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Now You Have Secret Laws

In Part 2 of "The American Taliban", I wrote about how the Bush-Cheney-Ashcroft regime has begun to trample on what Harvey Silverglate and Carl Takei have called “threshold rights” – “fair elections, open and publicly accountable government, judicial review of executive action, the right of the accused to a public jury trial, separation of powers among the three branches of government.”  In a further development, Secrecy News reports that

"Americans can now be obligated to comply with legally-binding regulations that are unknown to them, and that indeed they are forbidden to know."

The secret regulations came to light when Helen Chenoweth-Hage, "an ultra-conservative former Congresswoman (R-ID)", was selected for secondary screening, a pat down, at the airport in Boise.  Without objecting to the procedure itself, Chenoweth-Hage asked to see a copy of the regulation that allows such pat downs.  Her request was refused.  When asked why he wouldn't show her the regulation, local TSA security director Julian Gonzales is quoted as saying it was "[b]ecause we don't have to."

" A new report from the Congressional Research Service describes with welcome clarity how, by altering a few words in the Homeland Security Act, Congress 'significantly broadened' the government's authority to generate 'sensitive security information,' including an entire system of 'security directives' that are beyond public scrutiny, like the one former Rep. Chenoweth-Hage sought to examine."

Looks to me like another threshold has just been broken.

November 17, 2004 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Government Intrusion, US Justice System | Permalink


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