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Are Internment Camps Far Behind?

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006 1:36 AM

The Spirit of America was brought down by thugs, brigands who stood before the nation and spoke of their patriotism and dedication, then, with the stroke of a pen, slashed Liberty's throat and cast her into the gutter to bleed to death.

President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act.

My comments, to some, may be viewed as alarmist � the hokum-scarum that John Ashcroft warned against when he decried critics of the USA PATRIOT Act as aiding terrorists.

Listen to the rhetoric, to the constant drumbeat of fear and the likening of dissent, even reporting illegal actions on the part of the Chief Executive to support of the terrorist's goals, to acts of treason that should be prosecuted.

And when the specious reasoning from Bush's gang of reprobates began to wear, they exhorted you to listen to the words of the enemy � words they, themselves, ignored prior to September 11, 2001.

Anyone can be deemed an unlawful enemy combatant under the new law. All it takes is that finding by a military commission or a tribunal appointed by the President or the Secretary of Defense.

Speaking out against the government, clearly, is a most grievous sin, the merest expression of dissent or disagreement emboldening the enemy, whose numbers are so enormous, whose reach is so immense and staggering that we truly must be hip-deep in them. Why else would we be suspending the rules under which our country has functioned from its inception? Why else would we be circumventing federal law to conduct wiretaps?

But it is not only the Bush Administration who has earned a black mark this day, it is the Congress. And it is, sadly, all of us.

Because we believed Senators Graham, McCain, and Warner when they stood up in 'principled objection' to the provisions of the Military Commissions Act ... then promptly gave it their approval. Senator Arlen Spector put forward a motion to limit the Act, and when it was voted down, he, too, signed it � counting on the Supreme Court to overturn the Act somewhere down the road.

We have failed because we are not demanding accountability from our elected representatives.

Instead, we are treated to the continued drivel of General Michael V. Hayden, who affirmed that the warrantless and illegal surveillance program, that the aggressive questioning of detainees, the indefinite detention ... is all within the law.

This, from a man who could not, when asked by a reporter, identify the Fourth Amendment and its protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

This, from an Administration that has already lied to us numerous times, and refuses to budge from its self-ordained position of infallibility.

This, from an Attorney General who defined torture as organ failure.

This, from legislation that has steadily and increasingly eroded the liberties and protections against the abuse of an unchecked executive, as we stood by and watched.

We did not take a step towards justice on this day, but we sure as hell put our foot in something that smells really bad.

It's also National Character Counts Week.

In which we tally up the number of characters we have in the Administration, no doubt, as the virtues of integrity, courage, honesty, and patriotism are in short supply in Washington, D.C.

Ironically, the proclamation states, "Our changing world requires virtues that sustain our democracy, make self-government possible, and help build a more hopeful future."

Faced with criminal charges?

Don't kick the habit and go to rehab - kick the bucket.

A U.S. district court judge has ruled that Ken Lay's conviction should be overturned, since Lay died less than two months after the verdict was rendered. Therefore, Lay was not able to appeal the ruling, and a dead man can't be fined or punished.

I'd love to see the precedents for this one.

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