Leslie H said it all today in her rant about Iraq and I'm not gonna go there. If I got started I'd never shut up. But, I'd like to tell you about a letter I got from my Congressman. I went ballistic! Please follow me below the fold for an example of how stupid these people think we are.
I recently wrote my Congressman Mike McIntyre exhorting him to do everything he could to support the restoration of Habeas Corpus. His response, in part, was: (If you can't read it all, at least read the last paragraph...bolded by me.)
Historically, the United States has been a leader on human rights and values, and the world has been held to our standard. Unfortunately, recent issues related to detainee treatment have harmed the world's perception of us. Many experts agree that the Global War on Terror is both a political and military struggle. Our soldiers are performing superbly in the field under difficult circumstances. It is important that America upholds her values so that we can win the hearts and minds of people around the world, and succeed in this struggle.
One issue that has diminished the United States' reputation around the world is the denial of habeas corpus to detainees being held at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. As a lawyer, I understand the critical need for fair trials and the proper care and treatment of detainees at U.S. military prisons. In the past, I have voted for legislation with provisions that would have afforded detainees the right to habeas corpus petitions. Unfortunately, these provisions did not become law, and detainees are only afforded the right to go before Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRT). In these tribunals, defendants can be convicted of offenses that were not illegal at the time they were committed, judges can exclude the defendant and defense counsel from certain evidence and processes, and certain evidence obtained through coercion is admissible. The CSRTs do not uphold the judicial standard upon which the United States of America was founded.
I am also a co-sponsor of the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007, H.R. 1416. This legislation would amend the Military Commissions Act to restore habeas corpus for aliens detained as enemy combatants. H.R. 1416 is also pending before the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties and the U.S. House Armed Services Committee. It is important that we restore this basic legal right because it will help us separate the guilty from the innocent and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those who have sought to harm Americans.
Another issue that has drawn domestic and international criticism is the practice of extraordinary rendition in which detainees have been held at secret CIA prison facilities abroad. The President stated in September of 2006 that no suspects remain in these facilities, but he reserved the option for the Administration to use them in the future. I am concerned this practice does not uphold America's values and damages our reputation worldwide. On May 11, 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Intelligence Authorization Act, H.R. 2082. I voted for this bill which contains report language that recognizes that the CIA’s secret prisons program "continues to be the subject of considerable controversy" and states that detainee mistreatment has "undermined the reputation of the U.S. government." In addition, it strongly recommends that the Red Cross have access to any detainees held in CIA facilities.
It is important that as we strive to win the hearts and minds of peoples around the world, we uphold the values of human rights and individual liberties that have made the United States the leader of the free world. Please rest assured that as your Representative in Congress, I will work to uphold the values of liberty and justice that we share as Americans.
Makes him sound like a real champion of our Constitution doesn't it? What he fails to mention is that he voted FOR the Military Commissions Act that took away Habeas Corpus and ALSO authorized the torture and other activities he now finds so odious. Mike McIntire had the absolute gall to write this knowing full well he is complicit. Some might say this is disengenuous. I say it is a disgraceful lip-sticking of a pig and a misrepresentation designed to obscure the truth.
What do you think?