Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Will Congress Back Torture? Will You?

Robert Scheer via Working For Change asks the question: "Is there bipartisan congressional support for torture?"
Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings on the confirmation of White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales as the next attorney general of the United States. At stake is whether Congress wants to conveniently absolve Gonzales of his clear attempt to have the president subvert U.S. law in order to whitewash barbaric practices performed by U.S. interrogators in the name of national security.

Acting like a sleazy attorney advising a client on how not to be convicted of an ongoing crime, Gonzales was apparently not worried about irrational foreign courts or high-minded jurists in The Hague, but rather U.S. prosecutors who might enforce federal laws that ban torture of foreign prisoners of war. Indeed, Gonzales made the case for a legal end run around the 1996 War Crimes Act, which mandates criminal penalties, including the death sentence, for any U.S. military or other personnel who engage in crimes of torture.

Another positive step would be the withdrawal or rejection of the Gonzales nomination. To make a man with so little respect for both the spirit and the letter of the law the nation's top law enforcement official would be a terrible advertisement for American democracy.

Write your Representative and your Senator. They're only a click away. Tell 'em you don't want a shady lawyer doing bad things in your name. Be nice. SouthKnoxBubba puts it this way, and I agree:
Tell them that in your opinion Gonzales' views on torture and abuse of prisoners are evidence that he is not fit to serve in a position sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and enforce the law of the land.

If Bush gets his way with this one, the Brown Shirts are not far behind. Not far from your front door in the wee hours, either. If you think "it can't happen to me. I haven't done anything wrong", you're seriously missing the point. Murphy's Law, which has never been wrong yet, says "If it can happen, it will happen".

This clown interpreted existing law to allow torture, at the request of this President, after finding evidence that torture had already taken place, in an attempt for all those at the top to avoid prosecution. One of Bush's people (don't make me look it up, please) said, "It's not about what's legal. It's about what we can make legal".

Legislators are supposed to make laws, not lawyers. If Congress gangs up on us with bad laws, OK, we're fucked. We'll live with it. Interpreting the law to allow criminal ends, under direction from the pretender to the highest position in the World, is not what we want.

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