Friday, September 29, 2006

The Pro-Torture Trio: Ted Stevens, Lisa Murkowski, and Don Young

All three members of Alaska's Congressional delegation have voted for unprecedented expansion of powers for the president. And when I say unprecedented, I mean NO president of the United States has ever been trusted with this much sheer control over the lives (and deaths) of suspected criminals. Note that word: suspected. Not convicted, not proved, simply suspected. For those of you out there who really are conservatives, not just knee-jerk follow-the-leader types, consider that the Military Commissions Act eviscerates the power of the courts and utterly shreds the Constitution. Our Declaration of Independence included these famous words: "all men are created equal". Not, "all citizens of our land": ALL men. Citizens, noncitizens, whatever. The principle has been expanded over time to include women, too: people. All people are deserving of equal protections, equal rights. Even those suspected of crimes. Even those who have actually committed crimes. Rights are not privileges: they are inalienable, something you can't just toss because it's inconvenient.

But that's what Don Young, Ted Stevens, and Lisa Murkowski have done: they've tossed out the Constitution because it's inconvenient. They've endorsed the Administration's use of torture, and they've endorsed the Administration's "right" to get away with it scot-free. They've voted to change the War Crimes Act, they've retroactively protected the president and his administration for any war crimes they may have committed or authorized since 2001, they've voted to redefine the infliction of severe pain or rape so that it doesn't come under the heading of torture, they've voted to allow the use of coerced evidence and secret evidence which the accused can respond to but can't short, they've voted to turn the United States into a "decidership".

But of course, it's not just noncitizens who can be imprisoned without charge, tortured, etc. Citizens can be stipped of their rights, too.

Lynndie England was convicted in 2005 for doing far less than what this bill will allow. Doesn't that make you feel proud of what America has become? One set of barbaric rules for the peons, and another for the rulers.

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