Thursday, January 4, 2007

Let's Talk!

So let me see if I have this all correct. Our esteemed Republican colleagues are engaging us in debate concerning the necessity of the rule of law in a free country, the limitations inherent in the freedom of speech, and an executive branch subject to Congressional oversight. Further, they would like us to talk about saving elections from cheaters and frauds by limiting voters to those who can obtain a state issued photo ID. In fact the whole issue of voter suppression is up for debate, anyone want to get it started?

One of the most important debates to come in Congress concerns what is and what is not "torture." You have to read a little between the lines on this one because all kinds of code words are being used to obfuscate the "t" word. Evidently when folks think of "torture" there is really no argument that it is something abhorrent. So we discuss "the program," the "alternative methods," and the necessity of the government to "protect" us. We are asked to believe that because of the evil nature and cruelty of our enemy that we must be allowed to use:
"-- "Cold Cell," or hypothermia, where a prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees, during which he is doused with cold water.

-- "Long Time Standing," in which a prisoner is forced to stand, handcuffed and with his feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours.

-- Other forms of "stress positions" and prolonged sleep deprivation, perhaps akin to "Long Time Standing."

-- Threats of violence and death of a detainee and/or his family.

We are asked to stand in favor of legally authorizing all of these forms of "cruel treatment" as defined by the Geneva Convention. We are asked to believe that this "program" reflects American values and is necessary for our protection. Let the discussion ensue!

I can hear my Republican friends saying that it's "tough love." I can hear them saying that the evil of the enemy is so obvious and so repugnant that it's such a no-brainer to torture these "evil-doers." In fact, anyone that is arrested or detained by the administration is deemed a "terrorist" not because it's necessarily true, but simply because they've been arrested. We are asked to ignore any distinction that exists between "(a) being accused or suspected by the Bush administration of working with Al Qaeda and (b) actually being in cahoots with Al Qaeda and being a "terrorist. And finally I would like our Republican friends to start the discussion on Presidential Infallibility. Let's hear anyone discuss any of these points with out simply reciting dogma or talking points. Lets Talk!

Cut and Run

"Cut and Run" is a lie. Not only is it a lie, it's a cowardly, foolhardy lie. "Cut and Run is a Straw Man that is puffed up and knocked down over and over by a cowardly bully, who will never confront a Real Man. The words "Cut and Run" are used by political hacks who refuse to acknowledge any real alternative to "Lie and Die."

To say "Stay the Course" so we'll be safer is a fool's promise. It's a promise of 10 more years of war. It's a promise that says we'll be happy to spend 960 Billion dollars and 200,000 civilian, and military casualties, just so we can be safer. It's a promise that the only way to achieve liberty, freedom and peace is war, war, war!

Hearing lies repeated over and over in hopes that they might be perceived as truth brings to mind a line in the oft quoted Paul Simon song "The Boxer."
"Asking only workmans wages,

I come lookin' for a job,

but I get no offers

Just a comeon from the whores on 7th avenue"

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Habeus Corpus anyone?

This letter to the editor was published on Thursday, December 28, 2006.

Donald Vance and American citizen and private contractor in Iraq was released from "Club Gitmo" recently and began to report on the treatment he got there. According to the New York Times..
"American guards arrived at the man's cell periodically over the next several days, shackled his hands and feet, blindfolded him and took him to a padded room for interrogation, the detainee said. After an hour or two, he was returned to his cell, fatigued but unable to sleep.
The fluorescent lights in his cell were never turned off, he said. At most hours, heavy metal or country music blared in the corridor. He said he was rousted at random times without explanation and made to stand in his cell. Even lying down, he said, he was kept from covering his face to block out the light, noise and cold. And when he was released after 97 days he was exhausted, depressed and scared."

It makes me wonder how Mr. Vance ever had time for volleyball and ping pong or reading or working out! According to DNR editorial accounts about life at Club Gitmo, Mr. Vance should have been sad to leave! Mr. Vance was found to be a whistle blower concerning arms sales to terrorists. He is one of the Good Guys! Habeas Corpus anyone?

Ruling Law

President Bush:
"Today, Saddam Hussein was executed after receiving a fair trial -- the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime."
December 30, 2006
John Burns and Marc Santora write in the New York Times:
"So this is the grand and noble achievement which the President and his …. followers are reduced to celebrating -- a lawless, … hanging, carried out in clear and deliberate violation of the law, by …… militia foot soldiers who themselves will be included among our next kill targets once our glorious "sustained surge" begins.

No matter what we touch in Iraq, no matter what we do, it only makes things worse -- never better -- because the root of what we are doing is itself so …. incoherent and corrupt. It's beyond doubt that we're going to be treated too much more "freedom" and "justice" like this over the next two years in Iraq, at least.”

So the Iraqi government has learned its lesson well. When the “rule of law” gets in the way you just “rule the law!”

(I’ve removed some of the objectionable words following the example of the DNR in that complete quotations aren’t necessary.)