Tuesday, October 17, 2006

So Much For "The American Way"


Today marks a very sad day for those who value our Constitution and the principles that it embodies. It is the day that George W. Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

Among other things, this bill allows the President, or Secretary of Defense, to set up a "competent tribunal" to declare anyone, even American citizens, an "unlawful enemy combatant" of the United States. Good luck in finding out how these tribunals would be set up, or how they would operate.

The American Civil Liberties Union used justifiably strong language in their response to this bill, calling it, "one of the worst civil liberties measures ever enacted in American history."

Anthony D. Romero,ACLU Executive Director, put it best when he wrote:
"With his signature, President Bush enacts a law that is both unconstitutional and un-American. This president will be remembered as the one who undercut the hallmark of habeas in the name of the war on terror. Nothing separates America more from our enemies than our commitment to fairness and the rule of law, but the bill signed today is an historic break because it turns Guantánamo Bay and other U.S. facilities into legal no-man's-lands.

"The president can now - with the approval of Congress - indefinitely hold people without charge, take away protections against horrific abuse, put people on trial based on hearsay evidence, authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions. Nothing could be further from the American values we all hold in our hearts than the Military Commissions Act."

The ACLU on this is dead on, of course.

So how is this important story being covered and responded to?

From the AP:
Some of the most notorious names in the war on terror are headed toward prosecution after President Bush signed a law Tuesday authorizing military trials of terrorism suspects.

The legislation also eliminates some of the rights defendants are usually guaranteed under U.S. law, and it authorizes continued harsh interrogations of terror suspects.

Imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and awaiting trial are Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, Ramzi Binalshibh, an alleged would-be 9/11 hijacker, and Abu Zubaydah, who was believed to be a link between Osama bin Laden and many al-Qaida cells.

"With the bill I'm about to sign, the men our intelligence officials believe orchestrated the murder of nearly 3,000 innocent people will face justice," Bush said in a White House ceremony.

Really? I thought Osama bin Laden hadn't been caught yet. I must have been mistaken.

If you read the AP article further you find the following dishonest assessment from Bush,
"It is a rare occasion when a president can sign a bill he knows will save American lives," Bush said. "I have that privilege this morning."

That then gets followed by this acknowledgement:
Civil libertarians and leading Democrats decried the law as a violation of American values.

While buried deep in the story, the AP article does address comments by the ACLU and one of our few courageous politicians, Sen. Russell Feingold of Wisconsin:
"We will look back on this day as a stain on our nation's history."

"It allows the government to seize individuals on American soil and detain them indefinitely with no opportunity to challenge their detention in court," Feingold said. "And the new law would permit an individual to be convicted on the basis of coerced testimony and even allow someone convicted under these rules to be put to death."

This is what America has become? This represents American 'values?'

Predictably, because so few Democrats have chosen to speak out forcefully against this, fearing it makes them look weak on 'national security,' the GOP has been given an opening.

What Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert proclaimed today has to be read to be believed. In a press release subtitled, "Democrats Choose to Pamper Terrorists and Defend Their Rights," Hastert claims:
“The Democratic plan would gingerly pamper the terrorists who plan to destroy innocent Americans’ lives. While House Republicans work to deal with these dangers like establishing Terrorist Tribunals that will prosecute enemies of America, Democrat Leader Pelosi and 159 of her colleagues voted in favor of NEW rights for terrorists.

“The House Democrat Leader does not understand that our fight for freedom does not just happen on the battlefield but also on the floor of the House of Representatives. It should come as no surprise that the Democrats in the House put their liberal agenda ahead of the security of America.”

He then lashes out in a specific attack on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's voting record.

I suppose when people are calling for your head for helping to cover-up a scandal, you venomously attack to take the heat off of yourself. But it exemplifies why the GOP needs to become the minority party.

Numerous times today, various Republican mouthpieces have also implied that Democrats who did not support this bill were on the side of terrorists. That is blatantly false. Anyone who thinks this law is good are the real supporters of terrorists because they have allowed those who commit terror to alter the American tradition of justice and fairness.

5 comments:

Tate said...

Very good piece of writing on a very sad day for America.

Ammo Dump Explosions - blackout by MSM

http://piglipstick.blogspot.com/2006/10/news-blackout-on-major-disaster-near.html

saturday, October 14, 2006

News Blackout on Major Disaster Near Baghdad

Something very ugly happened late tuesday night at an ammunition depot near Baghdad.
A search of the news doesn't bring much up. A few cursory statements, all basically saying
the following, tend to minimize what happened:

ContraCostaTimes - U.S. ammo dump explodes in Baghdad"BAGHDAD, Iraq - A U.S. ammunition dump on the southeastern edge of Baghdad caught fire late Tuesday, setting off at least a half-dozen thunderous explosions and several smaller ones that rattled windows across the city.

Despite the size of the blasts, no casualties were reported, Spc. Jennifer Fulk, a U.S. military spokeswoman, said early Wednesday. There was no information yet on the cause of the fire, Fulk said."

The exact same report can be found at TrueBlueLiberal, Statesman, McClatchy and other minor news sources, but a search on CNN, CBS, ABC etc turns up nothing.
Reuters has this:
"BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A fire broke out at an ammunition dump at a U.S. base in southern Baghdad on Tuesday night, causing a series of explosions that rocked the capital, the U.S. military said in a statement. "The explosions are from ammunition "cooking off,"" the military said, adding that it had no immediate reports of U.S. casualties."

Apparently this was a gargantuan series of explosions started by a rocket attack on the arsenal, known as Camp Falcon. The place burned and exploded for six hours. According to the Iraqi Resistance Report from Free Arab Voice:


"The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam eported that the arsenal, located in the as-Saqr Base in the south of Baghdad is the main supplier of equipment to the US forces. It came under Resistance rocket attack late on Tuesday night. At the time of reporting, mountains of American arms and ammunition were continuing to explode in the sky in a huge fire
unprecedented in Baghdad’s history.

The source admitted that dozens of Americans had been killed or wounded in the blasts that were still ripping the American arsenal apart. The source said that the US forces were unable to do anything to stop the massive inferno of flame and explosions that was lighting up the Baghdad sky like fireworks."

video at this site

Anonymous said...

Excellent information and writing. I'd also be interested to know how many civilians were killed during the ammo dump attack.

Jack Cafferty did a good piece about the unfortunate bill that Bush signed today. I can send you a link to the video if you like. Good job.

scootmandubious said...

Thanks for the comments. I really hope the msm begins to grasp the enormity of what this Bill represents. I don't think they get it.

I would love to see that video.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

It is the Bill of Rights of the American Constitution, which politicians by oath are sworn to protect, which has set us apart from the rest of the world. This is the ONLY DIFFERENCE and the world recognizes this and applauds and admires the BILL OF RIGHTS. That's all past tense now and we've become the same as all the petty dictators that we've financed and put into power, especially in Latin America. It's like national karma, and was bound to happen since it worked elsewhere it would work here.

NormaC said...

Scoot: I'm looking for information about a weapon known as DIME.

It appears to be an "unconventional" weapon, may have been used by Israel during their recent conflict, causes unusual damage to the human body, and Palestinian doctors are mystified by deaths of injured people who were stabilizing and recovering.

Here is a report on it in the Guardian/UK:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/
frontpage/story/
0,,1924906,00.html

(You may need to remove *enter* commands I used to get it to fit in blog borders...)

If you can find out if this is true, will you let us know?

Thanks--

Naomi