July 1, 2006

To win the spin

Filed under: Politics — PolitiCalypso @ 3:28 pm

There’s been much talk in media and blogger circles about the Hamdan Supreme Court decision striking down unilateral executive power to detain captives in prison and try them at secret military tribunals (if at all). It’s a sad commentary on the state of the nation that much of the discussion centers on how it may relate to the 2006 elections.

The Republican Party intends to spin it as “liberal judicial activism” (apparently, Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts–the four right-wing nutjobs–are the only judges that aren’t liberal) and paint the Democratic Party as soft on terrorism unless the Congress gives this power to the executive branch.

Typical right-wing neoconservative crap, of course. Demonize the courts and the opposition party. These people really are fascist at heart and want an all-powerful executive branch, a kowtowing weak-kneed Congress, and kangaroo courts.

They’re also awfully gutsy. I must give them credit for the apparent size of their gonads; to try to argue that a president with a 35% approval rating deserves unlimited power does take chutzpa.

Anyway, I’m rather ticked off at the blogging types and pundits who say that this is a no-win situation for the Democratic Party. Bull. There is a way to beat the spin.

Two points, as a matter of fact.

One, Timothy McVeigh had a trial.

Routinely, people who are caught in the act of committing murder are given trials.

Think about that. In America, someone is entitled to a trial even if he has blown up a government building and his guilt is all but certain. Someone is entitled to a trial even if there is videotape of him shooting someone’s head off. Someone is entitled to a trial even if he is caught sawing apart a human body by twenty witnesses.

An overwhelming majority of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay and the other prisons have no such hard evidence against them.

If murderous scum who are guilty without a doubt are given access to legal counsel and time in court, then give me one good reason why people held by American forces without proof of a crime shouldn’t get it.

The second point: Challenge a Bush Administration defender to explain, logically, without any accusations of being unpatriotic, why exactly the fight against terrorism will be compromised if detainees are tried in courts-martial or regular courts instead of secret tribunals. Demand a reasoned explanation with facts to back it up, not fear-mongering and name-calling.

I’d bet $1000 that they couldn’t do it.

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