Does this mean her majesty’s government can shoot you whenever they want? The article says police can shoot arsonists if there is a risk to life; the police can just lie and say you’re an arsonist; any review of the shooting will be by some part of the government; the spineless lick-spittle press provides no real oversight. If they tried, the police could just declare them arsonists and shoot them. Therefore, England is now a tyrannical police state. Or maybe not.
This year’s National Defense Authorization Act includes provisions about detention of terrorists captured in the US. The Obama administration could declare all Muslims to be terrorists, and send out the Army to kill them all. Remember, FDR put the Japanese-Americans in concentration camps, and “Christian” missionaries killed the native peoples with bacteriological warfare, and we firebombed Dresden, and stole the Iraqis’ oil. Is the 2012 NDAA a treasonous unconstitutional power grab delivering us all into repressive tyranny, or a work-a-day bill to regulate legal details about terrorism prosecutions? I can’t really tell. It’s not like Congress and the President don’t grab power at the peoples’ expense every chance they get. But we’re long past the point where a reasonable man can read and understand a congressional bill, and that’s a problem itself.
In wartime, the military can prosecute the war, even in the US. People not in uniform, US citizens or not, who are fighting that war against the US can pretty much be shot on sight, or summarily executed when apprehended. In World War Two the Nazi saboteurs were captured by the FBI, tried before a military commission, and variously imprisoned or executed. In the Civil War, quite a few US citizens were shot by Federal troops without any kind of trial.
The problem we face now, it seems to me, is we are in a war we can’t or won’t end, like the “war on poverty” or the “war on drugs,” except it isn’t a metaphor. We need to figure out a way to win the war, then go and win it by utterly crushing the enemy, and then undo all the wartime regulation – a huge task, if it’s even possible. Most likely we’ll be at war with these Jew-hating misogynist theocrats for the rest of my life, unless they manage to kill themselves in a nuclear conflagration.
Here are links to a couple of different views on the detention bill:
- Three myths about the detention bill, by Glenn Greenwald
- NDAA FAQ: A Guide for the Perplexed, by Benjamin Wittes
The current provisions on detention are worrying, but with or without them we are at war, and the president necessarily has all his wartime powers.