Wednesday, November 30, 2011


It has been ages since I posted anything here. Since today I'm feeling particularly worked up, I've chosen to post the following letter. On the advice of counsel my wife, I've not sent it to Senator Hatch yet, but am waiting to cool off first. Silly me :)

Senator Hatch,

Today you lost any chance at my vote. I admit you'd have lost it already, had I been paying attention, thanks to your support for various ill-conceived and clearly clueless Hollywood-sponsored bills that would ruin (in some cases, have already ruined) the internet for most reasonable purposes; how that I am, indeed, paying attention, your vote today in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act has sealed the deal (side note: I'm moderately surprised I'm actually linking to the Huffington Post...). You have proven yourself ignorant of the value of due process yet once more. Senator Lee, who struck me during his campaign as little more than "full of sound and fury", has proven himself intelligent and reasonable on the issue, having obviously made the realization you have yet to grasp, namely that indefinite imprisonment of United States citizens, captured on American soil on potentially unfounded suspicion of terrorism, is in violation of the due process guaranteed by the Constitution, and cannot be legislatively endorsed under any circumstances.

Perhaps you think that such a scenario, although allowed by the act I mentioned, is too unlikely to be worth considering. That may be, but that's not how laws work. Correct and just laws prohibit the wrong, and allow everything else. Perhaps you think a citizen imprisoned under this act would be released after judicial review, because of its clear Constitutional violations. That may also be, however the point is to write decent laws in the first place, not write lousy laws and make the courts correct them while bankrupting the poor soul who first contravenes the idiotic legislation you've cooked up. Furthermore, Constitutional violations aren't exactly a new thing in the federal government, as you well know, and it's entirely likely that yet another such violation would be justified by some twisted logic or other, as so many others already have been. Perhaps you think that only the truly guilty would ever be thus imprisoned. That may be, but there's still a reason we have due process. Considering the Dept. of Justice regularly describes as potential terrorists people who own firearms, possess survival skills, say nasty things about government policies, and keep food storage, I'm unconvinced the terrorist witch hunt won't catch plenty of innocents in its net. By that description, most of my neighbors and the vast majority of your constituents are already possible terrorists.

I hesitate to use the word, but in this case it applies: this has me outraged. My vote, and those of anyone I manage to influence sufficiently, will go elsewhere.