Wednesday, August 02, 2006
The Republican Inquisition: Rumsfeld Style
It appears as if a failed foreign policy, and three disastrous wars aren't enough for the sociopathic, highly aggressive Bush Administration. Now it appears as if the Bush crime regime wants to establish the Republican Equivalent of the Inquisition
Welcome to the wild and wooly world of
the Neocons and the Radical Christian Right--
where secret tribunals and a hatred of the
Constitution amount to a basic contempt
for liberty and the American Constitution.
You just have to give the Bush Administration credit Just when it seems as if the powers that be in Washington (read Republicans) have finally descended to an all time low they find a way to sink even lower. Sometimes it seems as if Bush will accomplish something that no other American President has accomplished--he will find the bottom of a bottomless pit.
Brace yourselves, because this one is more than just a little scary. Do you remember the recent Supreme Court ruling that put the kibosh on W's military tribunals? Of course you do. Well, my friends, in a new, liberty-chilling proposal from the White House, our bungling Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, may well be given the authority to select any person accused of any crime for trial before a military tribunal. Gone are the days when only international terrorists could be tried before a kangaroo court. If this repressive measured is actually passed into law (it is being debated in two Senate hearings today) any person accused of any crime can be treated as if he or she is a member of the Taliban, Al-Quaida, or any other international terrorist organization. In this measure, if you are accused of anything (be it murder, robbery, shoplifting, littering, jaywalking, or even staging a protest when George W. Bush comes to prevaricate in your neck of the woods), you could be arrested and carted off to a military tribunal, all at Donald Rumsfeld's discretion.
And it gets even worse. If you are dragged before this Republican-led Inquisition, you will not have the right to choose your own attorney, and the attorney in question will not have a right to see the evidence against you if the government does not want him to see that evidence. You will not have the right to a public trial. You will not have the right to a speedy trial--the Republican Inquisition could conceivably hold you in detention for years on end before it finally gets around to actually trying you. And when they do finally get around to trying you the Inquisition will allow hearsay coupled with evidence obtained under coercion ( i.e. torture).
Not that we need to worry. Bush and his fellow Inquisitors maintain that these secret star chambers are no different from the kind of proceedings that we might find in The Hague. And if you believe that I have some swamp party in Florida that I'd like to sell you.
Once again the Administration is attempting to create an all power unitary form of government in which the Executive branch will be the only source of authority. Not that we should be surprised. The Bush Administration is, for all intents and purposes, dominated by authoritarian leaders who view the United States Constitution--the Bill of Rights in particular--as obstacles to be avoided instead of sacred concepts to be upheld and protected. Many complain that we see no resistance from the United States Congress, noting that the House and the Senate have rolled over on their backs and played dead while the Executive branch has slowly--and in some cases not so slowly--usurped the powers and functions that are stated and guaranteed under the United States Constitution. But then again, you also have to remember that many in the House and Senate are themselves, right wing authoritarians, who, like those in the executive branch, crave power for the sake of obtaining power itself. Others are little more than authoritarian followers who will blindly and foolishly defend this very flawed leader right over the edge of a cliff if that's where their Demander and thief decides to lead them.
So am I surprised by the fact that these right wing power addicts would attempt to concentrate more power into the hands of the executive branch? Not really. But am I surprised by the degree to which this measure makes a mockery out of our Bill of Rights?
You're damned right I am.