October 17, 2006

Rights, schmights

Garrison Keillor on the torture bill Bush signed today:

I would not send my college kid off for a semester abroad if I were you. This week, we have suspended human rights in America, and what goes around comes around. Ixnay habeas corpus.

The U.S. Senate, in all its splendor and majesty, has decided that an "enemy combatant" is any non-citizen whom the president says is an enemy combatant, including your Korean greengrocer or your Swedish grandmother or your Czech au pair, and can be arrested and held for as long as authorities wish without any right of appeal to a court of law to examine the matter.


The Senate also decided it's up to the president to decide whether it's OK to make these enemies stand naked in cold rooms for a couple days in blinding light and be beaten by interrogators. This is now purely a bureaucratic matter: The plenipotentiary stamps the file "enemy combatants" and throws the poor schnooks into prison and at his leisure he tries them by any sort of kangaroo court he wishes to assemble and they have no right to see the evidence against them, and there is no appeal.


None of the men and women who voted for this bill has any right to speak in public about the rule of law anymore, or to take a high moral view of the Third Reich, or to wax poetic about the American Idea. Mark their names. Any institution of higher learning that grants honorary degrees to these people forfeits its honor. Alexander, Allard, Allen, Bennett, Bond, Brownback, Bunning, Burns, Burr, Carper, Chambliss, Coburn, Cochran, Coleman, Collins, Cornyn, Craig, Crapo, DeMint, DeWine, Dole, Domenici, Ensign, Enzi, Frist, Graham, Grassley, Gregg, Hagel, Hatch, Hutchison, Inhofe, Isakson, Johnson, Kyl, Landrieu, Lautenberg, Lieberman, Lott, Lugar, Martinez, McCain, McConnell, Menendez, Murkowski, Nelson of Florida, Nelson of Nebraska, Pryor, Roberts, Rockefeller, Salazar, Santorum, Sessions, Shelby, Smith, Specter, Stabenow, Stevens, Sununu, Talent, Thomas, Thune, Vitter, Voinovich, Warner.

To paraphrase Sir Walter Scott: Mark their names and mark them well. For them, no minstrel raptures swell. High though their titles, proud their name, boundless their wealth as wish can claim, these wretched figures shall go down to the vile dust from whence they sprung, unwept, unhonored and unsung.

That column was written on the occasion of the bill's approval by the Senate a couple of weeks ago, but it's lost none of its clarity in the two weeks since.

Posted by Linkmeister at October 17, 2006 02:50 PM | TrackBack

It would be nice to be able to talk about this on DodgerThoughts, given the presence there of so many bright and educated people...

Posted by: D4P at October 17, 2006 09:30 PM

Well, I can't blame Jon for wanting to keep the subject off what's primarily a baseball blog.

This one's politics and whatever else catches my fancy. You and anyone else from there are more than welcome. ;)

Posted by: Linkmeister at October 17, 2006 09:38 PM

I don't blame Jon either, and I think it's just as well that there's no political discussions on DT. But I'd still like to hear what the folks over there have to say...

Posted by: D4P at October 17, 2006 09:56 PM

Wow, I love this. When I finally get the ol' blog up again this I must copy and paste and save. Definite Wall of Shame time.

Posted by: batty at October 21, 2006 03:47 AM

And when might that be, Batty? (Poke, poke)

Posted by: Linkmeister at October 21, 2006 02:09 PM

Thank you , Tim. I totally approve of Jon's "stocks" idea, and Batty's "Wall of Shame" monument. I will, at least, print this out and post it on the wall.

I'm ashamed to say that both of the Idaho senators are on the list, and the Montana senator that is running neck and neck with his opponent in the upcoming elections is also listed. One of the Idaho senators is running for Govenor. If any of them are re-elected I may have to "take to the streets" again in protest, and suffer the slings and arrows that will be thrown at me...

Posted by: "Mom" at October 23, 2006 06:24 AM