Thursday, June 12, 2008

Proud to be an American

Today was the first day in a long time that I've been proud of my government and had some bit of hope that it's not just going completely to hell in a handbasket. I've been appalled at the number of civil liberties and basic constitutional rights that have gone by the wayside in the name of the "War on Terror".

One of the biggest ones of these was the revocation of habeas corpus, which allows people charged with a crime to face their accusers and see the evidence against them and contest charges. It's there in Article 1, section 9 of the US Constitution which says that "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."

This administration has claimed enormous executive power under the war powers act. I think much of this has been wrong and illegal - don't you have to be at war with some other country to invoke war powers? The US has been in a "War on Drugs" for years, and presidents since have had the good sense not to try to invoke war powers on that. Isn't "terror" about as much of a concept as "drugs"? I know it sounds sexier, more macho and more action-y to declare war on something, or to go fight something, or to declare that we're winning the battle against something, but we're talking a concept here.

Back to my original point - a few days ago the US Supreme Court decided (for the third time) that the Guantanamo detainees did indeed have habeas corpus rights and that those really were irrevocable under the current conditions. After multiple attempts by Pres. Bush and his administration, it's great to see that the US Constitution still holds and that the system of checks and balances still works the way our forefathers intended. Bush had this to say of the decision:
"We'll abide by the court's decision. That doesn't mean I have to agree with it. It was a deeply divided court, and I strongly agree with those who dissented. . . . That dissent was based upon their serious concerns about U.S. national security."

- President G. W. Bush

I'm proud to be an American because the constitution our forefathers wrote is still standing the test of time. Its not subject to the whims and interpretations of a warmongering president in a time of artificially created crisis. May it keep doing so for many years to come.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Just say no.

From ThreatLevel over at

If elected president, Senator John McCain would reserve the right to run his own warrantless wiretapping program against Americans, based on the theory that the president's wartime powers trump federal criminal statutes and court oversight, according to a statement released by his campaign Monday.
We don't need 4 more years of Bush politics and tactics, and McCain taking this position is setting us up for exactly that. What ever happened to the Bill of Rights? What ever happened to checks and balances in government? Oh, yeah.... W happened.

I used to think McCain would be a decent alternative to the Dems, but the more he campaigns, the more traditional Republican positions he takes. Bah.... he's dead to me.