For those who have not paid attention to the news this autumn, the Military Commissions Act does the following:
Democrats were elected to Congress to challenge the Republican way of doing things. But, so far, Nancy Pelosi doesn't seem very interested in dealing with the most serious Republican abuses: The Republicans' attacks upon the liberty that Americans once held dear. Do Americans still hold that liberty dear?
Some clearly do. Others don't seem to care - and among those others are many Democrats. Nancy Pelosi did not vote for the Military Commissions Act, but she faces a House of Representatives in which the majority of members did, or would have, if they had been elected. New Congressman Mike Arcuri is among those who supported the Military Comissions Act. He thought it was a jim dandy idea.
When a big chunk of the Democratic Congress joins the Republicans in supporting laws like the Military Commissions Act, we may have a Democratic Party majority in Congress, but more functionally, we still have a Congress that disdains the effort to protect the freedoms guaranteed us under the Bill of Rights.
We will see, in a few short weeks, what kind of Congressman Michael Arcuri will really be. Will he work with other Democrats to take action on the Military Commissions Act? If he follows the new House leadership, it appears that he won't. Here's what the Washington Post's editorial board had to say this morning about the House Democratic leaderships apparent plan of inaction on the Military Commissions Act:
"Future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently named three priorities for investigation, including private contracting in Iraq, the handling of Hurricane Katrina and the administration's formulation of energy policy. It's hard to understand why Democrats would insist on examining Vice President Cheney's first-term energy task force but would not seek to determine -- at last -- how senior military commanders and defense officials may have contributed to the prisoner abuse scandal at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. No one but low-ranking soldiers has been criminally prosecuted for the shocking abuse at Abu Ghraib, despite evidence that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and several top generals played a role in sanctioning practices such as sexually humiliating prisoners and threatening them with dogs. Democrats now will have the opportunity -- and the duty -- to insist on accountability."