted for restoring habeas corpus.

Want to know more about habeas corpus? Just google the term. You can also check out this link to Keith Olbermann’s special commentary on the loss of this fundamental right.

How many more rights and freedoms are we going to let them have, indeed?

Fighting for air,

Phineas F. A. Pickerel

This just in. – – A nice visual of rights lost in the U.S. and around the world since September 11, 2001.