07/04/2007 04:55 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011


Fireworks and hotdogs may be the most famous ways to celebrate July 4th, but this year there's an even more fitting one: now you can celebrate our Declaration of Independence by voting to repeal the Military Commissions Act.

If you're unfamiliar with the MCA, that's not without reason. The Republican Congress rushed it through last fall, less than two months before the congressional election. Lost within the mid-term hype and a civil war in Iraq, the MCA slid quietly from the front pages within days, just as its authors wished.

Yet given the Bush team's modus operandi, the bill's muted reception was the first clear tell of just how radical its provisions would be. Indeed, in the entire history of American jurisprudence, there's simply nothing like it. With a single stroke of President Bush's pen, the Geneva Conventions went out the window, and habeas corpus along with it. The end result is that our military can now effectively detain people indefinitely -- because after the MCA, detainees have no legal recourse except to the military itself.

Over the coming weeks and months, I'll be laying out further just why that's so problematic. Until then, head on over to and sign the petition. After all, back in July of 1776 the British military was given similar privileges. Our founding fathers wouldn't tolerate them then, and neither should you today.

Or in other words: on this Fourth of July, celebrate the true spirit of Independence Day. Vote to repeal the Military Commissions Act.