Sunday, September 24, 2006

Torture, compromise and outrage

Jodi Dean complains in Fascism checklist: legalized torture, legalized surveillance at Long Sunday about the lack of outrage expressed by those who should know better about the soon-to-be-rubber-stamped Torture Bill. I'm outraged. I'm so outraged I hardly know where to start. Picking a point at random, last June the US Supreme Court held in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that Congress had not (yet) authorized Bush and his handlers to violate the Geneva Convention and try "enemy combatants" on the basis of secret evidence obtained from god-knows-who under god-knows-what conditions in military tribunals whose rulings were immune from judicial review. (Read about the Hamdan decision here.) In response to Hamdan, Congress is now preparing obediently to pass a terrorism detainee bill written by the administration to supply the missing authority. This bill will be the product of a "compromise" between the White House and "rebellious" Republican senators who bravely begged that the bill not authorize torture outright, thus absolving Democrats of the need to express any opinion at all on the matter. The "compromise" language is vague on the point. What it actually means may be moot, at least for non-citizen detainees, as the agreed-upon language also provides:
"No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed on or behalf of an alien detained by the United States who (A) is currently in United States custody; and (B) has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination."

In Bush's words,
“The agreement clears the way to do what the American people expect us to do — to capture terrorists, to detain terrorists, to question terrorists, and then to try them.”

"And then to try them."

Seton Hall Law School is putting together a Guantanamo Bay Teach-in, "Guantánamo: How Should We Respond?” to be broadcast to over 200 academic institutions across the US (including Southwestern Law School) on October 5 from 10 am to 7 pm eastern time. Be there, and be outraged.


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1 comment:

Beth said...

Is this the part where it gets worse right before it gets better? I sure as hell hope so because I don't want to know how much worse it can get. So ashamed of my government these days, sigh. We have a long way to go. Thanks for posting this KC. I am also outraged.