Sunday, June 11, 2006

Editorial: Administration attacks the American Way of Life

Three Guantanamo Bay detainees hanged themselves with nooses made of sheets and clothes, the commander of the detention center said Saturday. They were the first reported deaths among the hundreds of men held at the base for years without charge.

The above is from Andrew Selsky and Jennifer Loven's "U.S.: 3 Gitmo inmates hanged themselves" (Associated Press). The reporters estimate the number held at Guantanamo, the PRISONERS, number 460 and note that only ten of them have ever been charged with anything.

While the American spokesperson comes forward to spin, there's really no spining it.

Navy Rear Adm. Harry Harris declares, "They have no regard for human life. Neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation but an act of asymmetric warfare against us."

What dream world does Harris live in?

What's gone on at Guantanam (and Bagrham and a host of other prisons) isn't rooted in the American system of justice. Our system is based upon the concept that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Harris can pretend that the suicides are an attack on America (and no doubt a few Kool Aid drinkers will buy it) but that's not reality.

Guantanamo Bay is an attack on America.

The people held there are not "Detainees." They are prisoners. They are prisoners who have been held with charges and have not been given the right to trial.

The America hating administration can shred the Constitution in any number of ways and have but one of the biggest historical stains on our nation from this period will be Guantanamo.

There's been a huge p.r. build up from the beginning of how these people are "the worst of the worst." That's never been reality, but the nonsense has been maintained.

It's allowed for people who know better, Americans who believe in the American system of justice, to look the other way and avoid addressing the ugly reality of what has been going on.
By frightening Americans into thinking that only the bars of Guantanamo seperate America from another attack, they've allowed needed questions to be silenced.

For over 200 years now, the American system of justice has (with few exceptions) been rooted on the premise that accusations are not convictions, that everyone has the right to a trial. Over the years, just as many innocents have been convicted in our far from perfect system, many have walked who were guilty. Some have walked due to technicalities. For example, if the police violated the rights of a suspect, the entire case, regardless of the evidence, could be tossed out. Why?

Because the system of rules and regulations, intended to honor the rights of all Americans, was too important. It was more important than a single conviction. The system has now been trashed. With Jose Padilla, John Ashcroft (then attorney general of the United States) hoped to test the waters for similar actions -- this time an American citizen was being held with no access to the courts.

What happens "over there" effects of all us. It not only puts a stain on our nation's character, it also allows our concepts of justice and the legal system to be trashed. It lowers the standard for a nation that Bully Boy insists fights for "freedom."

Guantanamo Bay (and the case of Jose Padilla) are not about freedom.

They're about stating that one person (a king) can make the determination of guilt or innocent, that juries and judges are unneeded. If you're happy about that, wallow in the slience that's become part of this nation's character. There's a word for upsurping the legal system the nation is built upon and the word is "tyranny."

Justice would be not just the Bully Boy impeached but thrown behind bars (after a conviction won in the American courts). This is not "law and order." This is an abuse of the legal system.
Were those held at Guantamo guilty of anything, they should have been charged and tried in an American court. But Bully Boy has no respect or belief in the American system of justice; therefore, a new system was created.

There's a great deal of talk about how Bully Boy's a lame duck at this point in time. (That talk hasn't been absorbed by the majority of elected Democratic Congress members obviously.) There's this concept of "Oh, they've really shot themselves in the foot this time."

The machinery that put Bully Boy into office didn't do so because they loved them some Bully Boy. They did it because they believed in what could be done. How the lines could be crossed and the implications for the future. It was never about one person holding office, it was about destroying the country they give lip service to loving.

There are cheeers over the defeat of the proposed amendment to defeat same-sex marriage, over the defeat of the repeal of the estate tax. Those are the toppings. What was wanted, and they've been very upfront about this, was to subvert the American system.

They have done so. They've reduced supposed proud Americans into a nation of scared sillies who will give up any right or abandon any foundation out of fear. Too many years of smarting over the fact that Congress (and the Supreme Court) held a previous Bully Boy, Tricky Dick, in check, fueled their anti-American revolt.

Anti-American? It's very anti-American. Disenfranchising voters is unAmerican. But they continue to do so. For the first time in 67 years, "the Florida Leauge of Women Voters announced that it was stopping all voter registration efforts" ("Block the Vote, Ohio Remix," The New York Times, June 7, 2006, A24). Why? Because the Republican state legislature passed legislation to suppress the vote. It's not just Florida. It's not even just Ohio, but those making the call in that state are not concerned with fair and free elections either.

"Ohio Sec. of State Accused of Disenfranchising Voters" (Democracy Now!):
In Ohio, the state's top electoral official is being accused of trying to fix the upcoming November elections. Democrats and voter-registration groups charge Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has drafted draconian rules that could easily lead to penalties against people who register voters. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- known as ACORN -- says the rules are so vague the group has cut back its voter-registration efforts while lawyers review the new guidelines. Democrats say Blackwell is attempting to prevent black, low-income and Democratic voters from voting in his upcoming gubernatorial race against Democratic Congressmember Ted Strickland.

At this rate, how long before we bring back the poll tax? Sound ludicrous to you? It's been floated. The Bully Boy is the figurehead, the "elves" (as they famously dubbed themselves during the witchhunts of Bill Clinton) are the ones doing all the work. Time and again, revelations that come out much later can be traced back to the elves.

America is under attack. Not from secularists or same-sex marriage or any of the supposed panics. From the elves. People for the American Way identified some of them in profile positions. But most eleves labor in their secret toy factory (Viet Deim, John Yu, etc). What happens when America gets a good look at an elf? Revulsion judging by the reaction last week to Ann Coulter's attack on 9/11 widows.

Now watching Coulter implode this week (continue to implode) may mean we're reaching some sort of a national revulsion moment similar to the mood that finally took down McCarthy. But the failure to connect the dots (or even explore some of them -- for instance, the mainstream press dodged seriously addressing "good guy" John Roberts' Federalist Society connections and he's now the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) means, at best, one is sent packing while others fix their makeup to a slightly different shade.

Whether Bully Boy's the global village idiot or a little more on the ball than some give him credit for being, he's no lawyer. The attacks on the America system of justice aren't originated by him, he lacks the knowledge to launch them. And while he might grasp instictively that a frightened nation is a stupid one, we're not sure he could do much with his limited insight without the help of elves.

"American Bar Association to Investigate Bush for Violating Constitution" (Democracy Now!):
The American Bar Association Board of Governors has voted unanimously to investigate whether President Bush is violating the constitution by issuing signing statements to bypass new laws. The Boston Globe recently reported President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey an unprecedented 750 laws enacted since he took office. Among other laws, Bush has said he can ignore Congress' ban on torture as well as Congressional oversight of the Patriot Act.

That's the illegal administration. Three people have hanged themselves rather than to continue to be held without trial, without charges and with no hope of ever leaving. That's blood on the hands of the administration. Harry Harris sees it as an attack on "us." What he means is an attack on the administration. Whenever reality, ugly reality, emerges as to what the administration has done or is planning, it's seen as an attack. The exposure is never the attack -- it's what's being exposed, what's been plotted, that has been part of a continual attack on democracy.

As Dalia Hashad said last week, "We have got to wake up in America." To which we'd add "while this country still resembles America."
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