Sunday, October 29, 2006

A SUCCESSOR TO ED MURROW? PART 2

Word's character count apparently doesn't agree with AOL Journals. Ok, fine, whatever. Please read the previous entry first. It contains the first half of Keith Olberman's excellent article.

 

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We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a

man who has said it is unacceptable to compare anything this country has ever done to anything the terrorists have ever done

 

We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who has insisted gain that “the United States does not torture. It’s against our laws and it’s against our values.” And who has said it with a straight face while the pictures from Abu Ghraib Prison and the stories of Waterboarding figuratively fade in and out, around him.

 

We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who may now, if he so decides, declare not merely any non-America citizens “unlawful enemy combatants” and ship them somewhere-anywhere-but may now, if he so decides, declare you an “unlawful enemy combatant” and ship you somewhere-anywhere.

 

And if you think thishyperbole, or hysteria, ask the newspaper editors when John Adams was president or the pacifists when Woodrow Wilson was president or the Japanese at Manzanar when Franklin Roosevelt was president.

 

And if you somehow think habeas corpus has not been suspended for American citizens but only for everybody else, ask yourself this” If you are pulled off the street tomorrow, and they call you an alien or an undocumented immigrant or an “unlawful enemy combatant”-exactly how are you going to convince them to give you a court hearing to prove you are not? Do you think this attorney general is going to help you?

 

This President now has his blank check.

 

He lied to get it.

 

He lied as he received it.

 

Is there any reason to even hope he has not lied about how he intends to use it nor who he intends to use it against?

 

“These military commissions will provide a fair trial” you told us yesterday, Mr. Bush “In which the accused are presumed innocent, have access to an attorney and can hear all the evidence against them.”

 

“Presumed innocent,” Mr. Bush?

 

The very piece of paper you signed as you said that, allows for the detainees to be abused up to the point just before they sustain “serious mental and physical trauma” in the hope of getting them to incriminate themselves, and may no longer even invoke The Geneva conventions in their own defense.

 

“Access to an attorney,” Mr. Bush?

 

Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift said on this program, Sir, and to the Supreme Court that he was only granted access to his detainee defendant on the promise that the detainee would plead guilty.

 

“Hearing all the evidence, “ Mr. Bush”

 

The Military Commissions Act specifically permits the introduction of classified evidence not made available to the defense.

 

Your words are lies, Sir.

 

They are lies that imperil us all.

 

“One of the terrorists believed to have planned the 9/11 attacks,” you told us yesterday, “said he hoped the attacks would be the beginning of theend of America.”

 

That terrorist, sir, could only hope.

 

Not his actions, or the actions of a ceaseless line of terrorists (real or imagined), could measure up to what you have wrought.

 

Habeas corpus” Gone

 

The Geneva Conventions? Optional.

 

The moral force we shined outwards to the world as an eternal beacon, and inwards at ourselves as an eternal protection? Snuffed out.

 

These things you have done, Mr. Bush, they would be “the beginning of the end of Amerca.”

 

And did it even occur to you once sir-somewhere in amidst those eight separate, gruesome, international, terroristic invocations of the horrors of 9/11-that with only a little further shift in this world we now know-just  a touch more repudiation of all that for which our patriots died-did it ever occur to you once that in just 27 months and two days from now when you leave office some irresponsible future president and a “competent tribunal” of lackeys would be entitled by the actions of your own hand to declare the status of “unlawful enemy combatant” for – and convene a Military commission to try – not John Walker Lindh, but George Walker Bush?

 

For the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.

 

And doubtless, Sir, all of them-as always-wrong.

 

 

4 comments:

toonguykc said...

The man speaks the truth -- but I fear nobody is listening.  This country is populated with the voluntarily deaf.  Sad.

Russ

ereading7 said...

His show has become a must see in this household. I wish there were fewer show business articles, however, if that type of stuff draws viewers that need to hear what Keith says, I can put up with it.

lisaram1955 said...

Hard to know who is listening, and if it is making any difference.  This country's press is still SO in the pocket of the GOP...  Go Keith, go!  And I hope you are preaching to more than the choir...  Lisa  :-]

hestiahomeschool said...

Someone has been painting RIP  Habeas corpus all over Cincinnati on 1-75. I fear most people are too uninformed to know what it is.

Sigh.

But my husband worries that we should not go to anymore anti-war demonstrations.