Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Your Government at Work

Did you hear? According to a US federal appeals court, the government can violate Americans' rights with impunity as long as the government keeps those violations secret. Because, you see, in order to have what is called "standing" to sue the government over an illegal program that violates the citizens' civil rights, a citizen must be able to prove that he or she personally had his or her rights violated. Knowing that the government program, in general, is unconstitutional and violates our rights isn't enough. To sue, we must know whose rights, specifically, have been violated.

So, all the government has to do, according to this ruling, is simply keep secret any information about who was targeted by a program, say, for instance, who was illegally spied on by the Bush regime's warrantless wiretapping program, and the program can never be challenged in court.

In other words, the court ruled that the Judicial Branch has no role in keeping the Executive Branch in check if the Executive Branch keeps its excesses, or at least whose rights it violated during those excesses, secret.

Well, that's fantastic. Any right the government can violate with impunity is no right at all, and, as long as the government makes sure the citizens don't know whose rights the government is violating, the government can apparently violate any right they want.

I guess we never really needed those pesky "checks and balances" anyway, right? They're like the appendix, an extra organ that doesn't really do much and really isn't needed anymore.

Or so I gather.


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