Friday, October 01, 2004

The Bush Betrayal: Chapter 13

We continue coverage of this awesome book with another small sample:

        Chapter Title: Antiterrorism Abuses and Frauds

How about some more Republican criticism of Bush and his anti-justice policies? This chapter is, by far and away, the scariest to me. I mean, I'm horrified by the thought of what our military is doing to people in Iraq and elsewhere, but I'm more scared for myself at this point. Outrageously selfish and cowardly, I know, but honest, too. Well, I'm doing what I can. We all decide our own level of involvement - as Tyler Durden said.

New York Times columnist William Safire denounced Bush's edict for seeking the "replacement of the American rule of law with military kangaroo courts." Safire declared that, under Bush's decree, "noncitizens face an executive that is now investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury, and jailer or executioner. In an Orwellian twist, Bush's order calls this Sovient-style abomination a full and fair trial."43 Wesley Pruden, the editor in chief of the Washington Times, denounced Bush's proposal as "drumhead justice" and declared that it would be less cynical for Bush simply to "order his generals to shoot whoever he thinks needs shooting" in Afghanistan instead of pretending that his tribunal system is "a triumph of the rule of law."44
. . .
And Bush's order starkly ignored a famous Supreme Court ruling striking down as unconstitutional Abraham Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War. The Court ruled in 1866 that the president may not rely on military tribunals unless civil courts are "actually closed and it is impossible to administer criminal justice."45
. . .
On June 10, 2002, the president claimed even greater power. On that day, Attorney General Ashcroft announced during a visit to Moscow that the U.S. government had designated an American citizen arrested in Chicago as an enemy combatant. Jose Padilla, a Puerto Rican who grew up in Chicago and served time in Florida prisons, was transferred to a military brig after the feds realied that they had little or no evidence to justify his arrest.
. . .
Federal judge Michael Mukasey warned in 2003 that if the Bush administration continued denying all of Padilla's legal rights, "a dictatorship will be upon us, the tanks will have rolled."47

45. Ex Parte Milligan, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 2 (1866)

47. Dan Mihalopoulos, "U.S. Rebuked Over Padilla," Chicago Tribune, March 12, 2003.

Let's look at what we have here. William Safire, Bush apologist extraordinaire, being harshly critical of Bush's kangaroo courts. The editor of the Moonie Times tells Bush to just kill who he wants to kill instead of putting up this charade of a 'fair trial for the accused'. Ashcroft arrests, hides away incommunicado, and declares as an ememy combatant an American citizen. Bush ignores a major Supreme Court precedent. And a federal judge says a dictatorship will be upon us if Bush's policy of denying Hamdi's rights continues.

What else can one say? How the fuck did we get here?

Link to original article (and Chapter 1 - Introduction) here.

Link to previous chapter.

Chapter 14.

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