From the New York Times:
The judge, Joyce Hens Green of the Federal District Court in Washington, asked a series of hypothetical questions about who might be detained as an enemy combatant under the government's definition.
What about "a little old lady in Switzerland who writes checks to what she thinks is a charitable organization that helps orphans in Afghanistan but really is a front to finance Al Qaeda activities?" she asked.
And what about a resident of Dublin "who teaches English to the son of a person the C.I.A. knows to be a member of Al Qaeda?"
And "what about a Wall Street Journal reporter, working in Afghanistan, who knows the exact location of Osama bin Laden but does not reveal it to the United States government in order to protect her source?"
Mr. Boyle said the military had the power to detain all three people as enemy combatants.
This is a US Justice Department representative stating, in a court of law, the US Government's position. Note that two out of the three examples are outside US territory. "Enemy combatants," of course, have virtually no rights. They can be held indefinitely and tortured. It won't be long before they are just disappeared.
From Wikipedia's article on habeus corpus:
The PATRIOT Act of 2001 gives the President of the United States the power to declare anyone suspected of connection to terrorists or terrorism, as an Enemy combatant. As an Enemy combatant that person can be held without charges being filed against him/her. Enemy combatants can be held indefinitely without charges or a court hearing and are not even entitled to legal counsel.
I was pretty upset when Derek Bond was arrested and held without trial for three weeks by the FBI in South Africa. Nobody in the media seemed to be asking how it was that the US had the power to do this. Everyone just seemed to accept as natural that the FBI can arrest anyone anywhere. What's more the US supreme court ruled that people mistreated by the US outside US territory aren't entitled to any compensation at all. So the FBI has power without responsibility.
By declaring a "war" on terrorism the US has an excuse to gradually put the whole planet under martial law.
Why isn't everyone marching in the streets to demand their freedom back? How bad will it have to get? Why isn't the media screaming about this?