Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 26, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

HABEAS CORPUS....John McCain's compromise with President Bush on detainee legislation may not have accomplished much, but it did contain at least a few worthwhile measures. Now, though, Republicans in Congress apparently want to water it down even more. The plan is to redefine "unlawful enemy combatant" from someone who is

engaged in hostilities against the United States

to someone who is

engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States

"Supported" is a pretty far-reaching term that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with actual combat. And while this vagueness would be disturbing enough by itself, it's even worse than it seems because other provisions of the legislation prohibit someone accused of "supporting" hostilities from challenging their detention in U.S. courts even if the detainee is a U.S. citizen.

And the fate of this proposal? According to the Washington Post, Republican crypto-moderate Arlen Specter "assailed the provision as an unconstitutional suspension of habeas corpus," but is "unlikely to derail the compromise legislation over those objections."

Well, sure. Why would a senior committee chairman actually do something substantive to back up a belief that pending legislation is an unconstitutional suspension of habeas corpus? That's hardly worth fighting over, is it?

POSTSCRIPT: And how about the Democrats? Will they fight this? We'll have to wait and see, but their performance has been pretty uninspiring so far.

Kevin Drum 2:02 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (174)

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Comments

"Supported" by itself may be vague, but in conjunction with "materially" it has some more substance.

I don't support any of this legislation; it's a blot on the nation's soul. But vagueness isn't the argument I'd level against it. It's just wrong.

Posted by: dj moonbat on September 26, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

Crypto-moderate or pseudo-moderate?

Posted by: Ross Best on September 26, 2006 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

Call me naive, but I think the over-reaching has gone too far, and the Publicans will have to pay the piper com November 8th.

I honestly have faith - faith that the American public is not as lazy and complacent and afraid as I fear; and that they are not as lazy and complacent and afraid as the craven traitors who make up the Publican fear-mongering machine hope they are for just one more election cycle. These people are more interested in protecting "Bush's legacy" than they are protecting the American people.

They have no ideas, so they trade in fear. They have no record to stand on, so they wrap themselves in the flag. They have no morals so they question the patriotism of anyone who dares question them or their motives and methods.

I have faith that America will see through it all, finally. I have faith that a revolution will take place at the ballot box on November 7th.

But most of all, I have faith that the Publicans will wake up on November 8th wondering why their asses hurt and who took their clothes.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I was going to do the Al parody for the night but I'm too tired. Could someone else please take care of it? Thanks.

Posted by: Lazy Al on September 26, 2006 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

If we had fought any other war on the premise that one was allowed to attack only those actively taking military action against us, and not those who supported and supplied them, how long would we have lasted?

Posted by: jerry on September 26, 2006 at 2:17 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, if you contribute to a charity which might have something to with one of them non-Christian religions, or worse, no religion at all, then you oughtta be put in jail!

Why is Arlen Specter such a joke? All hat, no cattle, for sure.

Posted by: Linkmeister on September 26, 2006 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

In the earlier bills, the military commission jurisdiction was pretty clearly limited to "ALIEN enemy combatants." So just because the definition of "EC" (sans "alien") is expanded doesn't necessarily mean it ropes in citizens within the commissions' jurisdiction. They would have to repeal other parts of the statute to do that. Just do a ctrl-f for "alien" in the current final version and you'll see what i mean.

So maybe the Post was mixed up. But then again, we are dealing with the bush administration and the GOP House, so who the hell knows.

i know we can count on john mccain though

Posted by: publius on September 26, 2006 at 2:19 AM | PERMALINK

Citizen:

In every single controversy in this war, the Left has taken the side that has made life easier for the terrorists. Some voters might notice that, too.

Posted by: monkeybone on September 26, 2006 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

I am off to bed myself. But on the topic of Habeus Corpus, we all owe Senator Spectre a debt of gratitude for standing firm and upholding the letter and spirit of the constitution. He is the last line of defense in the war against the craven neo-con movement that runs counter to the principle that I grew up believing America stood for.

I'm kinda pissed off that my halo has been tarnished by these asshats.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

to someone who is engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States

That means all Democrats are "unlawful enemy combatants"! *Snicker*

Posted by: Al on September 26, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin: And how about the Democrats? Will they fight this? We'll have to wait and see, but their performance has been pretty uninspiring so far.

So has yours. Anyone who is not calling for Bush's impeachment loudly and clearly at this time is nothing but an enabler of this administration's torture and other crimes. When Republicans say that if Democratss win they will hold hearings and hold Bush and others to account, Dems should come right out and say, "YOU DAMN RIGHT WE WILL!" This ugliness can't be undone. If they and you roll over for this, any remnants of democracy are lost, as are liberty and justice. Talking about this around the edges and nitpicking about the details and severity of it are not enough. You've got to SCREAM that you won't stand for it! SCREAM about it in your sleep! Don't even think about fluffing your pillows and getting comfortable. Fascism will get plenty of people you care about eventually also, maybe even you. There are no allied forces coming to our rescue.

Posted by: Don't Compromise on September 26, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

The war is the controversy, stupid.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

Wonder how the snickerpoodles are going to feel when their party is out and they find they see a lib taking advantage of the imperial powers His Royal Chimpness has taken for himself.

Posted by: Kenji on September 26, 2006 at 2:31 AM | PERMALINK

I emailed Spectre's office to let him know that in this battle, he isn't just Pennsylvania's senator, he has the support of persons of good conscience all over the country. Today, he is the closest thing we have to a Senator Symington.

I mean it this time - goodnight.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

Um. Suppose I start a war in, say, Iraq. Suppose that war turns out to have materially supported hostilities against the United States.

Can I be detained without the right to a lawyer? What level of proof is needed to detain me?

I disagreed with giving line-item veto to Clinton because I thought it gave the executive too much power. I guess I feel the same way about giving Bush's successors the right to make him disappear. As much as I don't like him, I think that's a piss poor approach to politicking, and only bad would come of it.

Posted by: Saam Barrager on September 26, 2006 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

"to someone who is engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States"

That means all Democrats are "unlawful enemy combatants"! *Snicker*

The word "hostilities" is ominously vague, too.

Posted by: exasperanto on September 26, 2006 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

Over a week ago I e-mailed 25 senators and my representatives concerning the suspension of habeas corpus.

Arlen is looking a lot older these days. I'm glad he stood up (I e-mailed him), and at least the debate is out there. Last week I do not remember hearing any Democratic congressmen or senators standing up to be counted on this specific complaint which goes to the heart of innocence or guilt and the ability of any authority to abuse detention.

E-mail some people!

Posted by: notthere on September 26, 2006 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

monkeybone nailed it. The left is wrong as a matter or policy. They're also polically wrong, and morally wrong.

Taking the last first, the most moral thing we can do is to win the GWOT, with as much certainty and speed as possible. Our victory will end the mass killings and and other unsavory practices perpetuated by the terrorists.

Politically, I think a majority of Americans understand that the priority is to win. I think a majority will support the candidate who focuses on victory rather than the candidate who focuses on legal rights for terrorists.

Policy: the terrorist rights folks are prolonging the reign of terror and making the victory of civilized peoples less certain.

Can you imagine the terrorist rights folks transported back in time? The US would try to close down a Soviet Gulag or a Nazi death camp, but the terrorists rights folks and the ACLU would get an injunction keeping the death camps and Gulags operating until the right to close them down had been litigated up to the Supreme Court.

No doubt some of you will respond with slippery slope arguments, which could conceivably have validity. You may argue that that abuses are possible. I would agree that abuses are theoretically possible, but we know of none. OTOH real atrocities committed almost daily by terrorists.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 26, 2006 at 2:39 AM | PERMALINK

I emailed Spectre's office to let him know that in this battle, he isn't just Pennsylvania's senator, he has the support of persons of good conscience all over the country

Specter is a piece of shit water carrier for the Bush crime syndicate. Quit talking about him like he's some kind of white-hat hero. He always caves. But it wouldn't matter if he didn't. You make it sound as if it will be some kind of victory to retain the so-called compromise reached by the other water carrying trio, McCain, Warner and Lindsey. It was already horrific.

Posted by: AreYouFuckingNuts? on September 26, 2006 at 2:44 AM | PERMALINK

The idea that "unlawful enemy combatant" even has currency as a term is testimony as to how far astray this debate has gone.

The term is made-up, undefined, and means whatever GWB and his minions want it to, when they want it to. It is not a legal defnition, it is a legal fiction with real-world consequences for the 14,000 people we hold now without charge around the world.

Dammit Kevin, you focus on the word "support" when the whole goddamn idea of an unlawful combatant is so morally and legally repugnant. It simply is. This is not a debate about "support," it is an effort to retain the idea that if the government holds you against your will, you have a right to dispute it in a court of law according to long-established procedures. Not just the constitution, but the Magna Carta.

British Kings treated the people of this country better than our current administration.

Posted by: abjectfunk on September 26, 2006 at 2:48 AM | PERMALINK

some of you will respond with slippery slope arguments

We're well down the slippery slope already, current-fascist.

Did you cry this much when Timothy McVeigh got a proper trial?

Posted by: exasperanto on September 26, 2006 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

Mr. Never, ever liberal --

"The most moral thing we can do...." But disregarding all the innocent people WE have already killed and maimed, the innocent people we have and still do detain with no due process, and the innocent people we have already tortured (and I have no reason to believe we do not still). Nice morality!

"Politically...." No one is not focussing on winning the GWOT except those that should be. Ask the 9/11 Commission. This administration, abetted by the silent majority in both houses, is doing nothing to win the war, only to make it worse.

"Policy...." There is no reign of terror except in the pussified minds of the Repugnuts who can only use fear to ramp support for their baseless pollicies that drain our resources, monetary, moral and military strength.

It's no good turning logic on its head. That only works in the Repugnut rallies. You guys support the Constitution only as rhetoric. When push comes to shove, you all run away from it and the moral strength it stands for. No surprise there!

Atrocities will always be committed by both sides in any war. The sign of civilization is to minimize those on your side whatever the opposition. Maybe something to be learned from Saladdin there?

Certainly not from you.

Anyway, when were you ever a liberal? In a previous life?

Posted by: Notthere on September 26, 2006 at 2:56 AM | PERMALINK

Did you cry this much when Timothy McVeigh got a proper trial?

ex-human only cries when a privileged son of a dead billionaire has to make do on only $700 million because of the terrorist inspired death tax.

Posted by: classwarrior on September 26, 2006 at 3:05 AM | PERMALINK

The war is the controversy, stupid.

Ha, ha. You're not stupid. You know exactly what I meant. Go down the list yourself.

Posted by: monkeybone on September 26, 2006 at 3:13 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:

> monkeybone nailed it. The left is wrong as a matter or policy.
> They're also polically wrong, and morally wrong.

The right may be capable of demagoguing this issue by
stimulating the very fear that terrorists are trying to
induce to cripple our society and using it to win elections
-- but you are wrong both morally and as a matter of policy.

> Taking the last first, the most moral thing we can do
> is to win the GWOT, with as much certainty and speed as
> possible. Our victory will end the mass killings and and
> other unsavory practices perpetuated by the terrorists.

Problem: You can't win the GWoT on the battlefield. Evidence:
The new NIE, which says that the Iraq war has led to an explosion
of new terrorist activity. We'll win the war against terrorism when
the people who support it realize it's counterproductive. The IRA
eventually laid down its arms and became a key part of the Northern
Irish government. That's a sort of general template. And this
wasn't done by annihilating the organization through force of arms
but rather by negotiating with former terrorists like Gerry Adams.

It's going to be a long struggle. What we should avoid doing is
*prolonging* it by making war on countries instead of terrorists.

Democrats are refusing to make a bad situation worse.

> Politically, I think a majority of Americans understand that
> the priority is to win. I think a majority will support the
> candidate who focuses on victory rather than the candidate
> who focuses on legal rights for terrorists.

The problem is, ex-lib, you can't even define victory in a way
that's remotely realistic. If Iraq becomes stable -- who's
to say that it won't remain a jihadi target as an American ally?

The left's position -- strengthened law enforcement, better
relations with moderate Muslims, not posing an existential
threat to Islamic regimes we don't like because that only
strengthens the hardliners, is simple common sense.

> Policy: the terrorist rights folks are prolonging the reign of
> terror and making the victory of civilized peoples less certain.

The patriotic Americans who are standing up for American values are
denying terrorists a moral victory by insisting that our nation
doesn't strip all of us of the very rights the terrorists claim
to hate. This is in itself a victory for civilized peoples.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 3:17 AM | PERMALINK

In every single controversy in this war, the Left has taken the side that has made life easier for the terrorists. Some voters might notice that, too.
Posted by: monkeybone

the NIE has said that the illegal invasion of Iraq which bush lied us into has increased terrorism. therefore, bush and the entire cabal of war criminals have "purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States."

therefore, it seems logical that these are the ones we go after, hold without trials, torture until they confess to misleading america, and then execute.

even that much legality is more than they deserve.

Posted by: Nads on September 26, 2006 at 3:22 AM | PERMALINK

your a centrist media puke Kevin...divide the public for your monkey master,,centrist media fuck take you fucking wapo with you crimsom magenta Harvard fucks, your a lemming as rush or o'reilly is , centrist media fuckheads,fuck you greedy bastards

Posted by: Dick on September 26, 2006 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

FUCK THE ELITIST PRICKS AND YOU!!

WORTHLESS FUCKS

Posted by: Dick on September 26, 2006 at 3:25 AM | PERMALINK

Dick:

Do you have a point?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

monkeyboob --

Just as the idiots in charge didn't have the imagination nor take advice from experienced advisors to know what they were getting into when they invaded Iraq, so they (and you) do not have the imagination to know what it takes to win a war against terrorists.

The fact that it is the exact policies of this administration that plot the course to losing the so-called Global War on Terror in a most complete and emphatic manner is beyond your (and their) comprehension.

It's a most expensive lesson and yet none of them show any sign of having learned anything so far. Amazing!

"Stay the course!" "As they stand up...!" He marched them up to the top of the hill...!

Posted by: notthere on September 26, 2006 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

monkeybone:

> In every single controversy in this war, the Left has taken
> the side that has made life easier for the terrorists.

Did the mainstream, responsible left (not counting pacifist
and fringe groups) oppose the war in Afghanistan? Nope.

They opposed the war in Iraq? Why? Because they knew damn well
it would do precisely what those lunatic Commie leftists at the
CIA just said that it did -- make life much easier for terrorists.

Al Qaeda used to be a hierarchical organization. Now it's
mestastacized into myriad tiny stand-alone cells spread the
world over (and linked by the internet) who need only to be
inspired by Osama but otherwise are totally independent.
It makes terrorism much harder to eradicate at the roots.

Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, "Extraordinary rendition" of innocent guys
to countries that *really* torture, Fallujah, the rape and
immolation of a 14-year-old girl and the cold-blooded murder of her
family -- all these things have amounted to a recruitment bonanza.
The Iraq war did Osama's heavy lifting and made jihad *cool*.

> Some voters might notice that, too.

Indeed.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 3:49 AM | PERMALINK

No doubt some of you will respond with slippery slope arguments, which could conceivably have validity. You may argue that that abuses are possible. I would agree that abuses are theoretically possible, but we know of none. OTOH real atrocities committed almost daily by terrorists.
Posted by: ex-liberal

an innocent candadian whome we sent abroad to be tortured. abu ghraib. ... Saying that we "know of none" is either ignorant, dishonest, or racist. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume it is not one of the latter two.

do abuses only count when it happens to white people?

Posted by: Nads on September 26, 2006 at 4:11 AM | PERMALINK

"your a centrist media puke Kevin...divide the public for your monkey master"

Gee, where'd you get 'you're' education, Dicky, and is it too late to get your money back?

Boy, those damn centrists sure are dividing the public these days, aren't they? I don't know how much more of this reasonable stuff coming from the middle we can possibly stand! It's making us ball our widdle fists. (Or widdle Fwists, as the case may be.)

Posted by: Kenji on September 26, 2006 at 4:16 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, this bill is utterly shameful, and it nearly brings me to tears to think that this can happen in our country in this day and age.

BUT...

I still feel this is a necessary sacrifice at this time, and I pray the Dems don't fall into Karl Rove's trap. Fighting this bill now equals losing the midterms equals Bush unfettered in the coming war with Iran equals conflagration in the Middle East equals final sharp break between the U.S. and Europe. Oh, and a much deeper budget hole.

We can turn this back at a later time. This country has always turned back the fascist impulses when the time came -- I don't suspect will have any internment camps between now and when we finally receive the unconditional surrender of Terror.

For now, we may have to sacrifice the people in Guantanamo to save much greater suffering in the coming years. It's not right, but neither was firebombing Dresden. Sometimes innocent people suffer and die in the name of fighting off a bigger threat, and right now George W. Bush is the biggest threat to peace and prosperity on the entire planet.

No, strike that. The biggest threat are our fellow American citizens who would even consider returning a Republican Congress to do this evil man's bidding for two more years.

Posted by: skeptic on September 26, 2006 at 4:17 AM | PERMALINK

What I would be a lot more worried about is the definition of materially support.
That, to me, could be stretched to mean sedition (thought crimes by another description).
If materially means 'with material' it doesn't but if it means 'substantially' then it does and the word can be used in both ways.
If I then stand up and state, or write an article or blog post, that says something along the lines of ' you know, these insurgents might be right, maybe they do have a right to attack invading troops' that is certainly aid and support, but is it material? Is it illegal under this new proposed law?
Do we really want to have sedition back in US law? Or am I being overblown, got the wrong end of the stick?

Posted by: failingeconomist on September 26, 2006 at 4:37 AM | PERMALINK

skeptic --

And I bet that was one of the arguments used in Germany as Hitler rose to power. "We'll go along with this and hold our nose, and get him later."

Moral relativism and hypocrisy is exactly where the Repugnuts and fellow-travellers find their justification.

Sorry. Just can't and will not go there.

It will only get harder or, perhaps, impossible down the road. Which is exactly what made bombing Dresden necessary.

Anyway. I think this is one argument the US citizenry might understand.

We already know some of the Republican representatives get it.

Posted by: notthere on September 26, 2006 at 4:46 AM | PERMALINK

Wouldn't want to raise any objections over the suspension of one of the fundamental principles of our system of jurisprudence, would we, Arlen? Nope. Not if it is seen as going against the boy genius in the White House.

Good God in Heaven!

I can't believe the types of discussions we are having in Bushworld America these days! - What constitutes torture? Should we suspend habeas corpus? Do we have to allow terrorist defendants to see the evidence we have against them?

Wake up, people! This is no longer America. This is some type of Bizarro world neo-fascist armed madhouse we have become. Conservatives need some intense remedial American history and Constiutional law classes! [And Arlen Specter need to be put out to pasture....]

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 26, 2006 at 5:55 AM | PERMALINK

The ultimate interrogation device for persons suspected of being actively involved in terrorist organizations would be a lie detector that actually works. Generally, it is hard to have a lie detection session for someone who is not willing to participate. By making their life sufficiently uncomfortable (such as serving fortified oatmeal three times a day)co-operation in a session might be coerced.

I believe that, sooner or later, lie detection based on actual scanning of brain activity during questioning will become highly reliable. I believe that chemically blocking the formation of short term memories while interrogating someone over a period of months can reveal all the small lies that often must be invented to conceal a big lie. Word search the Cephos Corp. or go to NoLieMRI.com.
I believe that making someone uncomfortable or inconvenienced is not torture.
Most of all, I believe that we will know when any Islamofascistic terror organization gets their first WMD because they will use it without hesitation. Once a major world city is impacted the whole legalistic discussion about the treatment of WOT detainees will change dramatically again.

Posted by: Mike Cook on September 26, 2006 at 6:08 AM | PERMALINK

When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. - Sinclair Lewis.

Posted by: trublu on September 26, 2006 at 6:29 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: amr铃声 on September 26, 2006 at 6:49 AM | PERMALINK

Well duh! Kevin did say it was impossible for the Dems to do anything.

What is Kevin expecting? The centrist blogs have already give the Dems the right to ignore this bill, the permission to ignore this bill. After telling Democrats to ignore the bill, why does Kevin care.

It is to politically risky - Dems got the word from centrist blogs - don't do anything. At least Kevin won't see anything wrong with doing nothing, its not Kevin that will ever be torture, from safety of Al From blog. It just not how everybody feels.

Oh, ....and John McCain didn't compromise anything, McCain gave Bush the right to do whatever the hell Bush wanted to do to torture people.


Posted by: Cheryl on September 26, 2006 at 7:20 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, it beats "Providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations".

That would include, among other things, lawyers representing members of designated groups and all the school teachers in Gaza. I don't think Guantanomo is big enough.

It's in the patriot act.

Posted by: American Buzzard on September 26, 2006 at 7:46 AM | PERMALINK

DEMS will be coming at you like sand in a sandstorm during these remaining weeks...they need to hear that there won't be contributions if there isn't evidence of resistance to these detainee bills and speaking up about all the amunition that is available to use against these guys. ENOUGH OF THE QUIET...

Stephen Colbert did a BRILLIANT piece on the "game" the Repugs played with the "rebel senators" ...having your OPPOSITION be from your own party allows you to continue to call the shots...especially when McCave and Spector are part of the gang!

Posted by: Dancer on September 26, 2006 at 7:48 AM | PERMALINK

HabeAs corpus! Why does everyone insist on spelling it Habeus? It's a verb form, the Latin subjunctive second person singular of habere, to have. Used as the imperative: have the body.

Losing battle, I know...

Posted by: rabbit on September 26, 2006 at 7:52 AM | PERMALINK


I wouldn't celebrate too soon. Please turn your shit detectors to high.

I'm with Elizabeth Holtzman: this bill is a smokescreen to "pardon" Bush, et al. after the fact, since it "guts the War Crimes Act of 1996."

Here's Holtzman in the Chicago Sun-Times on Sunday:

"The 'pardon' is buried in Bush's proposed legislation to create a new kind of military tribunal for cases involving top al-Qaida operatives. The 'pardon' provision has nothing to do with the tribunals. Instead, it guts the War Crimes Act of 1996, a federal law that makes it a crime, in some cases punishable by death, to mistreat detainees in violation of the Geneva Conventions and makes the new, weaker terms of the War Crimes Act retroactive to 9/11."

This is a very important piece that hasn't received the attention it deserves.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/68705,CST-EDT-REF23B.article

As for Little Lord Lindsey: He wants to be the next attorney general under McCain.

Posted by: 9 on September 26, 2006 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

Are you sure it's not "torqueas corpus"?

Posted by: American Buzzard on September 26, 2006 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

Buzzard, you are so right, my mistake! That's where America's gone wrong all these years. Good thing our rulers are finally setting things right.

Posted by: rabbit on September 26, 2006 at 8:22 AM | PERMALINK

There are 45 Democrats in the Senate. None of them it seems have the balls to stand up for America.

We are left with the efforts of a few Republican senators who have raised serious objections. The first group, McCain, Graham and Warner, caved, right on que.

Spector will cave. He has before and he will now. He just can't help himself.

Habeas Corpus is soooooo pre 9/11.

Let's knock the Republicans out of office in November. That will stop the bleeding.

Beyond that we need to throw all the cowards out.

I have never been more ashamed of the elected members of the Democratic party than I have been this week. I know they are playing rope a dope, but not a single voice in the wilderness. Comeon.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 26, 2006 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

"I believe that making someone uncomfortable or inconvenienced is not torture."

I propose that we waterboard Mr. Cook until he confesses the error of this statement . . .

Posted by: rea on September 26, 2006 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

Considering the rhetoric coming from Camp GOP "who has purposefully and materially supported" could be construed as the entier Democratic party, any that don't check their brain at the door and support the president, and occassional some members of their own party.

Posted by: ET on September 26, 2006 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

skeptic: I still feel this is a necessary sacrifice at this time, and I pray the Dems don't fall into Karl Rove's trap. Fighting this bill now equals losing the midterms

This is the same appeasement crap, the same enabling bullshit, the same abandonment of the Constitution and the People that, during the 2002 midterms, was responsible for the illegal invasion of Iraq and the deaths of tens of thousands of men, women and children. The blood from the mangled bodies of thousands upon thousands of innocent children is on the hands of this administration, the Democrats who attempted to preserve their jobs until they could rectify things at a "later time," and upon anyone who supported their criminal endeavors. So too will the suffering of torture victims be on the hands of all those who do not vigorously oppose this hateful legislation.

Posted by: YouCan'tWashItOff on September 26, 2006 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

It's all well and fine to sit back and rant endlessly about "throw the bums out" (and all the rest) all the time, but personally, I'd like to see just who it is, exactly, we propose to REPLACE them with? We know what the problems are, now how about solutions?

Serious candidates please?

Kerry is toast.
Hillary is toast.
Gore is toast.
Dean is toast.

Just who, exactly, do we (or anyone) propose to put into this fight that has both the moral courage and honesty (short version - honor) and fortitude to stand up and put the US back on the right track, AND, who will have the faintest chance of winning an election?

The Dems are becoming a pathetic shadow. Are we truly faced with such a dearth of honorable candidates as this? The silence is deafening.

Posted by: Otolaryx on September 26, 2006 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Enabling waterboarding is a crime. Any legislator who votes for this 'compromise' is committing a war crime. There is no statute of limitations. Make sure your legislators knows this.

Posted by: John Forde on September 26, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder why ex-liberal thinks that opposing war is not a moral thing to do? He obviously was not listening well during Sunday school. I better alert Lucifer to build an especially warm fire in hell for him.

Posted by: The Lord on September 26, 2006 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

I believe that by "materially supported hostilities against the United States" they mean "donated money to Hezbollah or other Arab militias".

Posted by: Cryptic Ned on September 26, 2006 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

It's important to note that the re-definition of enemy combatant has nothing to do with the provisions denying detainees access to habeas corpus. As Marty Lederman puts it at Balkinization:

It is worth noting one thing about the breadth of the habeas-stripping provision, both in the new draft and in last week's version, that has thus far received inadequate attention in the public debate. That provision would eliminate the right to petition for habeas for all alleged alien enemy combatants, whether or not the detainee has been determined to be an "unlawful" combatant -- indeed, even if the detainee is deemed a lawful combatant (e.g., a POW) -- and no matter where they are detained, including in the United States.

http://balkin.blogspot.com/2006/09/it-gets-worse.html

Posted by: Yamashita on September 26, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

We need to give our President the power to indefinitely detain anyone who criticizes the United States or our government. I have a few neighbors who are Democrats and I just KNOW they hate America. I'd be delighted to call Homeland Security and have them disappear. Boy, won't they be sorry!

Posted by: Wingnut on September 26, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

It's obvious that some people of the Republican persuasion like tyrnanny. Just so long as they're the ones doing the tyrannizing, of course. The evidence was offered during the recent Clinton scolding of the Fox Bozo: the same people so enthusiastic about the Iraq War were calling for an immediate withdrawal in Somalia. Such principled defenders of liberty and such compassionate supporters of the downtrodden and endangered. Their deepest-held beliefs can survive anything. Well, except a party official offering a rationale for abandoning it.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on September 26, 2006 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

It's obvious that some people of the Republican persuasion like tyrnanny. Just so long as they're the ones doing the tyrannizing, of course.

See the Authoritarinism thread below.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

News Flash: Jesus Christ returned to Earth this morning and promptly began criticising the human race for its warmaking, torture, hate and greed. Mr. Christ, apparently a foreign national with no identification papers of any kind, was quickly arrested by US agents and is now being transferred to Guantanamo for questioning.

"He fits the profile of a terrorist," one agent said, who preferred to remain anonymous. "He has olive skin, long hair and a beard, wears Middle Eastern clothes and is obviously some kind of religious fanatic. He is obviously a threat to every American. We plan to use our alternative interrogation techniques to make Mr. Christ tell us what he knows."

Posted by: Fox News on September 26, 2006 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

There can and will be volumes written on how bad this compromise is- for the fate of the Constitution and the American Republic, the rule of law, for the American people, for the universal rights of man, for the immortal souls of those who sanction and carry out torture, etc.- but we have to remember that Republicans care nothing for the good of the country, or good government and certainly not the good of mankind (HA!). They certainly don't worry about their souls given their penchant for sending human beings into the meat grinder of war. For them, rights, constitutions, and public institutions are all materiel for Machiavellian subterfuge.

They would love nothing more than to attack Democrats from the right and the left, so they launch an assault that will get the left up in arms and mobilize the base against the enemy. It is classic.

However egregious the habeas issue, the Democrats must not fall into the usual trap. They will have to be crafty to protect their left flank while they preserve their appeal to the many who are dissatisfied with Republican rule.

At election time it is always necessary to grit ones teeth and look past the issues.

Posted by: bellumregio on September 26, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

skeptic: Yes, this bill is utterly shameful, and it nearly brings me to tears to think that this can happen in our country in this day and age.

BUT...

I still feel this is a necessary sacrifice at this time, and I pray the Dems don't fall into Karl Rove's trap.

-----------

This is what is known as a concern troll. Do not feed.

Posted by: rileypb on September 26, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Jerry: If we had fought any other war on the premise that one was allowed to attack only those actively taking military action against us, and not those who supported and supplied them, how long would we have lasted?


As long as we did in Vietnam?

Posted by: Trout on September 26, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Global: But also, some people seem to like *being* tyrannized. People whose livelihoods are being flushed down the drain by vast Republican handouts to corporate execs but keep voting Republicans in because the Republicans are making them so afraid of the terrorism whose flames the Republicans are fanning that they look to--who else? Republicans to protect them.

But I suppose you're right; in the midst of all this BEING tyrannized, at least you get to enjoy the perverse fantasy of having the power to torture somebody else. Fun!

Posted by: rabbit on September 26, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

And how is it determined whether someone is an "unlawful enemy combatant" by engaging in or eupporting hostilities?
By a court where coerced or hearsay testimony may be allowed? With no right to appeal to U.S. courts?

Posted by: Homer Hewitt on September 26, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

How many times have we heard that critism of the President or the war gives aid and comfort to the enemy? How many times have we heard critics of the war called traitors? It only follows that critics of the war will be accused of purposefully and materially supporting the terrorists and hostilities against the United States. If something isn't done to stop this legislation, critics will be silenced and our nation turn into a Soviet style totalitarian government. Never could happen? Really? Five years ago how many people would have believed that Congress would be debating the use of torture? Someone should compile clips of speeches condemning the Soviets or Saddam transposed against policies the Republicans have either advocated or implemented over the past five years. What we have historically "hated" is exactly what we are becoming. Wake up America!

Posted by: Anguished American on September 26, 2006 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

"However egregious the habeas issue," etc.

No! The Democrats must stop acting like a bunch of gutless wankers and defend the decency and lawfulness of the republic. Enough.

Posted by: Lucy on September 26, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin seems to have missed another part of the proposed bill that makes it applicable rectroactively, beginning in 1997.

Who says we don't have fascism?

Posted by: gregor on September 26, 2006 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

"Can you imagine the terrorist rights folks transported back in time? The US would try to close down a Soviet Gulag or a Nazi death camp, but the terrorists rights folks and the ACLU would get an injunction keeping the death camps and Gulags operating until the right to close them down had been litigated up to the Supreme Court."

Ah, the ignorance of the rightwinger. The facts of the current situation, when plugged into your little scenario, shitforbrains, are as follows: the "US" is fighting FOR the creation of gulags and a torture regime. The "terrorist rights folks and the ACLU" are fighting to close them.

Thanks for once again proving that when you scratch a rightwinger you find a Stalinist or a Nazi.

Posted by: brewmn on September 26, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

I would agree that abuses are theoretically possible, but we know of none.

We know of plenty, you just choose to remain ignorant. We know of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen who was kidnapped by the CIA, detained for eight months and illegally tortured during that time -- only to be returned because they finally figured out he didn't know anything at all about terrorist plots.

And yes, he wasn't even a terror suspect, you idget.

We know that something like 60% of the inmates at Guantanamo have been freed over the years BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T GUILTY OF ANYTHING!!! There is no slippery slope, we've been sitting in the pit at the bottom of the slope for years abusing and terrorizing and jailing and torturing people who are innocent, victims of mistaken identity and poor police work and a refusal to allow people the benefit of a basic legal process to determine their innocence or guilt.

Habeas Corpus has nothing to do with terrorist rights and has everything to do with human rights. You're only guilty of something if there's a trial and evidence to show that you're guilty. The Bush administration is arguing that they don't need evidence or trial to prove someone's guilt, they only need Bush's say so.

That pattern has preceded the rise of every dictatorship and abusive regime, because eventually it's used arbitrarily to silence one's critics.

ex-liberal, wake up. Quit worrying about trying to win arguments on this blog and focus on what is really going on.

Posted by: Windhorse on September 26, 2006 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

i suspect bush/cheney et al picked a fight with the armed services committee and negotiated a deal with the "military senators" (warner/mccain/grahm)to set the stage for the real battle

the real battle being with arlen spector and the judiciary commitee

having fueled the news cycle for over a week on torture and military courts they think they have drained the air out of the issue and made it immensely more difficult for the judiciary committee to oppose them with vigor

by the time the bills get to a vote the opposition will have been bowled over

Posted by: jamzo on September 26, 2006 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, I posted an incomplete message. As I was saying:

One thing is certain: we can't win the public relations war by being nice. Al Qaeda's entire campaign is based on being as cruel as possible. E.g., it was al Qaeda who blew up that important al-Askari shrine in Samarra. Anyone who cares about the welfare of Muslims should be on our side. Nothing the US has done is remotely as cruel as what al Qaeda does.

Those who understand the urgency of winnng the hearts and minds of Muslims ought to understand how important it is not to slander the US. Yet, some of them go out of their way to malign the US. E.g., the New York Times made al Qaeda out to be far worse than it actually was. John Murtha promulgated lies of a US troop massacre of civilians, before the facts were in.

People and institutions who go out of their way to make the US look worse than it is are contributing to our losing the public relations war to al Qaeda. I don't know why they do this, but they deserve the utmost contempt.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 26, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

In this festive election season Republicans will troll the blogs posing as enraged Democrats to rally sincere liberals behind a cause whose TIMING is not in their best interest. They saw the power of the blogosphere with the ousting of Lieberman and would like to harness it to push liberals in ill-fated causes. Remember gay marriage? It is not just red meat for traditionalists, it is about picking a fight between two groups and calculating you get 51%.

Posted by: bellumregio on September 26, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans accusing others of defeatism is pretty rich. Republicans start out defeated. They can't do anything at all without cheating. They can't fight a war without cheating. They can't have an election without cheating. They can't run a business without cheating.

Because they'd never win otherwise. They'd even fail at being gangsters. Think of them in Tony Soprano's world, what would they do? They'd join the cops.

The Republican personality is fraud and failure.

Posted by: cld on September 26, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

"POSTSCRIPT: And how about the Democrats? Will they fight this?" - Kevin

Democrats fight?

"We'll have to wait and see, but their performance has been pretty uninspiring so far." - Kevin


You could say that about everything the Democrats do.

Posted by: Jay on September 26, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Vice President Cheney says that anyone who opposes the war in Iraq supports the terrorists.
61 percent of the US population opposes the war, according to CNN. That's a lot of detainees and habeas corpus petitions to deny.

Knowing the Republicans, they probably haven't budgeted adequately for the aftermath of their own legislation.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on September 26, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

I'm an enraged Democrat. Are you accusing me of being an imposter?

Posted by: Lucy on September 26, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

The left is wrong as a matter or policy. They're also polically wrong, and morally wrong.

Really? You want want to take up your argument with former Pope John Paul II, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Patriarch of Constantinople, and the scores of other religious leaders around the world who argued that the "pre-emptive" war in Iraq was immoral, including the head of George Bush's own church:

Bush's Own Church Has Called For The Withdrawal Of Troops From Iraq

From The United Methodist Church

United Methodist Church leaders helped launch a week of protest and civil disobedience against the war in Iraq by signing a declaration of peace in the capital, urging President Bush to pull US troops out of the country.

The Declaration of Peace, signed on 21 September 2006, is described as a call for nonviolent action to end the war in Iraq. The Washington DC event was one of 350 staged nationwide to promote the peace initiative.

More than 500 groups, almost half of them faith organizations, are involved in the declaration of peace effort, which recently retired Bishop Susan Morrison said includes "acts of moral witness to seek a new course for our country."

By signing the peace document in front of the White House, the United Methodists and other protesters also hope to influence congressional races in November 2006 by forcing candidates to outline where they stand on the war.

Jim Winkler, top executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, said that protesting the war is similar to the church's work to promote other social movements. The church took prophetic positions on civil rights, women's rights and nuclear disarmament before Congress acted, he noted.


http://www.evangelicalright.com/2006/09/bushs_own_church_has_called_fo_1.html

Posted by: Windhorse on September 26, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

What the American voters do is immaterial. The American empire is sinking under its own weight while the world laughs. That is all that matters, not the results of some stupid rigged elections in November.

Clearly the Repubs will do what they have to do to retain power, because the alternative -- being forced to live with the responsibility for failure -- is unthinkable.

But it doesn't matter, because the world is moving on from us. As ownership and protection of the world's energy resources turns from us to other countries, as medical research originates in other countries, as the brain drain continues, as more of our soldiers are recruited from the absolute bottom ranges of the IQ scale, etc., nature and Darwinism will take their courses as they always do.

Posted by: Jim J on September 26, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

"One thing is certain: we can't win the public relations war by being nice. Al Qaeda's entire campaign is based on being as cruel as possible."

-exliberal

So you mean the terrorists have won?

Posted by: Ace Franze on September 26, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

we can't win the public relations war by being nice. Al Qaeda's entire campaign is based on being as cruel as possible.

That clinches it. Ex-liberal is a terrorist operative actively urging and encouraging our government to quicken the downfall of Western civilization.

Posted by: ckelly on September 26, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

John Murtha promulgated lies of a US troop massacre of civilians, before the facts were in.

No, Iraqis at the scene SAID that the Marines committed the massacre. The image of the U.S. in Muslim minds is tarnished by ignoring the accusations of the locals. BY INVESTIGATING THESE CHARGES WE SHOW THAT WE ARE FOR LAW AND ORDER, and not casual about slaughtering Iraqis.

This shows our moral accountability for our actions when we screw up, and gives lie to the widely held belief that we are cruelly indifferent to Muslims.

Something like half the Iraqis polled still say that attacks on U.S. troops are justified. This has nothing to do with Murtha or the NYT. When you ASK the Iraqis why this is, they say it's because we are an occupying power, we've blown their country to shit, and first and foremost -- almost everyone has a relative or a friend that's been killed by the violence that the U.S. instigated by invading.

Posted by: Windhorse on September 26, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

"....because the alternative -- being forced to live with the responsibility for failure -- is unthinkable." - Jimmy


Actually, it's living under Democrat control which is unthinkable.


"As ownership and protection of the world's energy resources turns from us to other countries, as medical research originates in other countries, as the brain drain continues, as more of our soldiers are recruited from the absolute bottom ranges of the IQ scale, etc., nature and Darwinism will take their courses as they always do." - Jimmy

Jimmy is a fine example of Democratic optimism and that American "can do" attitude.

No wonder you guys win elections...........oh wait. Nevermind.


Posted by: Jay on September 26, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

the New York Times made al Qaeda out to be far worse than it actually was.

Huh? George Bush is the one who has elevated a bunch of ragtag cave dwellers to the level of rock stars. "They are worse than Nazi Germany, Greatest Threat to Civilization Ever. We must chuck out all that we have ever stood for both morally and ethically! They want to create a Caliphate!! A Caliphate I tell ya!!"

Posted by: ckelly on September 26, 2006 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

What the republicans are trying to do essentially renders the Constitution null and void. Any provision can be violated and any manner of heinous crime committed by the president and executive branch with immunity. All they have to do is get their republican legislators to pass legislation that grants retroactive immunity. And the current republican legislators are not known for their ability to stand up for the Constitution.

A republican president violates the law and has committed heinous crimes and the republican congress grants him a PRE-EMPTIVE PARDON! Where is the outrage and opposition on the part of the Dems. Where is the outrage in the MSM? Has the fact that this bill gives bush retroactive immunity even been mentioned in the msm. Maybe they just don't understand what is at stake or they've ingested too much hairspray and makeup to do anything but mouth rnc talking points.

9 and Gregor above are right. Bush should not get a pre-emptive pardon for what he's done. If only dems would stress the pre-emptive pardon and fight this bill until bush can be held accountable.

Posted by: Chrissy on September 26, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

"....and gives lie to the widely held belief that we are cruelly indifferent to Muslims." - windbag


Oh I sure wouldn't want to come off as "indifferent" to Muslims, those poor little dears.


"Something like half the Iraqis polled still say that attacks on U.S. troops are justified." - windbag


Well that half must be right then, let's just ignore what the other half says.


"...almost everyone has a relative or a friend that's been killed by the violence that the U.S. instigated by invading." - windbag


I wonder how many have been killed by their own brothers of the religion of peace? Because they really are a peaceful people aren't they?

Posted by: Jay on September 26, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Jimmy is a fine example of Democratic optimism and that American "can do" attitude.

It may be very difficult to unfuck what Republicans have fucked up:

U.S. drops to 6th in world competitiveness ranking

Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:10 AM ET

By Laura MacInnis

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States fell to sixth place in the World Economic Forum's 2006 global competitiveness rankings, ceding the top place to Switzerland, as macroeconomic concerns eroded prospects for the world's largest economy.

In a report released on Tuesday, the World Economic Forum said Washington's huge defense and homeland security spending commitments, plans to lower taxes further, and long-term potential costs from health care and pensions were creating worrisome fiscal strains.

"With a low savings rate, record-high current account deficits and a worsening of the U.S. net debtor position, there is a non-negligible risk to both the country's overall competitiveness and, given the relative size of the U.S. economy, the future of the global economy," it said.

http://tinyurl.com/nfd3p

Posted by: Windhorse on September 26, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

windhorse, the "pre-emptive" war in Iraq was bilateral. It was supported by many leading Dems, including Hillery and Kerry. In any event, we can't go back and undo that decision.

You can blame the current situation in Iraq on someone else, if it makes you feel better. Adults realize that we must cope with the world as it is. IMHO most Americans understand that it is important for the democratic government of Iraq to defeat the terrorist, whether they are al Qaeda or insurgents, and provide a stable, secure government.

Ace Franze, I'm hoping your comment was a joke. As you know, people have picked any issue at all and justified their position by saying, "if such and such happens, the terrorists have won."

In reality, the terrorists will have won when they slaugher the gays and the Jews and the Christians and the Buddhists, when they destroy historic structures of religious significance, when they impose Sharia law. The terrorist probalby cannot win in the US, but they did win at one time in Afghanistan. They are winning in parts of Africa. Anyone who cares about the welfare of people in the third world should be 100% behind the GWOT.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 26, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

You're right, Jay. Deficit reduction, balanced budgets, peace; why the hell should anyone admire or want such things that Dems have recently provided? After all, they like sex, and think it's a private business; that alone is enough to disqualify them as seious Americans.

Right?

Posted by: Ace Franze on September 26, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

For those who do not remember it, or those who were not yet born, I humbly suggest this as something worth calmly and dispassionately reading, regardless of your views on the man or his legacy.

His words are still of import today IMHO.

http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/indust.html

Further, I would offer these reflections upon it from early 2001.

http://www.worldpolicy.org/journal/hartung01.html

The destruction of Habeus Corpus (and etc. in this topic area) is a part of a very large and pervasive problem, which has been thoroughly stated and re-stated here.

Which now begs the question ... Where to from here?

Posted by: Otolaryx on September 26, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK
In every single controversy in this war, the Left has taken the side that has made life easier for the terrorists.

No, see, that's wrong.

The Left has taken the side of narrowly focussing on actual terrorists. The Right has consistently taken the side of not focussing on actual terrorists, but instead using terrorism as a lever to pry rights away from broader classes of people, and provide excuses for attacking other people.

The Left sees terrorism as a critical problem to be addressed. The Right sees it as a convenient pretext for authoritarianism.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 26, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

"They saw the power of the blogosphere with the ousting of Lieberman and would like to harness it to push liberals in ill-fated causes."

You have an inflated view of the "power of the blogosphere". Lamont won in blue-state Connecticut because people here are fed up with the war and with Lieberman's courtship, in the interest of "bipartisanship", of the renegade Bush administration.

Lamont does not need Markos's money machine.

Posted by: Lucy on September 26, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK
Politically, I think a majority of Americans understand that the priority is to win.

I agree. Which is why the Republicans have to lie so much, because everytime the truth comes out, it reveals how the Republicans policies are at best irrelevant and often counterproductive to victory.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 26, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK
Bush should not get a pre-emptive pardon for what he's done. If only dems would stress the pre-emptive pardon and fight this bill until bush can be held accountable.

The problem is that Republicans aren't alone in the desire to pre-emptively pardon Bush. I mean, Nancy Pelosi has forcefully stated that whatever Bush has done wrong, he shouldn't be held accountable to.

Forget fighting Republican pre-emptive pardons, Democrats need first to stop issuing and start renouncing their own.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 26, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK


"It may be very difficult to unfuck what Republicans have fucked up:

U.S. drops to 6th in world competitiveness ranking
Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:10 AM ET

By Laura MacInnis" - windbag

"Online game simulates 'worst case scenario' in Iraq
Posted Monday, February 10, 2003 by vgdesign

By Laura MacInnis, Reuters"


Certainly a believable source. I wonder what online game she used to predict the economy?


Here's what intelligent people, who actually know what they're talking about say:

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=1341&CFID=2046010&CFTOKEN=47468838


"The U.S. consumer cannot carry the load for the entire world; it creates imbalances internationally," says Marston. "It's far past the time that industrial countries outside the U.S. take on the burden of keeping world demand at a certain level. The signs of economic growth from Japan are encouraging. They have had false starts in the past, but the government is committed to reform more than at any time in the past 15 years." Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has such strong support in Japan's parliament that he should be able "to put forth just about any policies he wants."


Europe is a different story. "They don't seem to be getting their act together, either in pursuing genuine reforms or establishing short-term momentum," says Marston. "There isn't a single European economy. There are segments of the eurozone economy [the countries that use the euro as their common currency] moving in an optimistic direction. But if you look at the core countries [France and Germany], they have been poor in growth."


Wells Fargo's Anderson agrees that Asia's economies, particularly China's, will grow briskly in 2006, and he thinks Europe's growth prospects are becoming brighter. Says Anderson: "Japan is coming back and China is strong. We still see 9%-plus growth in China next year. Stock markets are rallying in Asia, and Asia will be a growth engine next year. We're more optimistic about Europe. They have been in a slump, but the strong dollar will help Europe's exports next year."

Posted by: Jay on September 26, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

The big freeze on dissent is nearly solid.

Posted by: gar on September 26, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

"Deficit reduction, balanced budgets,..." - Ace

All due to Newt Gingrich and the 1994 Contract with America.

"...peace;" - Ace

Have you not read "The Looming Tower"

Just because you have your head in the sand, that doesn't mean all is quiet.

Posted by: Jay on September 26, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

windhorse, the "pre-emptive" war in Iraq was bilateral. It was supported by many leading Dems, including Hillery and Kerry.

That's an utterly simplistic reduction that ignores the fact that their support hinged on the reports of the inspectors, and that Congress was shown incomplete intelligence reports to make the situation seem worse than it was.

IMHO most Americans understand that it is important for the democratic government of Iraq to defeat the terrorist, whether they are al Qaeda or insurgents, and provide a stable, secure government.

Most Americans understand very little about the complexities of Iraq. They don't understand that the "government" is secretly supporting death squads, and that last week two government ministries got into a shooting match with one another.

Which one do Americans support, I wonder?

Most Americans don't get that the "government" is now fast in bed with an "axis of evil" member -- Iran -- and that a U.N. commission asserted a few weeks ago that they believed there are now more people being tortured by the "government" than there were under Saddam Hussein.

Anyone who cares about the welfare of people in the third world should be 100% behind the GWOT.

Leaving aside the issue that you can't wage a war against a tactic, I actually want to see terrorism stopped. It's you that wants to do the same failed things that create MORE terror attacks because it makes you feel less scared and gives you some false sense of nobility.

Posted by: Windhorse on September 26, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Did the mainstream, responsible left (not counting pacifist and fringe groups) oppose the war in Afghanistan? Nope.

They opposed the war in Iraq? Why? Because they knew damn well it would do precisely what those lunatic Commie leftists at the CIA just said that it did -- make life much easier for terrorists.

I must have missed that opposition in the vote in Congress to authorize the war. Or maybe we're talking about the "fringe" people you rejected in the first paragraph. And please don't try the "authorization didn't really mean 'go to war'" bullshit. I read the law.

Al Qaeda used to be a hierarchical organization. Now it's mestastacized into myriad tiny stand-alone cells spread the world over (and linked by the internet) who need only to be inspired by Osama but otherwise are totally independent. It makes terrorism much harder to eradicate at the roots.

So, you would rather we had left al Qaeda's organized heirarchy in place? What version of a successful war on al Qaeda can you imagine that would not have resulted in exactly the same thing? What does that have to do with Iraq?

Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, "Extraordinary rendition" of innocent guys to countries that *really* torture, Fallujah, the rape and immolation of a 14-year-old girl and the cold-blooded murder of her family -- all these things have amounted to a recruitment bonanza.

Start thinking with your brains instead of your bloody spleens.

If Saddam still ruled Iraq (apparently the tyranny everyone is rending their garments over here is just fine for Iraqis):

Gitmo would still have been there.

So would the renditions, the CIA interrogations, the bombed villages, and eventually, unfortunately, some versions of Abu Ghraib and the abuse of civilians during a war. And somehow I'd wager that people who can work themselves up to kill because of bloody cartoons would have had no problem getting worked up by the U.S. occupying Afghanistan.

The premise is ridiculous on the face of it. Nobody here has read this NIE, other than what policitally-motivated leakers have run past politically-motivated journalists. I'd wager it doesn't say what you think it does.

Just one more bit: It's amazing to see how the CIA, in the eyes of some people, can swing instantly from being a load of wankers to a group of geniuses, depending on what they say meeting your agenda. What makes you think they're any more right about this than anything else over the past ten years?

Posted by: monkeybone on September 26, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Adults realize that we must cope with the world as it is.

Unfortunately for you, "ex-liberal", you're right. Real adults -- and not phony GOP talking point spouters like you -- realize overwhelmingly that bush and his cronies have screwed the pooch and damaged American natinal security beyond any hope of quick and easy repair.

Much as you'd like to get past Bush's mendacity, incompetence and corruption regarding Iraq -- or point fingers at Democrats -- Bush's branding of Iraq as a Republican war has worked only too well. Oh, yes, Americans realize that failure there would be bad -- and they also realize that Bush's mendacity and incompetence has made it inevitable. So "coping with the world as it is" will equate to Americans not trusting Republicans with national security for a generation.

Posted by: Gregory on September 26, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Say hello to President Gingrich and Vice President Giulani.

Posted by: Jay on September 26, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Well, if anyone had any suspicion that "monkeybone" was an honest commentator, this paragraph would remove all doubt that he/she/it is not:

The premise is ridiculous on the face of it. Nobody here has read this NIE, other than what policitally-motivated leakers have run past politically-motivated journalists. I'd wager it doesn't say what you think it does.

I'd take that wager, BTW.

Just one more bit: It's amazing to see how the CIA, in the eyes of some people, can swing instantly from being a load of wankers to a group of geniuses, depending on what they say meeting your agenda. What makes you think they're any more right about this than anything else over the past ten years?

Um, brainwave, the NIE is the consensus of the entire US intelligence community. Sure, they may be wrong in their assessment, but one thing's for sure: Bush's happy talk of the past few weeks has completely ignored this disturbing assessment that his incompetence, and that of his administration, is ruining our national security.

It's richly ironic to see Bush's disastrous adventure in Iraq -- his own war of choice -- ruin the Republicans' decades-long branding effort on national security.

It's just sad that they had to ruin America's national security to do it.

Posted by: Gregory on September 26, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

These trolls are so lame. All they can talk about is how their side won a couple of elections. Anything to avoid talking about Iraq.

Posted by: Jim J on September 26, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry to see that someone thinks I'm a concern troll. Nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, I feel ashamed of myself for even caring about this election, when I thought that the election of 2004 had filled me with a hate for this country that wouldn't go away. I feel very strongly about this.

If my suggestion is so horrible, if it is tantamount to letting Hitler rise to power, if I can't possibly believe what I'm saying, then why does it look like all the Dems in Congress agree with me?

The transfer of the prisoners, and the pushing of this bill, is and always has been a plot to trap Dems so they can do to candidates this year what they did to Max Cleland after the DHS debate. To stand on principle now, knowing that it means Bush will have a free hand to do whatever he wants until January 2009 would be more morally wrong.

I know why people disagree with me, it's just my opinion. But sometimes strategy has to beat out principle, especially when the enemy is so horrible and so unprincipled, like Bush is.

Posted by: skeptic on September 26, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Whoever supported giving the Taliban money in April 2001 because they destroyed the Poppy crop should be arrested and detained under this law. Pass it quick and lets vote expand Guantanamo.

Posted by: Greg Hunter on September 26, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Nobody here has read this NIE, other than what policitally-motivated leakers have run past politically-motivated journalists. I'd wager it doesn't say what you think it does.

The CIA has already said as much, as have many intelligence agencies, intelligence experts, and studies by think tanks worldwide:

Iraq New Terror Breeding Ground War Created Haven, CIA Advisers Report

By Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 14, 2005; Page A01

Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of "professionalized" terrorists, according to a report released yesterday by the National Intelligence Council, the CIA director's think tank.

Iraq provides terrorists with "a training ground, a recruitment ground, the opportunity for enhancing technical skills," said David B. Low, the national intelligence officer for transnational threats. "There is even, under the best scenario, over time, the likelihood that some of the jihadists who are not killed there will, in a sense, go home, wherever home is, and will therefore disperse to various other countries."

and:

Published on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 by Reuters Iraq War Swells Al Qaeda's Ranks, Report Says by Peter Graff LONDON - War in Iraq has swollen the ranks of al Qaeda and galvanized the Islamic militant group's will, the International Institute for Strategic Studies said on Wednesday in its annual report. http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1015-04.htm

and:

The insurgency in Iraq continues to baffle the U.S. military and intelligence communities, and the U.S. occupation has become a potent recruiting tool for al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, top U.S. national security officials told Congress yesterday.

"Islamic extremists are exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit new anti-U.S. jihadists," CIA Director Porter J. Goss told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

"These jihadists who survive will leave Iraq experienced and focused on acts of urban terrorism," he said. "They represent a potential pool of contacts to build transnational terrorist cells, groups and networks in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A28876-2005Feb16.html


and:

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0705-07.htm

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0718/dailyUpdate.html

http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2004/s1228715.htm

-- and on and on and on.

Posted by: Windhorse on September 26, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Jay and ex-liberal have swayed me. I'm going to renounce my Democratic affiliations and repent at the altar of Jesus and George W. The Publicans are the only party that can protect me and make me feel safe, and I have been so very wrong for so very long..

Oh wait...Never mind.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

I would like to hear about how many schools we painted last week. That would totally refute the notion that there isn't progress being made in Iraq. If monkeybone could post the info on how many schools we painted last week, well, obviously that would refute the NIE and we'd all apologize and retire from the thread, genuflecting as we left.

Heh.

Posted by: shortstop, in and out on September 26, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

monkeybone: I'd wager it doesn't say what you think it does.

God DAMN, that was a Broszy remark, wasn't it?

Posted by: shortstop, in again on September 26, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

You'd think Americans would bristle at Republican cynicism toward the Geneva Conventions, habeas corpus, and the system of checks and balances.

Is it really such a wasteland out there?

Posted by: Lucy on September 26, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Is it really such a wasteland out there?

Lucy, I'm beginning to think that it is.

Posted by: Otolaryx on September 26, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Otolaryx, yes one should worry about the Military-Industrial complex. We have started unnecessary wars in the past, resulting in thousands of unneccesary deaths. OTOH we have avoided wars that we ought to have started, such as WWII, where postponing the war resulted in millions of unnecessary deaths. IMHO Israel's preemtive strike on Saddam's nuclear plant may have saved many lives. Whether or not to go to war is a judgenment call.

Keeping POWs locked up is hardly he "destruction of Habeus Corpus." In past wars, few if any POWs had access to courts in order to get released. American citizens incarcerated by FDR just because they were of Japanese origin had no right to habeus corpus. Yet civil liberties in the US remained strong.

BTW many of those at Gitmo have had hearings to determine their status.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 26, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Bush just announced that the entire NIE will be declassified and released today. Now we will find out what it actually said, rather than the New York Times spin.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 26, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

And somehow I'd wager that people who can work themselves up to kill because of bloody cartoons would have had no problem getting worked up by the U.S. occupying Afghanistan.

NB: Afghanistan, while Muslim, does not have an Arab population, does not have an Arabic speaking population, and does not contain sites holy to Islam. As for occupying it, a relatively small number of troops have been garrisoned there over the past few years (more now that the Taliban are returning).

Further, the Taliban were presumptive enemies of Iran, so that's just one more favor we did them and why they didn't complain; and they were largely Sunni, which means that the Shia worldwide were not upset by their removal either. In point of fact, they were one of many competing political groups attempting to gain control of that country.

The cartoons were considered blasphemy against the holy Prophet, which is of an entirely different order than knocking over a two-bit political party in a non-Arab country -- which is why there was no significant outcry over it.

Posted by: Windhorse on September 26, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

So, then, Ex-Liberal, it would seem (from what you say) that since we have made all of these egregious errors in the past, we are now fully justified in continuing to make them (and worse) all over again.

Interesting POV.

Posted by: Otolaryx on September 26, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: I haven't read through all the comments, but I think that the prohibitions on appealing one's detention are limited to alien enemy combatants.

Posted by: hilzoy on September 26, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

It's not that the Democrats can't fight:

http://thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/Comment/DickMorris/092606.html


It's that they think the US is the enemy.

Posted by: republicrat on September 26, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Supported" is a pretty far-reaching term that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with actual combat.

true enough.

But the phrase in the bill is "materially supported", and the word "materially" occurs in lots of US laws and court decisions, so it is not unconstitutionally vague.

Posted by: republicrat on September 26, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Despite the fact that worlwide terror attacks are up and Iraq is a bloody failed mess, it's not that the Republicans are entirely incompetent at prosecuting a war:

It's that they think that the Constitution is the enemy.

Posted by: Windhorse on September 26, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Keeping POWs locked up is hardly he "destruction of Habeus Corpus." In past wars, few if any POWs had access to courts in order to get released.

Irrelevant. This is not an issue of POWs. This law would apply to anyone, POW or not.

American citizens incarcerated by FDR just because they were of Japanese origin had no right to habeus corpus. Yet civil liberties in the US remained strong.

Not for the Japanese illegally locked up, they didn't.

BTW many of those at Gitmo have had hearings to determine their status.

No, they did not. As the Times reports:

"Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, and lawyers who support the provision said that status review hearings served the same purpose as a habeas right. But Admiral Hutson said the review hearings did not give detainees the same rights to lawyers, or to see the evidence against them, and would set a dangerous precedent for Americans captured by other countries."

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/26/us/politics/26detain.html?pagewanted=1

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

I am not going to sit idly by while these people tear the military assunder. And neither should you. They have abrogated civil liberties, abridged the Geneva Conventions and diminished the Constitution. W's agression will not stand. They have used the techniques of the fascist (see Britt, 2003) and they have proven Upton Sinclair the ultimate profit of the Lost Generation. Fascism did indeed come to America, and it was wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross. For dramatic effect, it donned a crown of thorns.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone please write or call their Representative and/or Senator with a letter/email like this:

Dear Senator Boxer,

Please see:

U.S. Constitution, Article One, Section Nine, Para. Two:

"The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."

We are not in rebellion and are not being invaded.

Senator Specter is right. This is blatently unconstitutional and it would be a violation of every Senator's and Congressman's Oath of Office to fail to preserve, uphold, and defend the U.S. Constitution.

No Senator needs more than this to put a permenent hold on any legislation attempting to bypass this part of our Constitution.

For king george to attempt overriding this provision is a violation of his oath of office and his constitutional obligations.

THIS MUST NOT BE ALLOWED AT ANY/ALL COSTS.

Thank you for your exemplary service for your country and constituents.

Posted by: Bill Arnett on September 26, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

American citizens incarcerated by FDR just because they were of Japanese origin had no right to habeus corpus. Yet civil liberties in the US remained strong.

Jesus, the stupidity of that argument: the civil liberties of those whose civil liberties weren't violated weren't violated. Um, yeah. That's like saying "blacks who were denied the right to vote in the South just because they were black had no ability to appeal. Yet the right to vote in the South remained strong."

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Keeping POWs locked up is hardly he "destruction of Habeus Corpus." In past wars, few if any POWs had access to courts in order to get released.

Moreover, the Bush regime can't rely on this argument because it claims quite specifically that the prisoners are not POWs.

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

whoops - make that prophet. We just watched Marty Feldman in "in God We Trust."

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Fascism did indeed come to America, and it was wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross. For dramatic effect, it donned a crown of thorns.

Great line, Globe, and true. There is a distinct quality of pious victimhood to the emergent fascism in the U.S.

Posted by: Windhorse on September 26, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

When Bush first got in Office didn't they run ads that smoking pot was supporting terrorism?

Posted by: vampire77666 on September 26, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

All fascists play pious victims. That's why they're fascists--they successfully demonize some minority of citizens.

So Bush is only declassifying part of the report. I'm stunned, yes, stunned.

Posted by: shortstop on September 26, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

"Deficit reduction, balanced budgets,..." - Ace

All due to Newt Gingrich and the 1994 Contract with America.

"...peace;" - Ace

Have you not read "The Looming Tower"-Jay

When your post is responsive, it's zany. Newt?

Posted by: Ace Franze on September 26, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

That test was no problem, Jason, and my graphing calculator died last night, so I did the whole damn thing on paper and with a $12 Sharp scientific that doesn't do factorials that I snagged on the way to the exam this morning. Math is easy. It's just a puzzle to be solved, you know? (And anyone who raised kids and plotted their growth charts can construct an Ogive, whether they know it or not.)

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK
But the phrase in the bill is "materially supported", and the word "materially" occurs in lots of US laws and court decisions, so it is not unconstitutionally vague.

That fact that a word or phrase occurs in a constitutionally valid law does not mean that it is not unconstitutionally vague in a different context. Now, I think vagueness isn't the strongest Constitutional basis to challenge this law, but that response is clearly inadequate.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 26, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

"engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States"

So Kevin, has the Republican party announced where they're going to set up their gulag for all the political dissenters who oppose Bush and the Republicans in Congress...cause, you know, the Republicans did say, "If you're not for us, you're against us."
I hope they put me in Stalag 17.

"And how about the Democrats? Will they fight this? We'll have to wait and see, but their performance has been pretty uninspiring so far"

Ah, considering how vocal and stentorian the Democrats have been about this whole compromise package...yeah, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on September 26, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan - Moreover, the Bush regime can't rely on this argument because it claims quite specifically that the prisoners are not POWs.

Exactly. In past wars, non-uniformed enemy combatants could be summarily executed, and some were. They were entitled to nothing.

Bush has given these non-POWs treatment previously reserved for true POWs. Stefan should be complimenting Bush on this issue.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 26, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

But the phrase in the bill is "materially supported", and the word "materially" occurs in lots of US laws and court decisions, so it is not unconstitutionally vague.

Let's remember that back in September 2004, in a somewhat revealing answer to a hypothetical question from Federal District Court Judge Joyce Greene during a hearing on habeus petitions from Guantanamo prisoners, the DOJ attorney arguing on behalf of the administration said that people ranging from a Swiss grandmother who unwittingly donated to an Afghan charity that then secretly passed the money on to Al-Qaeda, to a man who thought his brother might be associated with terrorists but didn't turn him in, could be jailed indefinitely as enemy combatants at Guantanamo. So you'll forgive me if I don't trust the Bush regime to defined what they mean by "materially."

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop: All fascists play pious victims. That's why they're fascists--they successfully demonize some minority of citizens.

It looks like shortstop is making the logical error of assuming the inverse. He implies that because all fascists play pious victims it follows that people who play pious victims are fascists.

By that logical error, shortstop could "prove" that Martin Luther King and European Jews who survived Hitler's concentration camps are fascists.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 26, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan should be complimenting Bush on this issue.

The RNC should be complimenting you on a typically dishonest performance, "ex-liberal".

Posted by: Gregory on September 26, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

So if my kid gets caught buying pot he can be charged with supporting terrorism and be held indefinitely without any court oversight?

http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle-old/222/superbowlads.shtml

Posted by: vampire77666 on September 26, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Bush has given these non-POWs treatment previously reserved for true POWs. Stefan should be complimenting Bush on this issue.

Yeah, if only the very JAG lawyers assigned to defend the rights of the Guantanamo detainees agreed with you.

In fact, here's what they said:

The President here asserts the power to create a legal black hole, where a simulacrum of Article III justice is dispensed but justice in fact depends on the mercy of the Executive. Under this monarchical regime, those who fall into the black hole may not contest the jurisdiction, competency, or even the constitutionality of the military tribunals (Westlaw 2004 WL 96765)

Lawyers assigned to the office of Military Commissions similarly protested the travesty of justice you're uninformedly ranting after.

They've also protested enshrining torture into law.

I wonder: why do military lawyers, tasked with defending our country, hate your positions?

Posted by: Windhorse on September 26, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

It looks like shortstop is making the logical error of assuming the inverse.

It looks like "ex-liberal" is making the error of presuming that anyone at all takes him/her/it seriously, as popposed to the long-since-exposed dishonest GOP apologist hack he/she/it is.

"ex-liberal" makes the further error of referring to shortstop as a he. shortstop is a woman. (And, with all due deference to my lovely wife, wotta woman!)

Posted by: Gregory on September 26, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly. In past wars, non-uniformed enemy combatants could be summarily executed, and some were. They were entitled to nothing. Bush has given these non-POWs treatment previously reserved for true POWs. Stefan should be complimenting Bush on this issue.

You lying little scum. Bush has created an illegal netherworld of prisoners, denying them either the rights that are their due as POWs, as protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention, or as federal criminal defendants.

If they are truly "non-POWs" then they must either be (i) criminal defendants, which would entitle them to the full panoply of constitutional rights, including the right to counsel, to speedy trial, and to habeus that all criminal defendants in the federal system are due, or (ii) "protected persons" under Geneva, in which case their rights include:

Art. 71. No sentence shall be pronounced by the competent courts of the Occupying Power except after a regular trial.

Accused persons who are prosecuted by the Occupying Power shall be promptly informed, in writing, in a language which they understand, of the particulars of the charges preferred against them, and shall be brought to trial as rapidly as possible. The Protecting Power shall be informed of all proceedings instituted by the Occupying Power against protected persons in respect of charges involving the death penalty or imprisonment for two years or more; it shall be enabled, at any time, to obtain information regarding the state of such proceedings. Furthermore, the Protecting Power shall be entitled, on request, to be furnished with all particulars of these and of any other proceedings instituted by the Occupying Power against protected persons.

The notification to the Protecting Power, as provided for in the second paragraph above, shall be sent immediately, and shall in any case reach the Protecting Power three weeks before the date of the first hearing. Unless, at the opening of the trial, evidence is submitted that the provisions of this Article are fully complied with, the trial shall not proceed. The notification shall include the following particulars:
(a) description of the accused;
(b) place of residence or detention;
(c) specification of the charge or charges (with mention of the penal provisions under which it is brought);
(d) designation of the court which will hear the case;
(e) place and date of the first hearing.

Art. 72. Accused persons shall have the right to present evidence necessary to their defence and may, in particular, call witnesses. They shall have the right to be assisted by a qualified advocate or counsel of their own choice, who shall be able to visit them freely and shall enjoy the necessary facilities for preparing the defence.

Failing a choice by the accused, the Protecting Power may provide him with an advocate or counsel. When an accused person has to meet a serious charge and the Protecting Power is not functioning, the Occupying Power, subject to the consent of the accused, shall provide an advocate or counsel.

Accused persons shall, unless they freely waive such assistance, be aided by an interpreter, both during preliminary investigation and during the hearing in court. They shall have the right at any time to object to the interpreter and to ask for his replacement.

Art.73. A convicted person shall have the right of appeal provided for by the laws applied by the court. He shall be fully informed of his right to appeal or petition and of the time limit within which he may do so.

The penal procedure provided in the present Section shall apply, as far as it is applicable, to appeals. Where the laws applied by the Court make no provision for appeals, the convicted person shall have the right to petition against the finding and sentence to the competent authority of the Occupying Power.

Art. 74. Representatives of the Protecting Power shall have the right to attend the trial of any protected person, unless the hearing has, as an exceptional measure, to be held in camera in the interests of the security of the Occupying Power, which shall then notify the Protecting Power. A notification in respect of the date and place of trial shall be sent to the Protecting Power.

Any judgement involving a sentence of death, or imprisonment for two years or more, shall be communicated, with the relevant grounds, as rapidly as possible to the Protecting Power. The notification shall contain a reference to the notification made under Article 71 and, in the case of sentences of imprisonment, the name of the place where the sentence is to be served. A record of judgements other than those referred to above shall be kept by the court and shall be open to inspection by representatives of the Protecting Power. Any period allowed for appeal in the case of sentences involving the death penalty, or imprisonment of two years or more, shall not run until notification of judgement has been received by the Protecting Power.

Art. 75. In no case shall persons condemned to death be deprived of the right of petition for pardon or reprieve.

No death sentence shall be carried out before the expiration of a period of a least six months from the date of receipt by the Protecting Power of the notification of the final judgment confirming such death sentence, or of an order denying pardon or reprieve.

The six months period of suspension of the death sentence herein prescribed may be reduced in individual cases in circumstances of grave emergency involving an organized threat to the security of the Occupying Power or its forces, provided always that the Protecting Power is notified of such reduction and is given reasonable time and opportunity to make representations to the competent occupying authorities in respect of such death sentences.

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

So if my kid gets caught buying pot he can be charged with supporting terrorism and be held indefinitely without any court oversight?

Under the Bush's regimes expansive standards of "support" for terrorism, yes. And, potentially, if you knew that your child was buying pot and didn't turn him in you could be held, too.

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Bush just announced that the entire NIE will be declassified and released today. Now we will find out what it actually said, rather than the New York Times spin.

Now there's a Brozy comment!

Of course, as usual, "ex-liberal" is incorrect at best and flat-out dishonest at...oh, heck, it's "ex-liberal," so it's just dishonesty.

Bush has pledged to release part of the NIE. Josh Marshall has already pointed out the Administration's, ah, selective redacting of the NIE on Iraq's WMDs prior to the war.

And, of course, Congresscritters who have seen the actual report are restricted from calling the President on this bullshit maneuver because the truth is still classified. Classic.

Posted by: Gregory on September 26, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

By the by, let's not neglect the elephant -- the stinking, GOP elephant -- in the room.

Bush's desperation to have the detainee and surveillance bills pass now is because they both retroactively absolve him for his admitted breaking of the law.

The mere fact that Bush admits, now, that laws need to be change is a tacit admission that he has been violating them.

Where, oh where, are our "law and order" conservatives?

Hiding under their beds in cowardice, it would seem.

Posted by: Gregory on September 26, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Without a doubt the Democrats need to filibuster this. I just called both of my Senators' offices to request this (both are Democrats).

They also need to crystalize this legislation by simplifying the issue. Something along the lines of "....under this legislation the president of the United States can arbitrarily arrest and torture anybody he thinks is opposing him in the war on terror. He could arrest you, and nothing could be done to stop him even if you are innocent. Is that what you want?"

Posted by: mfw13 on September 26, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

That's an utterly simplistic reduction that ignores the fact

But Windhorse, that's what ex-liberal does...that's ALL he does.

Posted by: ckelly on September 26, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Say hello to President Gingrich and Vice President Giulani.

Did the Elks Club just elect their new officers?

No it was the Adulterers and Wankers Society

Posted by: ckelly on September 26, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Republicrat says:

It's not that the Democrats can't fight; it's that they think the US is the enemy.

Tell that to Jim Webb, former Navy Secretary, running to beat George "Macaca" Allen for Virginia's Senate seat.

In fact it's Bush and Cheney who treat America as the enemy. It's Cheney who says "if you oppose the war you give aid and comfort to the terrorists."

That makes 61 percent of Americans "the enemy." It's ironic how Republicans increasingly embody the false, negative characterizations they casually assign to others who simply disagree with them.

The Republican politics of polarization has been so overused for so long it has lost its meaning and its sting. It's becoming a nostalgia item, like 50s oldies and Elvis posters. The die hard polarizers like Republicrat will continue to derive petty meaning from their insults while the rest of America (and the world) moves on.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on September 26, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

It's not that the Democrats can't fight; it's that they think the US is the enemy.

What about Paul Hackett? He thinks the US in the enemy?

What about Tammy Duckworth? She left both her legs in Iraq. She thinks the US is the enemy?

You sicken me.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

monkeybone:

>> Did the mainstream, responsible left (not counting pacifist
>> and fringe groups) oppose the war in Afghanistan? Nope.

>> They opposed the war in Iraq? Why? Because they knew damn well
>> it would do precisely what those lunatic Commie leftists at the
>> CIA just said that it did -- make life much easier for terrorists.

> I must have missed that opposition in the vote in Congress to
> authorize the war. Or maybe we're talking about the "fringe"
> people you rejected in the first paragraph. And please don't
> try the "authorization didn't really mean 'go to war'"
> bullshit. I read the law.

I said the left. I didn't say the Democratic Party. But it just so
happened that both my US senators, my former and current congressmen,
former Senate Intelligence Committee chair Bob Graham, Russ Feingold,
Lincoln Chafee and a host of other congresscritters in both houses
opposed the IRW. It was the solid position of the mainstream left.

Oh, and don't forget Howard Dean, from the
Democratic wing of the Democratic Party :)

>> Al Qaeda used to be a hierarchical organization. Now it's
>> mestastacized into myriad tiny stand-alone cells spread the
>> world over (and linked by the internet) who need only to be
>> inspired by Osama but otherwise are totally independent. It
>> makes terrorism much harder to eradicate at the roots.

> So, you would rather we had left al Qaeda's organized heirarchy
> in place? What version of a successful war on al Qaeda can you
> imagine that would not have resulted in exactly the same thing?
> What does that have to do with Iraq?

According to the NIE, everything. Without Iraq and its attendant
abuses, terrorist recruitment over the internet wouldn't have
been so vigorous. So we could've smashed the international
Qaeda organization as we have substantially done without having it
replaced as much by people inspired by US designs on the Mideast.

>> Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, "Extraordinary rendition" of innocent guys to
>> countries that *really* torture, Fallujah, the rape and immolation
>> of a 14-year-old girl and the cold-blooded murder of her family
>> -- all these things have amounted to a recruitment bonanza.

> Start thinking with your brains instead of your bloody spleens.

It is the height of American patriotism to become infuriated at the
injustices which have besmirched our good name around the world.

> If Saddam still ruled Iraq (apparently the tyranny everyone is
> rending their garments over here is just fine for Iraqis):

Saddam was writing romance novels; his mass-murdering days
over for a decade or more. He would have died, and one of his
idiot incompetent nepotistic sons wouldn't have lasted three
weeks before a military coup. Iraq was bound to change, and
we lost a golden opportunity to influence that change from
the inside, with the full support of the world community.

> Gitmo would still have been there.

That's true; and it would be a factor. But Abu Ghraib wouldn't.

> So would the renditions, the CIA interrogations, the bombed
> villages, and eventually, unfortunately, some versions of
> Abu Ghraib and the abuse of civilians during a war.

Check the size differences in population. Had we occupied
Afghanistan with enough troops and money to do it right,
we migh've had a chance to rebuild that country and make
it into the showpiece of democratic rule that Bush claims
is our larger purpose there. Nation building is *hard work*.

> And somehow I'd wager that people who can work themselves
> up to kill because of bloody cartoons would have had no
> problem getting worked up by the U.S. occupying Afghanistan.

And it takes a pretty cartoonish view of Muslims to hold such a
stereotyped opinion of them. First of all, we would've had
the support of the Muslim Mideast -- only three countries held
diplomatic relations with the Taliban (and one of them is our
ally Pakistan). Secondly, we would've had enough troops to smoke
out Osama and kill him or bring him to justice (the prefferd
outcome). Had he been brought to trial, all could see how many
Muslims he killed in the name of his hateful, nihilist ideology.

Salafi takfiri ideology is extraordinarily toxic to the Islamic
world because it advocates killing any Muslim who doesn't believe it.
By invading Iraq, Osama has been allowed to fool the Muslim world
into thinking that the US is waging a war on all Muslims, so all
Muslims should unite against us. Had we given Osama less reason
to make that argument, there would be more room for potentially
moderate Muslims to see the al Qaeda snake for exactly what it is.

> The premise is ridiculous on the face of it. Nobody here has
> read this NIE, other than what policitally-motivated leakers
> have run past politically-motivated journalists. I'd wager
> it doesn't say what you think it does.

You know, that's a pretty complicated melody you're whistling.
And we're strolling past a a really dark graveyard :)

> Just one more bit: It's amazing to see how the CIA, in the
> eyes of some people, can swing instantly from being a load
> of wankers to a group of geniuses, depending on what they
> say meeting your agenda. What makes you think they're any more
> right about this than anything else over the past ten years?

Because the institution was humiliated after the WMD fiasco
and has determined that it will not allow itself to be used
to make the same mistake again. Why do you think there
have been so many anti-Bush CIA leakers since that time?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

The asshat yellow-elephant chicken-hawk buffoon who made that crack about Dems "think the US is the enemy" need to visit the Fighting Dems website.

After they get their perceptions adjusted, they need to visit the U.S. Army or theU.S. Marines
website and arrange for a first-hand experience of the grand adventure.

Ur they can shut the fuck up. Whichever.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

The Major one-ups me. Anyone wanting to apply to the Air Force Academy should send him an email (click my name) and he will contact you to discuss authoring a letter to send along with your application.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

NOT ALL Democrats think that the US is the enemy.

Here is Elizabeth Holtzman, though.


"The 'pardon' is buried in Bush's proposed legislation to create a new kind of military tribunal for cases involving top al-Qaida operatives. The 'pardon' provision has nothing to do with the tribunals. Instead, it guts the War Crimes Act of 1996, a federal law that makes it a crime, in some cases punishable by death, to mistreat detainees in violation of the Geneva Conventions and makes the new, weaker terms of the War Crimes Act retroactive to 9/11."

The law does not make it legal to violate the Geneva conventions; the actions committed at Abu Ghraib that have resulted in the imprisonment of Americans are still illegal under the new law.

There are plenty of other Democrats who read these documents carelessly, if at all, and who conclude that Bush and the Republican congress are a greater enemy than the Islamist terrorists. Consider Global Citizen: the craven traitors who make up the Publican fear-mongering machine . Identifying an actual threat is not "fear mongering", and the Republicans are not traitors. That's as stupid as Ann Coulter calling the Democrats traitors.

John Kerry called for the deployment of 5,000 additional US troops to Afghanistan. He did not say which US troops he would send to Afgnhanistan, but he did express fear that the Taliban might be successful there. Considering the thousands of Taliban who have died in this summer's fighting, I don't think it is that much of a worry.

Posted by: republicrat on September 26, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Up thread all Dems were painted with the same anti-american brush, and I for one will not stand for it.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

A Democrat called US troops at Abu Ghraib "nazis" -that should count for something.

Yet another out and out lie supplied by mhr

If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control," he said, "you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings

Tell me, in your case is being such a putz a genetic condition?

Posted by: Keith G on September 26, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat:

Oh jesus. American and NATO troops are dying right now in Afghanistan at the highest rate since our invasion and the Taliban is strongest it's been since that time, too. The record opium crop mean anything to you?

Don't you, like, read the newspaper?

Sure we killed lots of 'em. That's great. Apparently there are plenty more where they came from.

Which is the bane of fighting insurgencies everywhere. And we would have had the proper amount of troops to do the job if we didn't fucking invade Iraq.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you, like, read the newspaper?

Reading is Laura's thing. And we all know that whatever the Bush-bot does, his minions and lackies emmulate.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

global citizen: Up thread all Dems were painted with the same anti-american brush, and I for one will not stand for it.

What fraction of Dems do you think see America as a greater enemy than the Islamist terrorists? None? Just those who march with A.N.S.W.E.R? Ted Kennedy, Richard Durbin and Tom Harkin.

Did you limit your "traitor" comment to a tiny subset of Republicans who are "fear-mongers", or do you believe that all Republicans are traitorous fear-mongers?

There are lots of disagreements on policy, but only Democrats think that the US is a greater enemy than the Islamofascists.

Posted by: republicrat on September 26, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

I am more afraid of this administration than I am a few fanatics in caves.

And when the president uses fear as a "legitimate" electoral strategy, yes, the Publican party is the party of fearmongering and pandering and fascistic values.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1: The record opium crop mean anything to you?

Previously, the Taliban controlled the opium crop, and filled warehouses with the stuff. They forcefully curtailed the opium crop one year in order to qualify for UN assistance, but continued to sell it for weapons out of their stockpile.

John Kerry said in a WSJ article that he wanted an additional 5,000 US troops deployed to Afghanistan. I am sure that if he were to work forcefully for it, instead of adopting a new policy next week, he could probably get it.

If I didn't independently read lots of news sources, how would I know that you and Kevin Drum are always wrong? I come here in search of intelligent left-wing commentary, but most of it is vapid and uninformed.

I do follow all the links, or almost all of them. Sometimes KD has information that is new to me.

Back to opium. You have a cure that does not entail brutal suppression of civil liberties, as the Taliban did in their last year in power? I'd favor development of a short-lasting, biodegradable, poppy-specific herbicide, sprayed liberally and repeatedly on all poppy fields. I don't think that solution would be endorsed by the elected government of Afghanistan, any more than our elected government has endorsed spraying American marijuana stands.

Posted by: republicrat on September 26, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

If I didn't independently read lots of news sources, how would I know that you and Kevin Drum are always wrong?

???

You can hardly post a fact or figure without having it rebutted. You really need to rethink that remark. Its overreach and hyperbole both make you appear even dopier than does the usual drek you post.

Wishing you were reasonable and informed doesn't make it so, and striving to be "polite" while delivering condescending speeches doesn't give you the moral high ground.

Posted by: Windhorse on September 26, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

"purposely and materially supported hostilities against the United States"?

Three words: "Bring them on".

Three letters: NIE.

Purposely.

Materially.

Start packing, George.

Posted by: Lionel Hutz, attorney-at-law on September 26, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

but only Democrats think that the US is a greater enemy than the Islamofascists.

I'll see your unsubstantiated charge against all Democrats with Pat Robertson and raise you a Jerry Falwell and Fred Phelps.

They clearly think nearly 50% of America is the greater enemy. Clearly.

Posted by: Edo on September 26, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

"It would be a lot easier, you know, if this was a dictatorship .... and I was the dictator." ~ GW Bush
(caught on camera outside the White House and shown on national TV - in response to ramping up the war IIRC)

Lionel Hutz, attorney-at-law:

"Start packing, George."

And we can expect to see formal charges filed, when???

It's a nice thought, so long as it encompases the rest of the 'gang' along with him, but I'm certainly not holding my breath on that one. ;-)

Posted by: Otolaryx on September 26, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

I'd favor development of a short-lasting, biodegradable, poppy-specific herbicide, sprayed liberally and repeatedly on all poppy fields. I don't think that solution would be endorsed by the elected government of Afghanistan, any more than our elected government has endorsed spraying American marijuana stands.

Short answer: Agent Orange, asshole

Posted by: FlyAwayCase on September 26, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

I watched a fifteen-year-old who had smoked some paraquat weed try to breathe. It was ugly, and that kid pulled through, but the lungs were permanently damaged.

Sometimes the "cure" is worse than the disease. That is why we stopped using paraquat. And DDT.

Hows about instead we allow the farmers to grow the poppies, but we put a menhanism in place for the crops to be sold to pharmaceutical companies.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK
What fraction of Dems do you think see America as a greater enemy than the Islamist terrorists?

Rounded to the nearest whole percentage point, 0%.

Note, though, that "America" is not the same thing as, for instance, "A narrow cabal of right-wing figures, some currently in high government positions, dedicated to bringing authoritarian rule through lies, election fraud, ignoring the Constitution, or any other means necessary." The fraction of Democrats who think that is a bigger threat than Islamist terrorism is greater than 0%.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 26, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

What Chris said.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

To an outsider like me (non-American) it now appears that you are governed by a bunch of Paranoid Schyzophrenics. The sooner you put them out of office the better.
Henceforth lawyers will apply for a writ of 'Hasbeen Corpus'which will mean, of course, nothing.
This legislation means that anyone, such as I, may be determined an 'unlawful combatant' simply because I disagree with their points of view. The same, my friends, applies to you!

Posted by: BrianJ on September 26, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Paranoid schizophrenics we could handle. These bastards have personality disorders, and they are a hell of a lot harder to treat. We have delusions of grandeur, paranoia accompanying schizoaffective disorder, borderline personalities...It's a veritable beggars banquet of pathology.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

To an outsider like me (non-American) it now appears that you are governed by a bunch of Paranoid Schyzophrenics.

You think?

Posted by: FlyAwayCase on September 26, 2006 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

The new bill says you're an unlawful enemy combatant if you "supported" hostilities against the United States OR AGAINST ANY CO-BELLIGERENT (allied country). So if you ever "supported" hostilities against Pakistan or Uzbekistan or any other CO-BELLIGERENT you could be detained in Gitmo, even though you never supported hostilities against the U.S.

Posted by: anonymous on September 26, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Edo:I'll see your unsubstantiated charge against all Democrats with Pat Robertson and raise you a Jerry Falwell and Fred Phelps.
...
They clearly think nearly 50% of America is the greater enemy. Clearly.

touche.

windhorse: You can hardly post a fact or figure without having it rebutted.

true, but most rebuttals are either non-sequitur or false. When I wrote about the increase in electricity in Iraq, for example, you wrote that it was from diesel generators that have higher emissions; a true statement, but it does not "rebutt" the assertion that there is more electricity.

As to hyperbole, I notice that I have less subued in recent months, and do exaggerate more. More than before, I feel like this is a waste of time. I probably shouldn't hang around any more.

Posted by: republicrat on September 26, 2006 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

If pending legislation is unconstitutional then why are they pass anything that will be thrown out in court later on?

Your never going to get to use this legislation for anything.

It's just election year politics...really bad election year politics.

The ACLU should be all set to challenge this law as soon as Bush signs it.

Also, there's no such thing as a politically define "unlawful enemy combatant". Does that mean there are "lawful enemy combatants"?

What do ya do to become a "lawful enemy combatant" against the U.S.? Go and get a "lawful enemy combatant" license? Those are good for what one or two years? I think the fee goes up by $20 next year.

People sure are stupid.

Posted by: James on September 26, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

true, but most rebuttals are either non-sequitur or false. When I wrote about the increase in electricity in Iraq, for example, you wrote that it was from diesel generators that have higher emissions; a true statement, but it does not "rebutt" the assertion that there is more electricity.

It wasn't meant to. Rather, it rebutted your assertion that "things were so much better!" when you failed to provide any context including mentioning how expensive the electricity had become.

But if you're looking for specific instances, right off the top of my head I can think of you being wrong on the water and sewer conditions in Iraq being "better than before the war," and just a day or so ago you were wrong on the "most primary school children enrolled ever!" -- when the truth is Iraqi authorities are reporting that fewer kids are attending school...and scores have been kidnapped, wounded, or killed on the way to school, not to mention the hundreds of teachers that have been killed or murdered.

Put on a happy face, right?

See, all these are a problem when you waltz in and try and beat people on the head with these "figures" to change their minds from being so "gloomy" -- and it turns out the "figures" are wrong.

Posted by: Windhorse on September 27, 2006 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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