Vice President Dick Cheney and his willing lawmakers rewrote the rest of the measure so that it would give Mr. Bush the power to jail pretty much anyone he wants for as long as he wants without charging them, to unilaterally reinterpret the Geneva Conventions, to authorize what normal people consider torture, and to deny justice to hundreds of men captured in error.This is not to be taken lightly. No, you should be furious. This gang of criminal thugs who posture and pose as they spew poisonous lies about democracy and freedom, while doing their utmost to rip those things away from us like jackals tearing the viscera from a fallen buffalo. They want to turn this country into a grim dungeon of fascism, drenched in a rhetorical cloak of fundmentalist dogma to stoke their machinery of fear and hatred. The Bush administration, led by the giggling murder monkey and the snarling hunchback who controls him, and their boot-licking lackeys in congress, have taken a giant step towards turning this country into the same thing they supposedly went to war against. All that talk about Saddam Hussein's "torture chambers," and "rape rooms"... it turns out the Bush administration wasn't condemning those things. They were envying them.
These are some of the bill’s biggest flaws:
Enemy Combatants: A dangerously broad definition of “illegal enemy combatant” in the bill could subject legal residents of the United States, as well as foreign citizens living in their own countries, to summary arrest and indefinite detention with no hope of appeal. The president could give the power to apply this label to anyone he wanted.
The Geneva Conventions: The bill would repudiate a half-century of international precedent by allowing Mr. Bush to decide on his own what abusive interrogation methods he considered permissible. And his decision could stay secret — there’s no requirement that this list be published.
Habeas Corpus: Detainees in U.S. military prisons would lose the basic right to challenge their imprisonment. These cases do not clog the courts, nor coddle terrorists. They simply give wrongly imprisoned people a chance to prove their innocence.
Judicial Review: The courts would have no power to review any aspect of this new system, except verdicts by military tribunals. The bill would limit appeals and bar legal actions based on the Geneva Conventions, directly or indirectly. All Mr. Bush would have to do to lock anyone up forever is to declare him an illegal combatant and not have a trial.
Coerced Evidence: Coerced evidence would be permissible if a judge considered it reliable — already a contradiction in terms — and relevant. Coercion is defined in a way that exempts anything done before the passage of the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act, and anything else Mr. Bush chooses.
Secret Evidence: American standards of justice prohibit evidence and testimony that is kept secret from the defendant, whether the accused is a corporate executive or a mass murderer. But the bill as redrafted by Mr. Cheney seems to weaken protections against such evidence.
Offenses: The definition of torture is unacceptably narrow, a virtual reprise of the deeply cynical memos the administration produced after 9/11. Rape and sexual assault are defined in a retrograde way that covers only forced or coerced activity, and not other forms of nonconsensual sex. The bill would effectively eliminate the idea of rape as torture.
Read the piece my friend Mike of the North blogged about:
"...right-wing Republicans don't believe in democracy and never have. They have always admired military dictatorships and seem to be working hard to set up the equivalent here in the United States. Their goal is to create an authoritarian government, with control of the media and the judiciary; to weaken all restraints on executive power and eliminate democratic freedoms; to undermine the public education system through fiscal starvation and rote learning, so that the poor will learn only enough to follow orders; and to create the kind of economic inequality so many Third World countries enjoy--by filling the pockets of a tiny group of extremely rich individuals and impoverishing the rest, thereby providing a mass of cheap labor. This policy began under Ronald Reagan and has made huge leaps under the Bush regime. We don't have too much further to go to achieve this right-wing 'ideal'."Whoever still supports the Bush administration and their litany of diabolical treachery should be made to suffer the same justice that the Bush regime would inflict upon its enemies.
Just Google "torture bill." And, remember the words of Martin Niemöller, because he is surely the author of the progressive bloggers' mission statement:
“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”