Letters to the Editor

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CONGRESS: Legislation confers too much power

Letter by Erik Hovden, Olalla on Dec. 2, 2011 at 10:33 am | 51 Comments »
December 2, 2011 11:51 am

Everyone knows that Adolf Hitler was the absolute dictator of Germany for 12 years, but most people don’t realize he got that power legally. In 1933, the democratically elected German Reichstag passed what came to be known as the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler the power to rule however he pleased.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted to give the president so much power that it reminds me of a first step down that road.

In a military authorization bill, the Senate inserted a clause that gives a president the power to have the military arrest U.S. citizens and send them to a military prison — to be held indefinitely with no trial. Isn’t that something you would have expected from Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia?

This legislation will allow a president to unilaterally send any American to rot in jail with no hope of appealing to a court for a trial. All he has to do is claims the person is a suspect in some kind of terror-related crime.

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