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?

4 comments:

Tina said...

Okay, first of all? I'm soooooo glad you wrote about all this habeas stuff or whatever because I was totally going to.

But really. My mind is totally and completely fried. That's what happens when you try to figure out how to write a Hallmark-safe Obama or Hillary joke. Aye-yi-yi.

Stick a cigar in me, I'm done.

What? Gross.

Jas P. said...

Nice punchline, punchy.

I'm sorry you're still working on political humor at a company that would really rather not do it.

But I just printed out a glossary of Business Transformation terms, and apparently a disco has effected some change management, so you're defying orthodoxies and building muscle, which makes you a loyalist. I think.

scotland said...

Apparently during state of the union addresses, it is a traditional precaution to have one cabinet member refrain from attendence,in case dire calmity should befall the collective government.Who! Guess Who! was our ace in the hole.
This Mo-fo has got to go!

Stace said...

I am so excited about the disco you guys.

P.S. DAMN you're funny Tina.