03/28/2005: Middle Aged Legalisms
More Medieval Legalisms brought to you by the Bush Administration:
Bob Herbert (NY Times) write this piece, No One Is Accountable about the ongoing effort of the Bush Crowd to hide and obfuscate the US involvement in torture and murder of detainees held in US custody.
"...Mr. Ali's story is depressingly similar to other accounts pouring in from detainees, human rights groups, intelligence sources and U.S. government investigators. If you pay close attention to what is already known about the sadistic and barbaric treatment of prisoners by the U.S., you can begin to wonder how far we've come from the Middle Ages. The alleged heretics hauled before the Inquisition were not permitted to face their accusers or mount a defense. Innocence was irrelevant. Torture...
...But what should be of paramount concern to Americans is this country's precipitous and frightening descent into the hellish zone of lawlessness that the Bush administration, on the one hand, is trying to conceal and, on the other, is defending as absolutely essential to its fight against terror....
The lawsuit against Mr. Rumsfeld was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First, a New York-based group, on behalf of Mr. Ali and seven other former detainees from Iraq and Afghanistan who claim to have been tortured by U.S. personnel.
The suit charges that Mr. Rumsfeld personally authorized unlawful interrogation techniques and abdicated his responsibility to stop the torture and other abuses of prisoners in U.S. custody. It contends that the abuse of detainees was widespread and that Mr. Rumsfeld and other top administration officials were well aware of it...
...The primary aim of the lawsuit is quite simply to re-establish the rule of law. "It's that fundamental idea that nobody is above the law," said Michael Posner, executive director of Human Rights First.
The violations here were created by policies that deliberately undermined the rule of law. That needs to be challenged.
Lawlessness should never be an option for the United States. Once the rule of law has been extinguished, you're left with an environment in which moral degeneracy can flourish and a great nation can lose its soul."
I wrote an editorial piece about this "fear" of what this complete disrespect for the Rule of Law from our President and Administration is doing in distorting our most cherished ideals. Click on the "more" button if you're interested in reading further.
Emerging from this political landscape is fear worse than terrorism:
My worst fears for our country are not fears of terrorism and terror attacks but of the current political climate which says that criticism of the president, his policies, his war, equals a lack of patriotism, emboldens the enemy, and fails to support our troops, etc.
According to the Prez and V.P. we should just do our patriotic duty, shut up, listen to their non-factual based propaganda and don't change horses in mid-war...why we ought to just scrap the election and campaigning right now and declare Bush our el-Presidente for the duration of this inchoate war until we achieve ultimate victory! Right?
Or is that our process? ...
...But it's the underlying message that while we claim to be promoting our democracy abroad, exporting with bombs and chaos this "most favored nation" status to Iraq, there are the subtle and not so subtle attempts to squelch it here at home. These attempts were clear throughout the process of investigating 9/11, at the GOP convention by arresting peaceful protesters in NY (and calling them 'anarchists'), subverting legal process and procedures in Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and in the Hamdi and Padilla cases (corrected by the Supreme Court), promoting some aspects of the Patriot Act, and now in the very campaigning process to answer the question of why anyone should vote for another four years for this President. Then, if elected, Bush promises some wholesale adjustments to our Constitution on almost every point except the 2nd amendment (already benefiting from the most overly liberal interpretation possible) based on extremely divisive religious issues.
These messages and policies debase our most cherished freedoms, our viewpoints of expression, our diversity of opinion, questioning, debating and choosing based on informed reasoning. It is the most frightening thing going on in our country and being promoted, unashamedly by this current administration in its quest to retain its power and position. I am more afraid of what another four years under this kind of manipulative leadership will create than all of the threats and offenses outside terrorists can (and probably will try) to throw at us. Terrorists can only kill us in body, these policies can kill us in spirit and rot the very fabric of our soul as a nation.
It is my worst fears as exemplified by this administration, worse than terrorism.
Karen on 03.28.05 @ 05:33 AM CST