Monday, September 25, 2006

The Good, the Bad, and the Dumb!

I have spent the last few weeks on the sidelines of the debate over torture of Al Qaeda detainees and the Bush administration ridiculous notion that we can simply choose to re-interpret Article III of the Geneva Convention regarding torture. This issue is so ridiculous that I am almost afraid to wade into it. Does anyone aside from our President, and his kiss-ass chorus, think this is a good idea? It sure doesn’t appear so. Former generals and diplomats, including Bush’s own former Secretary of State Colin Powell have said that re-interpreting the Geneva Convention is a terrible idea, and still they push forward.

The Rubber-stamp Congress, lead by the extraordinarily mediocre Bill Frist, has stepped forward to tout a “compromise” that was reached last week. What happened with the last compromise between Congress and the Bush administration? The President signed the bill and added a signing statement making it clear that he would only follow the law when it did not interfere with his powers as commander-in-chief (which when dealing with Al Qaeda is always). On This Week Frist was asked about specific torture techniques, he responded that he would not address hypothetical scenarios because then the terrorists would win. I kid you not, fair readers; Bill Frist can’t even answer a question about a potential hypothetical without the terrorists winning. I fear that we are in worse shape then I originally thought if Mr. Nobody, Bill Frist, answering a direct and clear question, for once in his life, would enable the terrorists to win.

So, let’s talk about these signing statements that the President attaches to bills that he signs. He, and his merry men, claim that this is a normal procedure followed by every President since Thomas Jefferson. Press Secretary Tony Snow was asked this question on September 17th: "But isn't it the Supreme Court that's supposed to decide whether laws are unconstitutional or not?"

Snow’s response? "No, as a matter of fact the president has an obligation to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. That is an obligation that presidents have enacted through signing statements going back to Jefferson. So, while the Supreme Court can be an arbiter of the Constitution, the fact is the President is the one, the only person who, by the Constitution, is given the responsibility to preserve, protect, and defend that document, so it is perfectly consistent with presidential authority under the Constitution itself." OK, I am not a Constitutional scholar, but I have read the Federalist Papers, which clearly explains what the Framers intended when they drafted the Constitution. For those who have not read them, here are a few quotes to mull over.

Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist Papers No. 78:
"The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts ... It equally proves, that though individual oppression may now and then proceed from the courts of justice, the general liberty of the people can never be endangered from that quarter; I mean so long as the judiciary remains truly distinct from both the legislature and the Executive. For I agree, that there is no liberty, if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers."

James Madison, in Federalist Papers No. 47:
"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."

So, let’s review. Torturing Al Qaeda terrorists is OK and we can re-interpret the Geneva Convention any way we want until we find a way to make it OK. And the President of the United States doesn’t have to listen to Congress and is, in fact, the best judge of what is Constitutional or not, not the United States Judiciary. This is what happens when you put a single-mindedly idiotic person in the White House!

The President is trying very hard to make everyone focus on the War on Terror in the larger sense so we don't focus on the quagmire and civil war occurring in Iraq. Voters of the nation, DO NOT LOSE FOCUS!!! Voting against the Bush administration and the lap dog Congress is NOT un-patriotic. The terrorists will not win if we have dual party rule. You all know that I don't make endorsements. Vote for the Democrats, Greens, Natural Law, or Libertarians if you want, just get the neanderthals and troglodytes of the Grand Old Party out of Congress!