A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Yet Another Systematic UN-American Outrage of George W. Bush

You have not seen many postings from Joe Claus in the last two weeks of the election. New and relevant facts have been few and far between since the final Presidential debate and the refutation of scurrilous misrepresentation and lies in the political advertising will be better blogged as a summary once the election is over.

But what is below cannot be passed by. It is the most systematic attempt to impose authoritarian government in this country in my lifetime, and possibly the most systematic attempt since the Alien and Sedition Acts. The architects of it, particularly Vice President Dick Cheney, have no business ever being NEAR political power again.

Read 'em and weep:

After Terror, a Secret Rewriting of Military Law


Published: October 24, 2004

WASHINGTON - In early November 2001, with Americans still staggered by the Sept. 11 attacks, a small group of White House officials worked in great secrecy to devise a new system of justice for the new war they had declared on terrorism.

Determined to deal aggressively with the terrorists they expected to capture, the officials bypassed the federal courts and their constitutional guarantees, giving the military the authority to detain foreign suspects indefinitely and prosecute them in tribunals not used since World War II.

The plan was considered so sensitive that senior White House officials kept its final details hidden from the president's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and the secretary of state, Colin L. Powell, officials said. It was so urgent, some of those involved said, that they hardly thought of consulting Congress.

White House officials said their use of extraordinary powers would allow the Pentagon to collect crucial intelligence and mete out swift, unmerciful justice. "We think it guarantees that we'll have the kind of treatment of these individuals that we believe they deserve," said Vice President Dick Cheney, who was a driving force behind the policy.

But three years later, not a single terrorist has been prosecuted. Of the roughly 560 men being held at the United States naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, only 4 have been formally charged. Preliminary hearings for those suspects brought such a barrage of procedural challenges and public criticism that verdicts could still be months away. And since a Supreme Court decision in June that gave the detainees the right to challenge their imprisonment in federal court, the Pentagon has stepped up efforts to send home hundreds of men whom it once branded as dangerous terrorists.

"We've cleared whole forests of paper developing procedures for these tribunals, and no one has been tried yet," said Richard L. Shiffrin, who worked on the issue as the Pentagon's deputy general counsel for intelligence matters. "They just ended up in this Kafkaesque sort of purgatory."....

Read all nine pages of it and the follow-up article next week and learn for yourself why George W. Bush is among the greatest dangers to American freedom this country has ever faced.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO: Joseph Marshall
RE: Unprecedented?

"Determined to deal aggressively with the terrorists they expected to capture, the officials bypassed the federal courts and their constitutional guarantees, giving the military the authority to detain foreign suspects indefinitely and prosecute them in tribunals not used since World War II." -- Tim Golden as reported by Joseph Marshall

I get the impression, from the hystrionics, that you think this is 'unprecedented'. And yet, Tim Golden indicates this sort of thing happened to the Nazi war-criminals we rounded up after the collapse of Nazi Germany.

So, the way I read this is that we've done this in the past. The point here is that you don't like it. Okay. I can live with that.

Not having read all of Tim's report, my initial impression of it is "not that impressive an argument"; based on what you've provided here.


P.S. Recommend some Tension Tamer tea. You seem to be getting a bit too tightly wound-up of late.

P.P.S. Did you catch Mrs. Edwards' comment about rioting?

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