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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Must Read on Terror & Detainment Bill

As usual, Glenn Greenwald is providing outstanding, if depressive, coverage of what Bush's torture and detainment bill really contains, as well as updating his commentary as events procede today. He lays out the issues so that even I can understand them. Imagine if our mainstream media were actually doing its work responsibly and the American people could be exposed to these facts in this manner. Excerpts:

About Sen. Pete Domenici's floor statement:

"Sen. Pete Dominici spat out one banal, moronic slogan after the next, and said that we can't possibly allow detainees to access our courts because it would "clog the courts" -- a completely idiotic assertion given the number of petitions there would be as compared to the overall caseload. It is better to allow the President to imprison people for life with no hope of ever proving one's innocence because to allow them to go to court would create lots of administrative burdens. The blind loyalty to the President of Republicans in Congress is limitless -- there is no presidential power they would meaningfully oppose. People who genuinely favor of this bill are craven, hollow and un-American followers."

Other excerpts:

" ... as Law Professors Marty Lederman and Bruce Ackerman each point out, many of the extraordinary powers vested in the President by this bill also apply to U.S. citizens, on U.S. soil.

As Ackerman put it: "The compromise legislation, which is racing toward the White House, authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights." Similarly, Lederman explains: "this [subsection (ii) of the definition of 'unlawful enemy combatant'] means that if the Pentagon says you're an unlawful enemy combatant -- using whatever criteria they wish -- then as far as Congress, and U.S. law, is concerned, you are one, whether or not you have had any connection to 'hostilities' at all."

"This last point means that even if there were a habeas corpus right inserted back into the legislation (which is unlikely at this point anyway), it wouldn't matter much, if at all, because the law would authorize your detention simply based on the DoD's decree that you are an enemy combatant, regardless of whether it was accurate. This is basically the legalization of the Jose Padilla treatment -- empowering the President to throw people into black holes with little or no recourse, based solely on his say-so.

"There really is no other way to put it. Issues of torture to the side (a grotesque qualification, I know), we are legalizing tyranny in the United States. Period. [emphasis mine] Primary responsibility for this fact lies with the authoritarian Bush administration and its sickeningly submissive loyalists in Congress. That is true enough. But there is no point in trying to obscure that fact that it's happening with the cowardly collusion of the Senate Democratic leadership, which quite likely could have stopped this travesty via filibuster if it chose to (it certainly could have tried).

" ... There is a profound and fundamental difference between an Executive engaging in shadowy acts of lawlessness and abuses of power on the one hand, and, on the other, having the American people, through their Congress, endorse, embrace and legalize that behavior out in the open, with barely a peep of real protest. Our laws reflect our values and beliefs. And our laws are about to explicitly codify one of the most dangerous and defining powers of tyranny -- one of the very powers this country was founded in order to prevent."

September 28, 2006 at 11:18 AM in Terrorism | Permalink


I started listening to Sen Domentia spewing his crap, and sorry to say I could only stomach about two minuets of it. It is a really sad day for Lady Liberty if this becomes law, and I am afraid that it will.

Posted by: VP | Sep 28, 2006 1:04:45 PM

I did the same thing. He sounded idiotic. I kept going back and getting portions of other Repubs and they were all awful. Warner was confused as hell about an amendement he was fighting against. He had no idea why until a staffer slipped him a note.

Posted by: Roadrunner | Sep 28, 2006 4:10:08 PM

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