Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Rare Political Rant

Ryan was right. Google Analytics is fun! Also, free (at least for now). There's more information and it's not so disorganized. For example, if I want to know what search terms are bringing people to the blog, then I just find out, rather than clicking random links to see what the searches were. Oh, that's articulate. Still, 'tis cool.

I've been spot-checking the Washington Post this morning and reading about the Detainee Interrogation Law. I've got mixed feelings. On the one hand, Congress finally stood up to the President and made him compromise. On the other hand, is a bill that's such an affront to basic civil liberties and human rights something that I can even remotely consider a "victory?" On the one hand, I'm glad that the administration is going to have to make its interpretation of the Geneva Conventions public and won't be allowed to use the Torture Memos definition: "equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death (which basically means that anything that doesn't cause organ failure or death is "a-okay" under the GC)." Under the new law, we're lowering the cap on what is allowed to "serious and non-transitory mental harm, which need not be prolonged." Gah! How can it ever be ok to do serious and non-transitory mental harm (also, how on earth do you determine when one has suffered non or transitory mental harm?)!

And, then, there's habeas corpus. I quote the Post: House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) said terrorism suspects have enough rights without habeas corpus, including the right to a lawyer, to be presumed innocent, to cross-examine witnesses and to collect evidence. I don't even know how to react to such comments. I'm not the one to call something un-American, because, well, and because in a country as huge, as diverse, and as encompassing as the US, I don't think there's anything that can possibly be left outside the scope of "American." Stealing cars is American. Saluting the flag is American. Carrying guns is American. Going to baseball games is American. Sex (of any kind) is American.

Oh, right. I was on habeas corpus, wasn't I? ARRRGH! BILL OF RIGHTS!!! CONSTITUTION!!! ICCPR!!! Basic fundamentals of Western judicial systems!!! I've been reduced to stuttering out the names of the documents and ideals which define my core beliefs about society, justice, and rights. Dude, these things are holy! Saying someone has "enough" rights is like flushing my bible down the toilet. I don't know how else to express how big a deal civil liberties are to me and why I'm so not ready to come "home."

Also, it's still not a war. :-)


j00j said... Reply to comment

Enough rights, my ass. I was practically yelling "HABEUS CORPUS!" at the radio this morning as NPR woke me up with this delightful news. Bah.