Tuesday, when George W. Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006, I blogged about how serious that monumental event was.
The implications of that bill signing were enormous and totally against the principles of justice that our nation was founded upon. I was truly astounded that various publications and broadcast outlets in the mainstream media absolutely buried the story and neglected to look at what such a statute meant to democracy in America.
For example, the New York Daily News, in a small article buried deep in the paper, headlined their piece,"W:Terror law will strike at top 9/11 thug."
Even newspapers with allegedly higher standards, such as the New York Times and Washington Post, were guilty of incomplete and uninformative reporting, according to the watchdog organization Media Matters.
It is no wonder that the GOP had the audacity to declare that Democrats who opposed the bill were soft on terror, as opposed to being strong on civil rights.
So, it is with great relief that we were afforded another home run by the terrific orator, Keith Olbermann.
Once again, I recommend you click on this link, so you can read the entire transcript and also hear his delivery, but here is just a slice of what he had to say, in a piece referred to as, "Beginning of the end of America.":
...on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force, we now face what our ancestors faced, at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering:
A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to protect us from.
Further on, Keith states:
In times of fright, we have been only human.
We have let Roosevelt’s “fear of fear itself” overtake us.
We have listened to the little voice inside that has said, “the wolf is at the door; this will be temporary; this will be precise; this too shall pass.”
We have accepted that the only way to stop the terrorists is to let the government become just a little bit like the terrorists.
Challenging Bush directly, Olbermann says:
Sadly—of course—the distance of history will recognize that the threat this generation of Americans needed to take seriously was you.
We have a long and painful history of ignoring the prophecy attributed to Benjamin Franklin that “those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
But even within this history we have not before codified the poisoning of habeas corpus, that wellspring of protection from which all essential liberties flow.
You, sir, have now befouled that spring.
You, sir, have now given us chaos and called it order.
You, sir, have now imposed subjugation and called it freedom.
For the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.
And — again, Mr. Bush — all of them, wrong.
We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who has said it is unacceptable to compare anything this country has ever done to anything the terrorists have ever done.
We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who has insisted again that “the United States does not torture. It’s against our laws and it’s against our values” and who has said it with a straight face while the pictures from Abu Ghraib Prison and the stories of Waterboarding figuratively fade in and out, around him.
We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who may now, if he so decides, declare not merely any non-American citizens “unlawful enemy combatants” and ship them somewhere—anywhere -- but may now, if he so decides, declare you an “unlawful enemy combatant” and ship you somewhere - anywhere.
Mr. Olbermann makes the vital point that others in the media should have been making, namely:
If you somehow think habeas corpus has not been suspended for American citizens but only for everybody else, ask yourself this: If you are pulled off the street tomorrow, and they call you an alien or an undocumented immigrant or an “unlawful enemy combatant”—exactly how are you going to convince them to give you a court hearing to prove you are not? Do you think this attorney general is going to help you?
He also poses the question that nobody is willing to ask:
This President now has his blank check.
He lied to get it.
He lied as he received it.
Is there any reason to even hope he has not lied about how he intends to use it nor who he intends to use it against?
There is far more to Olbermann's eloquent defense of the Constitution, in light of the media's overall deafness and ignorance on matters of basic civil rights, so please go to the link and read the entire transcript.
And, be thankful that at least somebody in the mainstream media has a spine...and a voice.