Let’s Get Busy

OK, the Republicans now have their torture bill ready to go.

Secret detention without charges and torture are fine (so long as the torure is not really, really bad or so long as it is conducted secretly), testimony given as a result of torture is fine if a judge says it’s reliable (it never is) and relevant, the president may interpret the Geneva Conventions however he pleases (funny, I thought the judiciary branch interpreted the law while the executive is charged with enforcing it), habeus corpus is out, and the admissability of secret evidence is still to be determined.

Turn toMarty Lederman for the gory details, or to either theNYTimes’ orWaPo’s editorials for a nice summary.

Were this bill to pass both houses of congress, I don’t see how in hell it would hold up in court, particularly before the Supreme Court as it is currently configured. And this bill has not yet passed, it’s not even out of committee yet.

It’s time for Democrats to step up. Common Article III of the Geneva Conventions caries the full weight of US law and must be followed. Anyone, be he a CIA interrogator or a president, who has violated US law with respect to the treatment of detainees must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We will not compromise American values out of fear or our desire for revenge.

It’s time for us to hear from Harry Reid, John Kerry, Russ Feingold, Dick Durbin, and other Democratic senators. We also need to here Colin Powell’s rection to the Republican proposal.

Let’s get busy.

3 thoughts on “Let’s Get Busy

  1. I’ve got to hand it to the Democrats. The strategy of allowing the Republicans to “thrash out” their differences on the treatment and prosecution of detainees has played out exactly as planned…for the Republicans. Don’t let anyone convince you that you can go to the well too often…that is if you are a Republican and your opponent is a fully inept Democratic Party.
    Amidst a trend of favorable polling data and a firestorm of speeches by the President to refocus the voting public on their fear of terrorism, the Democrats stood in the background for the past two weeks and watched what the GOP will call the difficult work of creating legislation that preserves our commitment to civil liberties while at the same time providing our determined President with the essential tools needed to pursue those who seek to kill us all.
    OK, perhaps I’m being too harsh. There is a possibility that in the past two weeks the Democrats were able to devise their sixth iteration of a campaign slogan and strategy to roll out with less than 50 days to the election. Perhaps they could call it “Fifty States, Fifty Days…But Never Fifty Percent”! It’s catchy, it’s succinct, and it may well be accurate come November 8th. Arrgghh!
    Read more here:

  2. I’ve already started my campaign: sending a letter to every single Democratic Senator pointing out what they must do and why. You can read it at my (mostly neglected) blog:
    Indeed, the time for action is now if we don’t want to be a country that condones non-“grave” breaches of the Geneva Conventions as a matter of official, stated policy. (More delightfully, exactly which non-“grave” breaches are allowed lies in the sole hands of the president, whoever that happens to be at the time.) And, of course, there are also the habeas corpus concerns, whereby we could arrest and imprison any foreigner or permanent resident for eternity without a trial.
    I urge everyone to write, call, fax, and otherwise raise a holy noise over this effort to damage the moral foundations of our country.

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