Torture, and suspension of habeas corpus were approved by the Congress today. It seems there are no true conservatives left, certainly not in the Republican party. ALL of Congress has the duty and responsibility to uphold the Constitution. I have found myself unable to say much about it, I have no words that are adequate. I am deeply shocked and ashamed of this. I have been reading what others have written. Christy Hardin Smith may give us some perspective, writing at Firedoglake:
Article I, Section 9, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution states as follows:
The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
It expressly forbids suspension of the writ of habeas corpus except under very specific and highly limited circumstances – and as we are neither dealing with a case of rebellion or invasion at the time of this attempted enactment of this torture law in Congress, I am really wondering on what leg they propose to stand when arguing constitutionality at the first legal challenge to this law.
But the analysis by Steve Gilliard struck me as particularly appropriate:
Led by cowards
Bush is, was and will remain a coward as long as he lives.
The torture bill is a cruel joke, so riddle with flaws, so uncostitutional, it won’t survive the District Court. Which is the calculation Dems in tight races made.
They once read people the first Amendment and most of them thought it should be outlawed. Given a choice between politics and right, politicians choose politics. So they duck their heads and pray. Don’t be shocked. We elect politicians to do our bidding and can be fired. And some will certainly be.
Debating torture is pointless. Because Bush cares only about power, not the law. so if he has to strap the electrodes to gonads in Poland or Uzbekistan, well, that’s that. You cannot debate torture with Bush. You can only expose it and shame him. Because as bad as this is, and it’s akin to the Japanese internment or the forced removal of the Indians by Andrew Jackson, it is nothing compared to what is happening in Iraq.
If people knew the stakes of the war in Iraq, they would be outraged at the squandering of the Army, the way Bush is wrecking it by sending it to fight a war where 70 percent of the people want us to go and 60 percent support the resistance. What Bush has done is not only ruin the reputation in the United States, but endanger our allies like Egypt.
Not only are the Taliban learning to fight the US from Iraq, they’re training there and probably coming home with the RDX we didn’t secure in 2003.
Things could not have gone more wrong. No call for sacrifice, no sense of national duty.
But I save my true ire, not for the Dems, backed into the nastiest of corners, but who don’t have the power to stop such madness, will is another topic for another day.
Congress is supposed to check the President, not ride his coattails. I’m going to read a lot of angry posts about how the Dems didn’t do this or that. What about the GOP? Defense of the constitution doesn’t just belong to select individuals. It is Congress’s job to protect the Consitution, not just run for office.
We cannot give them a pass. We cannot just say that’s the GOP. Because if some Democrats played politics, it is the Republicans who betrayed the constitution. It is far too easy to write off their duty to the nation based on politics. Oh, well, they’re wingnuts. No, they are elected to defend the constitution, not the Republican party. And in that, they have betrayed this country and it’s ideals,
We have a bunch of small business radical conservatives, people who worry more about taxes than the consequences of their actions for oh, American soldiers overseas. The Congress only cares about their narrow issues, and not the good of the county. And that should enrage all of us.
We have the worst Congress possible. One beholden to the White House and refusing to do their job for the sake of party loyalty. They don’t believe in America, they believe in the GOP. They are cowards of the worst sort, the kind that knows the consquences of failure and still refuse to act.