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Thursday, December 30, 2004

On the Truly Terrifying Front...

People in the US have long turned a blind eye to the war on civil liberties waged by the Administration, the Attorney General, Congress and the courts, in large part because they felt that these rights were being taken away from so-called "terrorists," and that such draconian measures were necessary in fighting the War On Terror. Hence the great national shrug in the face of the Abu Ghraib photos, which Congress has ignored for the past four months.

However, now it seems that the definition of "terrorism" is proving quite elastic. A New York grand jury has returned the charge of second-degree murder as a terrorist act against Edgar Morales, a member of a Mexican-American street gang. It has sparked a controversy among lawmakers who voted for the legislation.

"It is not that I want to defend gangs," said state Rep. Jeffrey Dinowitz. "But it should never be justifiable to use laws with purposes other than their original intent. We already have the appropriate laws to prosecute gang members for their crimes."

This is how it starts, folks. It's a very, very slippery slope. Civil rights are nothing to screw around with, not even for the guiltiest among us. Because today it's THEM, tomorrow it might be YOU... (thanks to Atrios)