Four on the Bush/McCain atrocity

I. AN OVERVIEW


Breaking News and Commentary from Citizens for Legitimate Government
23 September 2006

“You might not be able to go early medieval, but you can go late medieval.” Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley, commenting on Bush’s new torture guidelines, MSNBC’s “Countdown”
22 Sep 2006

Detainee Deal Comes With Contradictions 23 Sep 2006 The compromise reached on Thursday between Congressional Republicans and the White House on the interrogations and trials of terrorism suspects is, legal experts said yesterday, a series of interlocking paradoxes. It would impose new legal standards that it forbids the courts to enforce.

Read more.



II. A SOUND ANALYSIS
Bush’s ‘Dirty War’ Amnesty Law
By Robert Parry
September 23, 2006
The United States is following the lead of “dirty war” nations, such as Argentina and Chile, in enacting what amounts to an amnesty law protecting U.S. government operatives, apparently up to and including President George W. Bush, who have committed or are responsible for human rights crimes.
While the focus of the current congressional debate has been on Bush’s demands to redefine torture and to reinterpret the Geneva Conventions, the compromise legislation also would block prosecutions for violations already committed during the five-year-old “war on terror.”
The compromise legislation bars criminal or civil legal action over past violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, according to press reports. Common Article 3 outlaws “violence to life and person,” such as death and mutilation as well as cruel treatment and “outrages upon personal dignity.”
The legislation now before Congress also would prohibit detainees from citing the Geneva Conventions as a legal basis for challenging their imprisonment or for seeking civil damages for their mistreatment. [Washington Post, Sept. 22, 2006]

III. A TIMELY RANT
Rebels? Mavericks? Assholes, More Like
Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 05:52:46 PM PDT
This is a quick venting-vehicle diary. I simply need to get this out, and see if you’re with me. And I can’t help but think that you are.

Here’s some copy that renders (if you know what I mean) the words “rebel” and “maverick”:

The Los Angeles Times: “The Bush administration reached agreement with three rebellious Republican senators today over a formula for terrorist trials, possibly paving the way for proceedings against some of the most notorious terrorist suspects in U.S. custody”; “Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a former Vietnam prisoner of war who was one of the mavericks…”

The BBC: “Rebel Republicans had demanded a provision making it clear that torture of suspects would be barred.”

Read more.


IV. A CALL-TO-ARMS

Yesterday, President Bush and several members of the Senate struck a deal on human rights. In the process, they dealt away America’s commitment to fundamental human rights principles.

Make no mistake about it, this deal is a betrayal of the America we believe in. No human rights activist can remain on the sidelines in the days ahead. Call on your Senator to oppose these dangerous provisions. We are literally days away from action in Congress on a proposal to:
  • Abandon the rule of law and give the President the freedom to interpret the Geneva Conventions any way he sees fit.
  • Provide immunity to those responsible for past human rights abuses.
  • Exempt from prosecution those who authorize treatment traditionally considered torture.
  • Strip detainees of access to US courts.
The soul of our nation is in jeopardy. Everything we believe in is on the line. That’s why we’re mobilizing the entire Amnesty community. We’re going into action today and we won’t stop until every last Senator has made it clear whether he or she is willing to stand up for the America we believe in.

Please act today. Those behind this dangerous deal are doing everything they can to quickly build momentum. We have to break that momentum and we have to do it now.

If America renounces the Geneva Conventions like President Bush wants to do, nations all over the world will follow. American soldiers will be placed in greater threat of torture and cruel treatment when captured, not just by one or two rogue nations, but by many nations that follow America’s lead.

Call 1 800 AMNESTY and our operators will connect you to your official or call the Congressional switch board directly at 202-224-3121. Let the person on the phone know that you are a constituent, and tell them that the deal President Bush has struck is a betrayal of the America you believe in. Ask your Senators and Representative to stand firm in defense of human rights.

After you’ve made your call, tell report back on how it went here.

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