Friday, September 29, 2006

King George gets his way... again.

Last night, the United States of America ceased to be a world leader in democracy and lowered itself to the ranks of shitholes like Saudi Arabia and Iran. For awhile it looked like this might not happen, but when Senator McCain caved in to the bush administration last week and accepted a compromise of its controversial Detainees bill, it was the beginning of the end.

The legislation mandates military commissions to try terrorism detainees, but restricts their access to legal counsel. It also bars suspects from challenging their detentions in court. It makes illegal certain abuses of detainees, but leaves the definition of "abuse" up to the president (oh, YEAH). It allows looser definitions of "evidence", and evidence seized without warrants. Also buried within the bill is a tiny bit of sleight-of-hand with the War Crimes Act that makes these conditions retroactive to the last 5 years.

With this loathsome piece of legislation, people like Maher Arar can be arrested on the shakiest evidence and interrogated using techniques defined by George W Bush. Said techniques may include torture... as long as King George doesn't see them as torture. Significantly, the retroactivity ensures that none of the criminals in the bush administration will ever be held accountable for their war crimes.

The legislation is despicable on a number of levels, but one of the worst aspects of it is that it puts US troops, the troops George claims to support so much, at risk of being tortured themselves. If the US can twist the Geneva Conventions, why shouldn't anyone?

America, look at yourself and weep. What have you become?