Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Congress to Vote on Gitmo Prisoners

Last week the Supreme Court slapped Bush back into consciousness, reminding him of the Constitution, the Geneva Convention, and checks and balances. But now the neocons have found a silver lining in the Court’s ruling.

Congress will be voting on this issue, as the Court suggested they do. They will be voting on whether to conduct military tribunals for the SUSPECTED (sorry wingnuts, there’s that big word again) terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay.

Presto! Republicans have found the perfect hot-button issue for this November. Looks like they won’t have to dust off Gay Marriage after all.

We have another Perfect Storm of Karl Rove’s shrewdness at framing the issues and defining the terms, and the invertebrate Democrats falling into every trap set by the Republicans. Just bring in the cameras and force every Democrat to either genuflect before King George, or look into the camera and say “I’m a latte-sipping bedwetting surrender monkey.”

Last Thursday Nancy Pelosi said the Supreme Court’s decision “affirms the American ideal that all are entitled to the basic guarantees of our justice system.” This comment set off alarms all over the Far Right. Majority Leader John Boehner said Pelosi wanted “special privileges for terrorists.”

And OxyContin “Rush” Limbaugh was bleating on his radio show about Pelosi’s “deranged” comment.

Let’s see…the Constitution, the Geneva Convention — “special privileges”??!?!? Only in Neanderthal-land.

As retarded as this “reasoning” is, it’s catching on among the cerebrally-challenged. One GOP strategist said “It would be good politics to have a debate about this if Democrats are going to argue for additional rights for terrorists.”

AAAARRRRGGGHHH!!!!! Yes, it probably is good politics. Cut funding for education during the 1980s, and twenty years later we have a generation of dumbfucks who’ll fall for anything.

Some members of Congress are pushing to have the Gitmo suspects tried by Court-Martial. But Bush and his fellow Right-ards are against this idea because it offers too many legal protections.


Blogger Jon said...

There always was a silver lining, after all the Justices decision wasn't final on the subject and it will turn out to be nothing more than a speed bump on the road to hold these terrorists accountable for their actions. The sad thing is that the Justices decided that these terrorists should fall under the Geneva convention even though they wore no uniform of a nation that has signed the Geneva accord and there for really have no standing under any of the Geneva conventions. So it really won't matter in the long run and they will be punished in the end.

July 2, 2006 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Like I stated in the post, they're not terrorists until they've been convicted. Until then they're SUSPECTED terrorists. If they're guilty, yes, punish them.

July 2, 2006 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger Mike V. said...

if they wore no uniform and they are not part of a standing army, then it's not really a war, then, is it?

as in "war on terror".

eh, Jon?

go back to writing about cars going around in a circle..

July 3, 2006 at 12:33 AM  
Blogger EuroYank said...

When will somebody finally tell the truth about how these guys got caught and locked up.

Considering not one of these guys has been officially charged in five years, and considering most were turned in by other Iraqis because of their sect and religion, and considering that these men were not picked up on the battlefield as the myth goes.

It would be nice to finally expose this propaganda and write the facts!

July 3, 2006 at 12:34 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mike: Good point -- if these suspects aren't wearing the uniform of a particular army or country, then we aren't at war.

Uh oh, you're having dangerous thoughts. The Ministry of Love might have to call you in for questioning.

Euroyank: No doubt a lot of these prisoners were just in the wrong place at the wrong time (or turned in by somebody else trying to get even). There's absolutely no argument for holding them for 5 years without being charged or tried.

July 3, 2006 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger frstlymil said...

What grinds me is that the far right's "argument" about the Supreme court decision points to only one conclusion. The far right does not want a democracy. They want a dictatorship and any attempts at quashing that and actually upholding the laws and principals put into effect by our country and its forefathers are met with accusations of treason and siding with terrorists. In case those on the far right reading this are not clear on what dictator means: An absolute ruler.
A tyrant; a despot.
An ancient Roman magistrate appointed temporarily to deal with an immediate crisis or emergency.

We will NOT appoint George W. as dictator; immediate crisis, emergency or not.

July 3, 2006 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger spaceneedl said...


you're a terrorist. why? because i say so.

oh, and you have no legal means to challenge me. maybe i'll get around to giving you a day in court, maybe not.

either way, there's not a damn thing you can do about it. you don't exist. and you will be held accountable for your actions.

July 3, 2006 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Mike V. said...

what gets me is the outrage that people have (and rightly so) when certain animals in other countries where we are at war treat combatants in horrible ways.
but in the same breath, they want to abandon all that WE are supposed to believe in as Americans.

fucking amazing..

July 3, 2006 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Jon, I suggest you read up on what part of the Geneva convention was refered to.


It seems that the court was pushing congress to act. There was a lot of talk about "dual powers of war making" in the Steven's decision. The president's power to create this tribunal was struck down partially because the President did not have a congressional mandate.

Now he will try to get one it looks like. I guess this was all part of the plan.

July 3, 2006 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Jon said...


They belong to a terroist organization and they take marching orders from terrorist leader that makes them terrorists and I really don't care what happens to them. There Islamic extremists have hijacked their religion and perverted it to suit their selfish needs and I hope that they all burn in hell and meet their maker.

July 3, 2006 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Frstlymil: You’ve got it. The Right wants to steamroll their entire agenda over the entire US population, and anyone who questions or protests any part of their agenda is siding with the terrorists and hates America. Bush just loves being a “wartime president” so he can dictate exactly what he wants when he wants it, and assassinate the character of anyone who disagrees with him.

Spaceneedl: Excellent. LOL. I can’t think of anything to add to that.

Mike: Exactly. This type of treatment — being held indefinitely without trial — is the kind of thing we’ve all read about in third world dictatorships. There was always an unspoken consensus that “thank God this couldn’t happen in America.” Now that our own government is trying to do the same thing, it’s suddenly perfectly all right. “What, they’re just terrorists; of course we’re gonna torture them and hold them for years with no trial.” “Fucking amazing” is right.

Praguetwin: Yup, it looks like Congress will act on it now. I just hope they’ll discuss it logically without soundbites and slogans and character assassination. Dream on, I know.

Jon: “extremists have hijacked their religion and perverted it to suit their selfish needs and I hope that they all burn in hell and meet their maker.” Hey, we agree. I know I took your quote out of context, but still…Our secular democratic government is the only thing restraining the James Dobsons and Pat Robertsons of this country. They’d be just as bloodthirsty and brutal as any mullah if they could. Take the anti-abortion fanatics who blow up abortion clinics (and sometimes kill people in the process) for example. I think anyone who murders based on their religious fanaticism (Christian or Moslem) should be executed. But only AFTER they’ve been tried and convicted, and they deserve a speedy trial.

July 3, 2006 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger Jon said...


You may be right about Pat Robertson and Dobson, but I really don't care for anything they spout either. Just because some people act like them doesn't mean the entire Christian faith believe or follow them.


People on the right aren't against a Democracy and you are foolish if you believe that. Just because we believe differently doesn't make your beliefs any better than ours.
After all, what makes us a Democracy is we have the right to elect our leaders and majority rules. We were forced to live with Bill Clintons outragous taxation when he was in office and oh yes the secret spying programs that you on the left claim that only started under Bush. I guess you need to do better research because they happened under Clinton, Carter and just about every President for decades. The only difference was the media never got hold of the details of the programs so we never found out the extent of the programs like we have currently.

All you liberals can make all the claims you want about loss of freedoms, but in the end it is nothing new that hasn't been happening for decades. You on the left are quite comical when you act like President Bush was the first to use the NSA to spy on the citizens of the US.

July 4, 2006 at 5:59 AM  
Blogger spaceneedl said...

"Just because we believe differently doesn't make your beliefs any better than ours."

wrong. your beliefs are destructive and anti-american. you defend bush's crimes on the false grounds that "everybody does it."

you apparently don't grasp the nuance of fisa, or the threat unchecked government power.

you want to call yourself a conservative, but true conservatives are for less government intrusion, not a totalitarian state.

your beliefs are in no way morally equivalent to mine.

July 4, 2006 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Come on Jon,

You are basing your argument (again) on the "everyone does it so don't blame me" defense. We all know that atrocities occured under Carter. That does not preclude us from objecting to unchecked presidential power, and atrocities commited under Bush.

Do you want me to admit that the constitution was trampled on under Carter? Fine! Do you want me to admit that Clinton bombed the most important pharmacy in Sudan causing unmeasurable human suffering? No problem!

Now can we look at the transgressions of the current administration in a non-partisan, respect-for-the-law-and-constitution sort of way?

I mean look at what you are saying man! You assume that we are all democrats and thus pull on Clinton's nob like prep-school Lewinsky's. Well, buddy, news flash, some of us can't stand Clinton and have serious problems with Carter's inability to reign in the CIA (although, after what happened to Kennedy, who can really blame him).

At the end of the day, having a string of shitheads preceeding you does not make being the biggest shithead of all O.K.

And seriously, look up Common Article 3 of the Genvea convention (you don't even have to guess which one of the four: common article means it is in ALL FOUR COVENTIONS, so apparently they were pretty serious about it).

July 4, 2006 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

July 4, 2006 at 5:50 PM  
Blogger Floyd said...

Hey Tom good post,,fascism is alive and well in America, how I long for the days of "Ronnie" and "tricky Dick" they were so much better and they contained so much better character and much love of "Liberty and freedom."
In only my opinion I say this; The administration of today has destroyed all of the GOP, as I knew it, now it means nothing the real conseverative values have been abandoned in the wake of opinons that have moved far to the "right." For what it is worth this country was built on Liberty and we have balances for a reason, after that we can throw it all out the window and just elect a ruler or king, to tell us what we should and should not do, if the Supreme Court does not agree just dismantle that also, or just have a Congress that is a majority make a law around it.
"Wake up America."
I would like to see the facts on how these guys got locked up in the first place, but with all the secrets in Washington, we may never know.

July 4, 2006 at 6:01 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Floyd: Thanks. Yeah, it's pretty bad when Nixon and Reagan start looking good in retrospect. That "limited government" that the GOP still talks about -- that's totally out the window now. I sure hope we can return to checks and balances before it's too late.

Thanks everybody else for all the comments -- good stimulating debate.

July 5, 2006 at 12:00 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

Dubya has no idea of what conservatism really is.

I didn't care a whole lot for Reagan, but I would feel much safer with a guy like him in the White House than with what we have now. Seriously, how are the actions of the Bush administration anywhere near defensible when it comes to preserving and protecting our civil liberties, honoring and strengthening the Constitution, supporting representative government, and promoting world peace?

If I'm counting correctly, since 1968 there has been a Republican president in the White House for 26 of the last 38 years with a Republican president, 28 of the last 40 by the time Bush leaves office. That will make 70% of the last 40 years with a GOP president. I doubt that Democrats will have done THAT much damage in their 30% of the last 40 years... And since Reagan was elected in 1980, it has been 18 of the last 26 years for the GOP, and will be 20 of 28 years by 2008!

So for all the Republican whiners who complain about how our country is going down the drain, that our "moral values" are declining... I have to say "Seriously, quit complaining about Clinton for a moment and look at which party has had a great majority of the time in the White House since 1968, or since 1980. And particularly, look at who has been in the White House for the past six years. If you don't like the way the country is going, then cleanse your own party. Call the neocons out, and quit supporting them. Disown your own troublemakes, isolate them, marginalize them. By supporting Bush just because he is not a Democrat, you support a theocratic agenda that does not support the preservation and protection of our civil liberties, the honoring and strengthening of the Constitution, the supporting of representative government, and the promotion of world peace.

America can do a whole hell of a lot better than it's doing right now, and I think the best place to begin improving things is at the top. Though I'm a mostly diehard lefty, I could tolerate a Republican in the White House if he or she was a real conservative (not spending the country into oblivion, or not using our military for nation-building and unprovoked invasions, for example) and if the person really did care about Americans and about doing good for our country and for the world. I believe what he have right now is about as far from that as you can get.

July 5, 2006 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger The Cranky Insomniac said...

Jesus. All you have to do is read these comments to know why Democrats keep losing national elections they really should be winning. I think SCOTUS made the right decision, and I think holding people indefinitely without a trial is atrocious, but y'all are too much.

The simple truth is that in this day and age not all combatants wear uniforms or belong to a standing army. The fact that y'all think this means "it's not really a war" is exactly why most Americans don't trust Democrats to run foreign policy.

And stop whining about being smeared as "traitors" and "unpatriotic" if you're going to do the same thing to those on the right. It's unseemly either way.

And please, please, please, y'all have to stop using the word fascist. Whatever you think of the excesses of the Bushies (and I probably agree with you on a lot of 'em), they're not fascists and GWB ain't a dictator, and throwing those words around just takes you out of the realm of serious discussion.

I thought liberals were supposed to be nuanced...

July 5, 2006 at 1:36 AM  
Blogger spaceneedl said...

oh, look...a condescending lecture from the people who gave us slash-and-burn, win at all costs politics. the people for whom "foreign policy" is a great cover for murder and corruption.

tell you what, sport, "we liberals" will post what we want, and you feel free to post your...whatever it is.

and please, please, please do not flatter yourself into thinking you define "serious discussion."

if you're not nuanced enough to recognize the direction this country is heading, that's your problem. while you're busy rolling your eyes, "we liberals" will busy ourselves trying to salvage what's left of america.

July 5, 2006 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger The Cranky Insomniac said...

spaceneedl: Thanks for proving my point.

I'm curious, though: how am I "he people who gave us slash-and-burn, win at all costs politics. the people for whom "foreign policy" is a great cover for murder and corruption"?

I'm not a Republican, sportsfan. Didn't vote for Bush. Maybe look up "libertarian" in the dictionary sometime, along with "nuanced" while you're at it.

Good luck continuing to lose elections. If you were seriously trying to "salvage" anything, you'd engage in constructive dialogue rather than Ann Coulter-ish name calling.

Hey, you're obviously free to go ahead and post whatever you want, tough guy - I never said or implied otherwise. But the fact that you can't tell the difference between a right-wing "troll" and somebody like me is EXACTLY your problem, or would be if you cared at all about winning hearts and minds rather than just listening to yourself bloviate.

Have fun storming the castle!


July 5, 2006 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger spaceneedl said...


good one. all the self-styled, self-important pundits use it.

p.s. thanks for diagnosing EXACTLY what my problem is. i thought maybe my tinfoil hat was malfunctioning.

July 5, 2006 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger The Cranky Insomniac said...

Wow! A tinfoil hat joke! Nice one! You're funny, dude!

Good job addressing my question, by the way.

Oh, and yep, that's me: so self-important my blog is called The Cranky Insomniac. Definitely a sign of someone who takes himself too seriously!

Peace, Love and Understanding,

July 5, 2006 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

I might recommend what I believe is some good reading: "American Theocracy" by Kevin Phillips, who is fairly conservative but still points out in excellent, well-researched detail what is wrong with the current administration's policies of running up huge debts, over-relying on oil, and blurring church-state separations.

It's fine to be conservative, I don't see much wrong with that. But I do have serious doubts that anyone who is a real conservative can, in good conscience, support the Bush administration and its policies. There are a lot of us Dems who were pretty soured on Clinton by the end of his eight years. Aren't any of you soured on Bush yet, or are you still enjoying rubbing our faces in it? Of course we did it to the Republicans for eight years, and I suppose turnabout is fair play...

But seriously, the pendulum swings back and forth, and it may be starting a swing back to the left. Eventually the Democrats will be back in control, and then how hard will it be for the Republican party to shed what will surely be an albatross of a legacy left by Ann Coulter and her vicious comments, Robertson/Falwell and the "religious right", the Bush administration's failures, the PNAC, etc. ad nauseum?

To those who are like I believe most Republicans are, that is, moderate in your politics, and you don't support Bush and you would like to see a change but refuse to cross party lines, I guess that means that if you don't think "anyone is better than Bush", you don't have to budge. If I was a REAL Republican (I actually am currently registered as a Republican, which I did so I could vote for a GOP candidate I liked in Oregon's "closed" primary elections!), I would be working to police my own party from the inside out, telling some people that if they want conservatives to get elected, then do and say things that are in the best interests of the Republican party and of conservatism in general.

Which Republican did I vote for? It was a local election, four Republicans were running for two County Commissioner positions, and there were no Dems on the ballot. I voted for the two traditional conservatives and voted against the two modern, combative loony types who place their party above all else. So yeah, I'm a Republican in name only, but hey... there are a lot of things Repubs and Dems have in common. We want a lot of the same things. To argue otherwise is simply missing the boat.

July 6, 2006 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: Even though I'm mostly liberal, I wouldn't care if the next administration, or Congress, is liberal or conservative. I just want those neocon/PNAC types out of there ASAP. They have nothing to do with Republican/Democrat or liberal/conservative. They're just a bunch of wackos and we can't afford to have them running the country much longer.

I voted in the Republican primary in California in 2000. California had an open primary then, so I didn't have to register as a Republican. I wanted McCain to get the nomination instead of Bush. I didn't feel strongly about Gore one way or the other (too much flipflopping) and I figured McCain would be preferable to Bush if the Republicans won.

July 7, 2006 at 11:21 AM  

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