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Due Process, Pshaw!

Another good article on this sort of thing from Glenn Greenwald. This time looking at this in the context of SOPA and PIPA and how even without them the government ALREADY claims and exercises powers to shut down websites based on an accusation alone, not only after a proper advisory trial where the site gets to defend itself… see Megaupload this week. Just like the government claimed it has the powers explictly granted by the NDAA no matter if the law passed or not. Greenwald’s main point…

Whatever else is true, those issues should be decided upon a full trial in a court of law, not by government decree. Especially when it comes to Draconian government punishments — destroying businesses, shutting down websites, imprisoning people for life, assassinating them — what distinguishes a tyrannical society from a free one is whether the government is first required to prove guilt in a fair, adversarial proceeding. This is a precept Americans were once taught about why their country was superior, was reflexively understood, and was enshrined as the core political principle: “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” It’s simply not a principle that is believed in any longer, and therefore is not remotely observed.

Amen.

As usual, read the whole thing.