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Devil's Due

Monday, Nov. 05, 2007 3:46 AM

As Democrats like California's Dianne Feinstein and New York's Charles Schumer prepare to confirm Judge Michael Mukasey as the next Attorney General, four former Judge Advocate Generals from the Navy, Army, and Marine Corps have written to Senator Patrick Leahy voicing a clear and direct opinion.

Waterboarding is inhumane, it is torture, and it is illegal.

Yet Schumer's concession is based on the old saw, 'the devil you know is better than the devil you don't' - voicing his fear of a recess appointment by President Bush.

Either way, you've stood in support of the devil, rather than stand in defense of the law.

The state of emergency declared by Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf continues, with President Bush slated to comment later today.

What's laughable is anyone in the Bush Administration taking Musharraf to task for his suspending Pakistan's constitution, when Musharraf's actions carry the amplified echoes of Bush's own.

Neither am I entirely comfortable with the role of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto as the 'voice of reason'. She was voted out, and concerns over corruption during her term remain unanswered.

The sad fact remains that we weren't paying attention to Pakistan - a nation with tested, deployable nuclear weapons - in favor of pursuing two nations that had nothing of the sort. There will be those who complain that we couldn't have done anything without undermining Musharraf, but what is it that we're doing now?

Tomorrow is Election Day.

In short, if you don't vote, I don't want to hear you complain.

Our founding fathers didn't stumble upon a fluke. 237 years of liberty didn't just come solely by way of armed might. The Constitution is a robust design, incorporating checks and balances to safeguard the republic against even the most corrupt, inept chief executive.

That is, when we take it upon ourselves to apply those checks and balances, and not knuckle under to the specious 'exceptions' that the Bush Administration seems to whip up fresh each week because 'we're at war.'

Imagine a baseball team where the manager decides to allow corked bats and performance-enhancing drugs simply because it's playoff season, and they need to defend their title.

The rule of law is essential to the health of our nation.

But for those checks and balances to function, they must be applied. The time has come for our elected representatives to stand up against the continued and flagrant violations of law and the principles that America stands for.

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