When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)

I found a link to this poem on the social bookmarking site reddit.com. It immediately brought to mind President Bush and the bill that gives the President of the U.S. the right to label anyone an enemy combatant or terrorist threat and detain them indefinitely. It's been done already. I think the bill just makes the past (and future) acts legal...Or at least that's the spin by some. I haven't read the bill; I don't know the truth; certainly have my facts mixed up. But enough people are in an uproar about this bill that I'm beginning to pay attention, beginning to think there is some validity to the ascertain that our basic rights are being taken away by this bill.

Is the bill really that loose or unrestrictive? Is the opinion of the President enough to allow him and his representatives to imprison me indefinitely without a hearing or trial?

If anyone can be labelled a terrorist and detained indefinitely, am I safer, more protected?

Habeas corpus - a writ requiring a person to be brought before a judge or court, esp. for investigation of a restraint of the person's liberty, used as a protection against illegal imprisonment.

Wikipedia has a nice writeup about the poem and its various translations, and about the poem's author Martin Niemöller.

State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III by Bob Woodward

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