Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Torture, Yes. Habeas Corpus, No.
Caught an amazing clip of U.S. Atty. General Alberto Gonzales telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that the constitution doesn't guarantee the right of habeas corpus. Senators sat there gawking and sputtering as he explained that the wording merely guarantees that it can't be suspended (except under certain conditions) -- NOT that it's been granted in the first place.
That's pretty airtight logic there. If you don't give 'em the right to begin with, then you can't take it away and you haven't violated Article One by keeping people in prison forever. What else could we apply this to?
1st Amendment: It's not that you have the right to freedom of speech or to worship as you wish, it's that Congress shall pass no law prohibiting you from doing so. Pretty big loophole for the executive branch there...
2nd Amendment: It's not that you have the right to bear arms, it's that your non-existent right to bear arms can't be infringed upon.
Roe v. Wade: It's not that a woman has the right to an abortion, it's that no state can pass a law to take away that right... which doesn't exist....
Hmm, you have to be selective on this stuff. And speaking of Alberto's selectivity...
I just read that, over the past month or so, he's fired at least seven federal prosecutors working on various investigations of the Bush administration and GOP lawmakers. One of the prosecutors, Carole Lam, was the one who nailed Duke Cunningham on corruption. Still involved in several ongoing investigations, she's apparently become too troublesome. In her place, Gonzales has put a nice Republican lawyer -- who apparently will not require Senate confirmation, because that part of the process got stripped out in the most recent version of the Patriot Act.
Wow, gulag-style justice and a government purge.... Yippee, we're the new Soviet Union!
I also see that "Children of Men" only received three Oscar nominations -- screenplay, cinematography, and editing. No Cuaron, no Caine, no Clive, but Will Smith is up for best actor? How much injustice can we endure?