Friday, May 20, 2005
"It's all going to come out when everything is said and done."
Indeed it will. I half wonder if the purpose of repealing the filibuster is so the President can protect the architects of the terribly misguided policies which led to the abuse in Afghanistan and Iraq (and who knows where else) from prosecution and investigation. Heaven knows he'd probably pardon those involved anyway, but that is not justice. And we wonder why there are anti-American demonstrations in Muslim countries -- it doesn't take a story by Newsweek (and one which is probably accurate in its description of the desecration of the Koran) to see the message the U.S. is sending to the rest of the world. This simply must be stopped; I remember reading an interview with Seymour Hersh a few months ago wherein he'd become somewhat resigned to the idea that no one seemed to care about the torture which happened at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. I hope that this marks the end of torture being an nonstory and the start of real accountability.
...update: I'm posting as I'm reading the story, there's all sorts of stuff here. For example:
'"There was the Geneva Conventions for enemy prisoners of war, but nothing for terrorists," Sergeant Leahy told Army investigators. And the detainees, senior intelligence officers said, were to be considered terrorists until proved otherwise.'
Guilty until prove innocent. The days of the Galactic Empire (what a fitting week for the Air Force to revive the "Star Wars" program...) are here.
Andrew 1:07 AM : |
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Here's a paragraph from an entry I wrote a bit over two years ago. You can see the original post at the top of the page here. At the time I was fairly optimistic that the impending nastiness of the war in Iraq (which is demonstrated on an almost daily basis) would lead to a Democrat being elected for president in 2004. Also, at the time, I felt that compromise was required to restore balance. However, again and again we have witnessed a White House and Congress unwilling to compromise with the Democrats, uninterested in the views of the party with fewer congressmen and senators in Washington D.C. The Republicans in the Senate are going so far as to ignore the Senate parlimentarian, a man who understands fairness as a necessity for doing his job, so they can perform their illegal (in the context of the Senate rules) maneuver to end filibusters. Thus, largely and almost exclusively, the actions of the Republicans in control of our government today have been uniformly and blatantly partisan, with no regard for common sense, science, the rule of law, or even good sportsmanship. Here, then, is the paragraph:
'Here at the Node I pause every once in a while to indulge in a little political theorizing. Right now, the Republican party is in control of the House, the Senate and the Presidency. This triumverate of political power is demonstrating how one-sided its political agenda really is. Now, imagine with me for a moment a scenario whereby the Republicans lose control of the Presidency, along with one or both of the houses of Congress. Add to this the current slate of legislative agenda items -- drilling in ANWR, for instance (which is about to slip through on the back of a budget bill. Please encourage your senators, especially those of you down in Arkansas, to prevent this from happening). Let's assume that the current budget bill passes with ANWR provision intact, and thus becomes law. Now, when power changes hands in January of 2005, what happens with ANWR? Since this is a proposal that's hotly contested, it's not too far fetched to consider that an incoming Democratic president would push for a bill declaring ANWR off-limits again (as it is now). Now, extrapolate this out over the entire current legislative agenda, including all the bills that have passed in the last two years, and we have a problem. The problem isn't that these proposals are good or bad policy (I believe that the ANWR proposal is bad policy, but you probably guessed that). The problem is we're on a pendulum that threatens to swing back and forth every four years for the next few elections. The lack of compromise in the Senate and the House is producing legislation that won't withstand the test of time, and _that_ will contribute to "gridlock" in Washington.'
The sum result of all that's happened in the last four or five years is the debasing of the U.S. Government. In this case, cooler heads will have to undo a number of the blatantly partisan changes made by the Repblicans for the sake of securing our future as a nation. The damage done is not irreversible, but it will require an almost wholesale repeal of the Bush administration's agenda -- from rolling back the tax cuts to passing real environmental regulation to re-establishing the U.S.' reputation in the world. That's the only way we can return to some semblance of balance. The hard part will be to not take advantage of the precedent set by the Repbulicans and abuse power in the same way. Comeuppance is due, but a restoration of balance is the best way to achieve it. Then, we can argue policy changes on their merits. For now, though, the task is to avoid going completely into a ditch and ruining the country.
Andrew 6:47 AM : |
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