22 September 2006


While the Democrats were out to lunch, President Bush and
Republican senators have come to an agreement on how to
make torture legal

Makes you proud to be an American, doesn't it?

NY Times:

The deal does next to nothing to stop the president
from reinterpreting the Geneva Conventions. While
the White House agreed to a list of “grave breaches”
of the conventions that could be prosecuted as war
crimes, it stipulated that the president could decide
on his own what actions might be a lesser breach of
the Geneva Conventions and what interrogation
techniques he considered permissible. It’s not clear
how much the public will ultimately learn about those
decisions. They will be contained in an executive order
that is supposed to be made public, but Mr. Hadley
reiterated that specific interrogation techniques will
remain secret.

Even before the compromises began to emerge, the
overall bill prepared by the three senators had fatal
flaws. It allows the president to declare any foreigner,
anywhere, an “illegal enemy combatant” using a
dangerously broad definition, and detain him without
any trial. It not only fails to deal with the fact that many
of the Guantánamo detainees are not terrorists and
will never be charged, but it also chokes off any
judicial review.

Charles Pierce:

And the Democratic Party was nowhere in this debate.
It contributed nothing. On the question of whether or
not the United States will reconfigure itself as a nation
which tortures its purported enemies and then grants
itself absolution through adjectives -- "Aggressive
interrogation techniques" -- the Democratic Party had…
no opinion. On the issue of allowing a demonstrably
incompetent president as many of the de facto powers
of a despot that you could wedge into a bill without
having the Constitution spontaneously combust in the
Archives, well, the Democratic Party was more pissed
off at Hugo Chavez.

This was as tactically idiotic as it was morally blind. On
the subject of what kind of a nation we are, and to what
extent we will live up to the best of our ideals, the
Democratic Party was as mute and neutral as a stone.
Human rights no longer have a viable political
constituency in the United States of America. Be enough
of a coward, though, and cable news will fit you for a

Note to Democrats: If you don't have the guts to stand up to these
bullies and scoundrels and fight for the cause of basic human
decency, don't bother showing up on election day -- because I
sure won't.