The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Okay, maybe it is time to start calling it fascism

September 10, 2005

I agree with Dan that it’s a little silly to refer to a FEMA spokesman’s comments about the commitment and loyalty of some firefighters as “fascist.” Appalling, yes; fascist, no.

However, the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in the case of Jose Padilla strikes me as a much better candidate for the “fascist” label, since it basically gives the government carte blanche to detain U.S. citizens on the suspicion of having cavorted with having spoken to suspected members of being in the same room as a member of conspiring with Al Qaeda to harm the United States in some way. Padilla is a U.S. citizen, mind you, which is what makes this particular ruling so ominous; the Bush Administration designated him an enemy combatant three years ago and he’s been sitting in a naval brig without being charged with anything ever since.

That’s scary stuff. The Washington Post also reports that

The ruling limits the president’s power to detain Padilla to the duration of hostilities against al Qaeda, but the Bush administration has said that war could go on indefinitely.

which is not really very comforting.

What’s next, the Two Minutes Hate?

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Patrick Thaddeus Jackson is Professor of International Studies in the School of International Service, and also Director of the AU Honors program. He was formerly Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Relations and Development, and is currently Series Editor of the University of Michigan Press' book series Configurations: Critical Studies of World Politics.