The events of the last few days in Washington D.C. have been remarkable, but they are not the most remarkable we shall see. The government of George W. Bush is on the verge of falling apart as the result of its own radical ideology.
The Bush Republican ideology says that the law doesn't matter, that the Constitution doesn't matter, that the Bill of Rights can be chucked right on out the window whenever the President of the United States deems it necessary. This ideology makes the President into a dictator who is above the law.
Ray Meier is a part of this ideology. He supports Bush, and he has refused to distance himself from Bush's pro-torture, anti-freedom legislation.
George W. Bush and John McCain have performed a very clever shell game to come to their "compromise", but the plain fact is that their proposed legislation still changes the law to make torture legal (just so long as it doesn't kill the prisoner or cause major permanent harm to the body) and still provides amnesty for war criminals.
The Bush-McCain torture legislation also takes away our right to habeas corpus protections - the foundation of all our other freedoms. That outrage was pointed out by the Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. Senator Arlen Specter called this attempt to rip the bottom out of American democracy "inexplicable", and pointed out that it is in clear violation of the Constitution, which only allows habeas corpus to be temporarily suspended in the case of a rebellion against the government or an invasion by a foreign power.
As Senator Specter pointed out, there is no invasion and there is no rebellion. Yet, George W. Bush is asking Congress for a permanent revocation of habeas corpus rights.
It's not just me, some blogger off in an Upstate New York village, who's saying that this legislation is a threat to our democracy. United States Senators, Republican and Democrat, are coming together to denounce the McCain-Bush proposal on the grounds that I cite here. Senator Patrick Leahy made the following statement yesterday, for example:
"This provision would perpetuate the indefinite detention of hundreds of individuals against whom the Government has brought no charges and presented no evidence, without any recourse to justice whatsoever. That is un-American, and it is contrary to American interests.
Going forward, the bill departs even more radically from our most fundamental values. It would permit the President to detain indefinitely – even for life – any alien, whether in the United States or abroad, whether a foreign resident or a lawful permanent resident, without any meaningful opportunity for the alien to challenge his detention. The Administration would not even need to assert, much less prove, that the alien was an enemy combatant; it would suffice that the alien was “awaiting [a] determination” on that issue. In other words, the bill would tell the millions of legal immigrants living in America, participating in American families, working for American businesses, and paying American taxes, that our Government may at any minute pick them up and detain them indefinitely without charge, and without any access to the courts or even to military tribunals, unless and until the Government determines that they are not enemy combatants.
Detained indefinitely, and unaccountably, until proven innocent. Like Canadian citizen Maher Arar. As the Canadian Government recently concluded in a detailed and candid report, there is no evidence that Mr. Arar ever committed a crime or posed a threat to U.S. or Canadian security. Yet, while returning home to Canada from a family vacation, he was detained, interrogated, and then shipped off to a torture cell in Syria by the Bush-Cheney Administration While the Canadian Government has now documented that the wrong thing was done to the wrong man, the Bush-Cheney Administration has, as usual, evaded all accountability by hiding behind a purported state secrets privilege."
The so-called "compromise" of George W. Bush and John McCain is falling apart because it isn't a compromise at all. It's the same old pig, dressed up in a hat and lipstick.
Republicans and Democrats are coming together to say no to Bush's anti-freedom ideology. Bush's ideology is on the verge of disintegration. Yet, Ray Meier still holds on to that ideology, standing with Bush no matter how crazy Bush gets.
Ray Meier doesn't have enough sense to step away from a destructive ideology, even while it's crumbling before his very eyes: That's reason #10 out of 30 to NOT vote for Ray Meier for Congress