While the Republicans are busy trying to make a scandal out of legal donations and old local Utica gossip, there is serious stuff going on in Washington D.C. The Republicans want you to forget that the congressional race between Michael Arcuri and Ray Meier is about what goes in Washington D.C., not what goes on in Utica.
What's happening in D.C.? The Republicans are working on a plan to help war criminals evade prosecution and walk among us as free citizens.
Yesterday, National Public Radio announced that it has obtained secret documents indicating that the White House has been working on legislation to rip the guts out of the War Crimes Act.
The Bush Administration plan would reduce the number of war crimes that can be prosecuted under the War Crimes Act, make it impossible for anyone who has had their rights under the Geneva Convention violated to sue in U.S. courts, and... here's the kicker... do so retroactively to 2001.
I am waiting for you to read that last paragraph a second time, and to put the pieces together.
Do you understand what George W. Bush is preparing to ask Congress to do? Think back now. Think Watergate. Think Ford pardoning Nixon. Think about how it would have been if that pardon was given even before Nixon resigned. That's what Bush is asking Congress to do.
George W. Bush is preparing legislation to amend the War Crimes Act to make war crimes against the Geneva Conventions, which are the law of the United States of America as well as International law, retroactively legal. Bush would not do that unless he knew that the War Crimes Act had been violated. If the President of the United States knows that war crimes have been committed under his authority as Commander in Chief, and is keeping them secret from us, and is allowing them to continue, that is impeachable.
With this heretofore secret legislation, George W. Bush has crafted himself a Get Out of Jail Free Card.
How is this relevant to the congressional campaign in the 24th District? In order for Bush's scheme to work, he needs to get his legislation passed. Who passes legislation at the federal level? Think hard, now. It's the Congress. What are Michael Arcuri and Ray Meier running for? That's right...
What is Michael Arcuri's position on this legislation? He ought to be against it. It's a no-brainer, and Arcuri has nothing to lose by bringing it up.
What is Ray Meier's position on this legislation? That's a bit more tricky. Will Ray Meier, who was recently seen arm in arm with Dick Cheney, be willing to distance himself from the Bush-Cheney White House? Will Ray Meier have the guts to tell the Republican Party no, and take a stand against this plan to let war criminals off the hook? Can Ray Meier afford to look the other way? Can he afford not to?
This issue gets to the heart of whether we can trust Ray Meier to do the right thing. This is a moral issue. Would Ray Meier vote for this legislation? Would Ray Meier allow war criminals to walk free?
Now, I'm asking, I'm begging, I am getting down on my knees and pleading with the Oneida County Democrats, the Utica Democratic bloggers, and above all else, the Arcuri for Congress campaign: Will you please stop treating this like a local campaign, and start speaking on the bigger issues that have an interest that reaches beyond New Hartford?