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A Love/Hate Relationship?

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008 3:49 AM

Remember when the White House was looking for 'moral clarity' on the issue of torture during the debate on provisions of the Military Commissions Act?

President Bush now attests that the waterboarding of terrorist detainees, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah was because there was no law against it then, but there is now.

Which is a load of hooey - waterboarding has been clearly identified as torture in both international and American law well before the Bush Administration even raised the question. And it doesn't explain why, now that it's been established to be against the law - by Bush's own words - that White House Spokesman Tony Fratto freely admitted that the President would authorize waterboarding in the future if it was necessary to obtain critical intelligence.

Bush's moral clarity is also at issue with the proposed amendments to FISA - most notably, the question of amnesty for telecommunications companies who may or may not have carried out the illegal and warrantless wiretaps solely on the President's assurances that their corporate asses would be covered.

Got that? The President told them not to worry about federal law or Constitutional issues. Apparently, his sworn duty to faithfully execute the laws includes waterboarding, but not defending our civil liberties.

Protesters on both sides of the Iraq issue will be converging on Berkeley tonight, as the City Council debates the fallout from their resolution denouncing the United States Marine Corps and its recruiting station.

That resolution included blatant stupidity like granting a parking space directly in front of the recruiting station to Code Pink, which parked a truck painted with various anti-war slogans. And it's drawn the ire of lawmakers, with Rep. John Campbell introducing H.R. 5222, the 'Semper Fi Act,' which would strip Berkeley of its federal funding and transfer those monies to the Marine Corps for the purpose of recruitment.

None of which addresses the issue at hand, the war in Iraq. Code Pink and the conservative group Move America Forward will stand there and verbally accost one another ad infinitum. This is why I detest this kind of 'protest' - it's content-free whining, little more than throwing a temper tantrum, and it's come to define discourse in America.

But here's the question - we have all these anti-war types protesting on the grounds that they're acting to save our kids from the voracious war machine that is the Marine Corps. Or are they really just standing in judgment of your parenting skills and the intelligence of your children? That anyone who signs up to join the Corps must be deluded, brainwashed, or just plain stupid?

Oh, right - they're trying to save other parents and families from suffering the loss of a loved one in a mismanaged and ill-conceived war. How about taking action to inspire or encourage our elected representatives to exercise their power of oversight?

Anti-war protests have been going on since we first put boots on the ground in 2003. Have we seen any change, or indication of change where it needs to happen?

I didn't think so.

Berkeley's city council is now trying to spin their position as being against the war, but in support of the troops. Perhaps actually engaging in some thought before issuing idiotic resolutions with inflammatory language would have been a better course to start with.

Another check in the minus column for Hillary Clinton's body language - at a campaign event over the weekend, she addressed voters by pointing and emphasizing. Every. Word. She. Said.

It's the classic 'You're stupid, so I'm going to say things very slowly, and louder.'

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