I am constantly amazed how upfront and callous the government can be about this. Ashcroft says that the Executive can take any American citizen, declare them an enemy combatant in a secret proceeding and hold them without any benefit of the Bill of Rights for as long as they want. Read this other article from The Village Voice where an aide, when asked what insurance an American citizen had against secret arrest and detention, replied:
Well, I guess his family could speak out if he’s missing, and if that creates a political furor, then the President would be accountable at the next election.
That is something you expect to hear from some third world, banana republic. Without any oversight, any checks and balances, this system will eventually be abused. At the moment, I guess you only have to worry if you are a minority, especially one with an Arab surname. Everyone else is just glad it is not them. Someday it might be. Mistakes happen all the time but in this case there is no way to correct them.