Michael Arcuri still supports the Military Commissions Act - and it looks like he still hasn't even bothered to read the law - and neither has his campaign manager.
Arcuri's campaign manager, feeling the heat from local Democrats' anger about Arcuri's support for George W. Bush and the Military Commissions Act sent a message of attempted contrition in which he wrote, "He [Michael Arcuri] would have supported the bill because, while imperfect, it places some important restrictions on this adminstration, and then he would have moved immediately to seek legislation to deal with the Habeas Corpus problem."
The habeas corpus problem? Is that all that Michael Arcuri and his campaign manager think is wrong with the Military Commissions Act? If that's true, then they definitely have still not bothered to read the text of the law.
What about the Geneva Conventions problem, for example? Does Michael Arcuri know nothing about that? If you don't believe me that the Military Commissions Act ends enforcement of the Geneva Conventions, fine. You shouldn't believe something just because I say it's true. Go read the text of the Military Commissions Act yourself, and search for the following phrases in italics - oh yes, they're in there.
The Military Commissions Act gives George W. Bush the unlimited power to engage in de facto amendments to the Geneva Conventions. The text of the law includes the following provision:
"The President has the authority for the United States to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions"
Everyone, including Senator Mike Arcuri and his campaign manager, ought to know what this means. President Bush attempts to amend laws all the time by means of such interpretation, through signing statements. President Bush has shown a willingness to interpret a law outlawing torture in such a way that it actually allows him to torture people whenever he wants to. President Bush has in the past interpreted the legislation that makes the Geneva Conventions legally binding in American law in order to claim that the President has the power to apply Geneva Conventions however he wants, or not at all. The Military Commissions Act gives that power to the President when it did not exist before.
That's one way that the Military Commisions Act ends enforcement of the the Geneva Conventions - by giving the President the power to amend it however he sees fit. Another way that the Military Commissions Act amends the Geneva Conventions is seen in another selection from the law, below:
"No alien unlawful enemy combatant subject to trial by military commission under this chapter may invoke the Geneva Conventions as a source of rights."
This part of the Military Commissions Act is certainly a dramatic amendment to the Geneva Conventions. The Geneva Conventions applies to all people on a battlefield, without distinction between alien and citizen or lawful and unlawful. Well, at least that's how the Geneva Conventions used to work. Now, thanks to the support of Democrats like Mike Arcuri, that is no longer true - not for the United States of America.
Oh, but it gets worse. If you think that you're safe because you're a citizen, well, you're plain wrong. Read the following additional clause from the Military Commissions Act:
"In General- No person may invoke the Geneva Conventions or any protocols thereto in any habeas corpus or other civil action or proceeding to which the United States, or a current or former officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent of the United States is a party as a source of rights in any court of the United States or its States or territories."
No more Geneva Conventions protections for anybody captured by the United States. Is that what Michael Arcuri stands for, or does he just not know that this provision is in the law?
I'm guessing Michael Arcuri simply has no clue. When Arcuri and his campaign staff came to Trumansburg, he told the Democrats there that he gave the Military Commissions Act his support without bothering to read it first.
Supporting Republican legislation without even reading it beforehand - is that what we deserve in Congress? Hell, no.
I'm not going to tell you how to vote in this election, because there is no good choice. You follow your conscience. But, 24th district Democrats, don't let the Oneida County Democratic Committee tell you that this is the best Democratic choice that was available for 2006.
Give them a piece of your mind, and demand a better Democratic candidate for 2008 - whether Arcuri wins this year or not.