In loving, living memory, John Melançon 1928 – 2007
People who peacefully broke into a high-security military compound to object to the insane nuclear arsenal there (for submarine-launchable Trident missiles) are being sent to prison for this non-violent civil disobedience, possibly for the rest of their lives, as we are talking about months in prison for a couple people in their 80s.
It was an a very stupid and evil decision by the government to prosecute and ask for lengthy prison terms. For shame.
Under a system of law based on actual harm done, they could only be fined the cost of repairing some chain-link fences they cut through.
And then they should be awarded a healthy monetary reward for exposing shoddy security practices on the base, to say nothing of the value of their original point of the inanity of having enough nuclear weapons to destroy the state lying around.
Meanwhile, Obama taking the US to war in Libya without any vote in Congress whatsoever:
This is not, as some would have it, "merely an issue of process." Is the right to challenge the government's ability to arrest and detain you "merely an issue of process?" Of course, it is not. The right to challenge the government's ability to arrest and detain you helps keep innocent people out of jail. The right of Congress to debate and authorize a military intervention before it takes place if the country or its armed forces have not been attacked helps keep us out of unjust wars. Habeas corpus doesn't keep all innocent people out of jail, and the need for Congressional debate and authorization doesn't stop all unjust wars, but if keeping innocent people out of jail is something that you care about, the weakening of habeas corpus is not something that you should take lightly; and if stopping unjust wars is something that you care about, the weakening of Congressional war powers is not something that you should take lightly.