January 10, 2003
The 3rd Degree
A federal judge just ruled that the government could continue to deny Jose Padilla, the so-called "dirty bomber", access to his lawyers indefinitely because it would jeopardize the interrogation process, as long as the President has declared him an enemy combatant and has provided a "minimal" showing to justify the declaration.
Let me restate this, just so we're all clear on it.
Mr. Padilla is an American citizen who was arrested in Chicago O'Hare Airport. In other words, he's an American taken on American soil. By declaring him an enemy combatant, they're basically saying that O'Hare Airport was a battlefield at the time of his seizure. Since no one even knew that he'd been arrested until John Ashcroft's spectacular announcement from Russia a month later, I seriously doubt that battefield conditions have ever existed at O'Hare. So, this means the government can seize anyone, anywhere, at anytime, and deny you the rights guaranteed to you in the Bill of Rights, if they can provide "minimal justification".
So, for all intents and purposes, The Bill of Rights has been suspended under President Bush.
And, the answer to your question is "Yes, that should scare the Hell out of you."