Thursday, June 12, 2008
Back to Bush
With all that Democratic primary business eating up our space highwayscribery almost forgot George W. Bush was still (p)resident.
But today the Supreme Court - five of them anyway - came to the aid of those who can't forget Bush's undemocratic reign: the internees at Guantanamo.
Once again, the sacred nine, most of whom are in Bush's pocket, slapped his silly, unconstitutional face red, by ruling that those held in Gulag Gitmo have a right to contest their detention in federal court.
Now there's a revelation.
Justice Anthony Kennedy served once again as pivot man between right and left, siding with the latter in defense of those guarantees that make our country unique (most of the time).
Here's the scribe's favorite quote by Kennedy: "The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times. Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the framework of the law (emphasis added). The Framers decided that habeas corpus, a right of first importance, must be a part of that framework, a part of that law."
The "Washington Post" noted that Justice Antonin Scalia highlighted his dissent by taking the rare step of summarizing it from the bench like some lowly House member, rather than a sage of the highest tribune.
Scalia called the ruling a "self-invited...incursion into military affairs," which suggests that the military is not subject to any of the country's laws.
He then went on to suggest that the ruling, "will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed," which seems to us like an, er, um, "self invited incursion into military affairs" on Scalia's part.
He should be ashamed of himself, uttering this passive inversion of w.'s "Bring it on."
highwayscribery, many of you know, hates the prison at Guantanamo. In "Gitmo Girl," and "Gitmo Girl Gone Wild," we leaned upon no less a connection than the scribe's cousin Heather Rogers who was given the thankless task of legally representing some of the Allah-forsaken schlubs caught in the CIA's bounty-primed dragnet.
The Bush administration's idea was that holding prisoners in an offshore hellhole would deny them protections onshore detainees enjoy (for lack of a better word).
the scribe has always thought there was something adolescent about that reasoning; like a teenager forbidden to have parties at the house arguing that all the drinking and dancing was out in the backyard.
It is a cheap and technical evasion that sums up the administration's approach to our Constitution and the Democratic principles contained therein.
Bush said he "strongly disagreed" with the court's ruling, but promised to abide by it; as if there were another option open to him.
He said "legislation might be necessary" to deal with the invalidation of the reasons for even having a prison at Guantanamo, but Tom Delay's gone and this is 2007 so Bush shouldn't hold his breath.
Meanwhile - and you didn't read about it anywhere in the mainstream media - the House of Representative mustered up 251 votes (to 166) to send 35 articles of impeachment (House Resolution 1258), introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, to the Judiciary Committee.
Certainly an embarrassment for a sitting president conducting diplomacy overseas and a move highwayscribery wholeheartedly supports.
It's not enough that these crooks surrender power. They need to go to jail and highwayscribery plans to comb the articles of impeachment for interesting things and report back if worthwhile items turns up.
Here's a little flyer from the crowd at ImpeachBush.org you can print out and send around if you're interested in helping this thing along.
highwayscribery does not know how the measure got to the floor for a vote, what with the Dems' desire to keep it clean and smooth the way for an Obama administration. the scribe does not know what the Judiciary Committee's posture is on the matter.
But it's worth noting that, unlike a lot of things that happen in the House, this one is not subject to reconciliation with Senate prerogatives or subject to presidential veto.
The business of bringing charges against a sitting president lies with the House alone.
And it's not out-of-orbit to wonder if lower chamber leaders are steamed enough at the administration's Bronx cheer in response to the service of subpoenas on Harriet Miers, Karl Rove, etc., to follow through on criminal charges.
There is more than one way to skin a cat.