Calm the Fuck Down Already
Yes, torture is awful. Yes, the bill purports to eliminate the right of habeas corpus. Yes, American citizens are included. Yes, these are fundamental American values. Yes, Democrats should stand up for those values.
Yes, yes, yes. Yada yada yada.
But please end the incessant hand-wringing, and try to remember how government--even under this administration--works.
This bill doesn't change SHIT. Not today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Nothing.
And all you hand-wringers out there are just playing right into their hands by obsessing about this.
All this bill is, is an utterly MEANINGLESS piece of kabuki theater.
It serves only two purposes: a) a desperate attempt by Bush to try to legally cover his own ass; and b) a desperate attempt designed to distract from the unrelentingly horrible news on Iraq. On Afghanistan. On Pakistan. On healthcare. On the economy the rest of us live in.
And again, this bill doesn't accomplish SHIT. Let's look at a few points, one by one, shall we?
1) Congress has NO authority to decide if these things are legal or not. That's up to the COURTS to decide.
It's up to the COURTS to decide how the Geneva Conventions--which are American Law--are construed. It's up to the COURTS to decide whether habeas corpus does or does not apply to all persons (as it so clearly states in the Constitution).
Every piece of this Unconstitutional bill is beyond the scope of the Congress to legislate. It's dead on the courthouse door--and doesn't change anything in the meantime.
Which brings me to point #2:
2) The torture is happening the same, regardless of whether this bill passes or not. We've already BEEN waterboarding detainees. We've already BEEN subjecting them to cold rooms. We've already BEEN doing all these horrible things. Habeas corpus is ALREADY being suspended.
All this stupid bill does is attempt to make it OK to do these things. Which it CANNOT DO, because it's not up to Brownback, Reid, Schumer, or Santorum to decide whether it's ok or not.
The only reason it even exists is to try to provide legislative cover for Bush against possible trials for war crimes--which it also cannot do. Which brings me to point #3.
3) Bush cannot claim retroactive immunity based on Unconstitutional law. Suspending habeas corpus is Unconstitutional. Torture is UnConstitutional. And any future trial of Bush will be based on how his actions play out with regard to the CONSTITUTION--not with regard to some stupid laws passed by his lap-dog rubber-stamp Congress. Which brings us to point #4:
4) A Democratic congress will easily reverse this bill. When the subpoenas start coming and Bush is on the hotseat for his crimes, there will be a MAJOR tailwind and drive to remove even the pretense of this horrible legislation. Bush is the Emperor without Clothes--and this butt-cover will blow right off when the winds kick up.
Of course, without a Democratic congress we won't have that. And if you hand-wringers refuse to support Democrats, or some other drivel, on the basis of their reaction to this legislation in the face of political pressure, we won't get a Democratic congress.
In other words: this bill doesn't give them ANY powers they aren't ALREADY using (and have been using for years); and when the time comes to call them to account for it, it WON'T save their asses--if it hasn't already been repealed.
Meanwhile, every day that we obsess over this meaningless kabuki bullshit farce, we lose another day that we can spend talking about shit that doesn't go right over the heads of the American people at best, or make us look like terrorist enablers at worst.
Shit like Iraq. Afghanistan. What Bush did to stop 9/11. Cronyism. Corruption. Healthcare. The economy the rest of us live in.
So please, PLEASE CALM DOWN!!! America isn't dead. The Constitution isn't dead. Nothing has changed.
There's a REASON they're doing this so close to the election. There's no big torture emergency out there: they just want a good distraction, and Bush wants to try some lame attempt at covering his ass in case there's a stiff-spined Democratic congress at his heels in 2007.
So get over it. Let the Republicans have their meaningless political theater. It changes absolutely nothing, and it will be struck down by the first, second and third courts that get their hands on it.
And then send some REAL Americans--the ones with (D)s after their names--to Congress. Because that's what REALLY matters here.
Update: Remember also that Hamdan v. Rumsfeld was decided in the Supreme Court by a margin of 5-3, with Roberts recusing himself. First, the court has to even take the case. Second, if Roberts had to recuse himself for Hamdan, he will almost certainly have to recuse himself here. Third, even if the GOP keeps its judges in line for this bill (which I doubt), it's still 5-3.
It just ain't gonna happen. And I honestly doubt it'll ever make the Supreme Court, it's so blatantly Unconstitutional.