It couldn't happen here? Bullshit. It happened today. In the US House.
This morning, House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI) unilaterally and arbitrarily shut down committee hearings on the reauthorization of the Patriot Act without comment or issuing a statement. Sensenbrenner gaveled the committee hearings in the middle of witnesses testifying about human and civil rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay, racial profiling of individuals of Middle Eastern descent, prolonged detentions of Americans after September 11th and other abuses.
The suppression of free speech and testimony in the congressional committee in charge of protecting our civil liberties shows the Republican's power grab has no limits and no decency. The irony was not lost on anyone.
Democracies do not fail overnight. They slowly erode and descend by denying rights to the minority, the takeover of an independent judiciary, suppressing speech and assembly, and the rise of secrecy and repressive police powers in the executive branch.
Sensenbrenner's belligerent act to shut down dissent and gag witnesses warning about the broad police powers given to the administration should give Americans pause as the Republican Party inches closer and closer to turning American into a one-party state.
The witnesses to the Bushevik violations of our Constitution, civil liberties, and individual rights valiantly continued to speak after Sensenbrenner formally shut down the hearing (probably as a result of a phone call from the White House). But their voices were hardly heard, which was the objective of the Busheviks.
What makes the barbarians in the White House shudder most is a bright light of truth reaching the American public.
They have been unusually successful in intimidating the media into enabling their lies. Now, they are just preemptively breaking laws and the rules of Congress to suppress the truth.
If you were watching c-pan a bit ago you might have witnessed a little bit of history. The House Judiciary Committee was meeting to discuss the Patriot Act and Civil Liberties. Sensenbrenner chaired the committee. You could tell from the beginning that neither he nor the other Republicans wanted anything to do with this meeting. They didn't want to see or hear anyone on the panel who had anything to say that didn't praise everything the US has been doing. I'm so sorry I can't list all the panel members. I know there was one from Amnesty International. The others were from similar organizations. Had I known what was about to transpire, I would have taken notes on the panel members.
First of all Sensenbrenner determined he would conduct the activities right by the clock. If a panel member was in mid sentence when the time expired, that person was not allowed to finish his or her sentence. If a member of the committee used his or her five minutes asking a question and the time expired, the panel members were not allowed time to answer. I personally had never seen anything like this. When all the members had had their turn, Sensenbrenner made his own statement and gaveled the meeting closed. He left the room. Here's where the history may come in. The Democratic committee members stayed in their chairs and continued to talk to the panel and those in attendance. Basically they continued without the chairman and after the meeting had officially ended. They defied the chairman and asked if any members of the press were interested in what they had to say. The press stayed and C-span's cameras kept rolling.
Blondesense also has these links to the video. Watch as the Republican party moves us toward the fall of democracy and closer to a fascist regime.
UPDATE: The link to the video is now online at CSpan.org .We cannot stand for this. We will not stand for this.
Click on the video under Recent Programs which says: House Hearing on Patriot Act Reauthorization (06/10/2005)
It's also available at Dem Bloggers
BTW, Randi Rhodes just mentioned that this is the House committee that starts impeachment hearings.
|by Robster @ 6/10/2005 03:56:00 PM||PERMALink|