I have had it with these motherfucking snakes in this motherfucking Congress

I haven’t blogged much about the torture legalization bill that Bush is trying to get passed, but it’s really pretty frightening. On top of making torture the official policy of the United States, it also tosses out habeas corpus for detainees, so the President can abduct someone and torture them in a secret prison, without having to provide any justification. Bush is already doing this illegally, but instead of exercising their ability to hold the President accountable, Congressional Republicans are rushing to give up their power to a lawless executive. Look, if representative democracy is too hard for these guys, and they’d rather live in a dictatorship, maybe they’re in the wrong line of work.
As I understand it, the original rationale for denying habeas rights to enemy combatants was the impracticality of providing due process to prisoners of war captured on a battlefield. The Bush administration has already undermined this by applying “enemy combatant” status to detainees who had no actual involvement in combat, such as Jose Padilla. Kevin Drum has the latest amendment to the torture legalization bill, which makes this official by redefining “enemy combatant” to include people who have “purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States”. So under this bill the president can accuse someone of supporting terrorists, have him arrested, detained in a secret prison, and tortured, without ever having to provide evidence against him. Of course this is grossly unconstitutional, but there’s also a provision that bars courts from reviewing the constitutionality of these procedures.
I can’t get over the fact that we as a country are about to legalize torture and arbitrary imprisonment. I thought America was better than this.

21 thoughts on “I have had it with these motherfucking snakes in this motherfucking Congress

  1. Justin

    America was better than this – the past tense is key there. Everything changed after 9/11, you know. 😛
    And just think, if we were to pull a time machine out of our asses and go back to 2000, we’d be laughed out of the room for claiming that within six years this country would be legalizing torture, suspending habeas corpus, spying on Americans in direct violation of the law (not to mention Iraq, New Orleans, …). But hey, at least nobody’s doing anything *really* bad, like lying about blowjobs!
    I liked DeLong’s take: “After its performance in the torture debate, I see no way that the Republican Party can regain its honor. Can we as a nation afford to have it around any longer?”

  2. Arcane Gazebo

    Yeah, the stuff we were worried about in 2000 seems so trivial now… Social Security, the estate tax… now it’s like, “Remember when we had habeas corpus? That was awesome.”
    It was a mistake to go out drinking after posting this. It turns out lots of beer doesn’t help me cope with the fall of the republic; it just turns metaphorical nausea into actual nausea.

  3. Mason

    Maybe I should use the label “Snakes on a plane!” for the SVD plots that show two eigenvectors (and, hence, points on a plane) reconstructs the roll call results?
    I’ve already used ‘Eigenvalues on a plane!’ for a stability slide, so why not…
    Oh yeah, and the stuff you’re mentioning obviously sucks, but I’m in a good mood at the moment and I don’t want to spoil it by working myself up into a rant. (Sometimes I’m just pissed at the beginning and sometimes I start off calm and work myself into an uproar—kind of like both Tommy Lasorda and my father. Anyway, it’s not like I can add anything to what’s already written and the other things are keeping the bile away right now.)

  4. shellock

    Next thing for our useless leader Arab interment camps?
    It is sad how fast our freedoms and safe gaurds have eroded.

  5. shellock

    all i can think of when i see how this congress treats this president is the star wars quote:
    “So this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause.”

  6. Lemming

    “I thought America was better than this.”
    You mean the country, not the people living in it, right? Cause come on, you know better than that.
    You know how it works here. A sick, megolomaniacal power grab, played by pandering to the irrational masses who only desire rabid overreaction and support of their hippocritical “values”.
    Oh, I’m sorry — maybe you didn’t get the memo?
    Of course, I feel that my cynicism (is it really cynicism if it’s true?) makes me better than anyone else. Yes, I’m cool because I say the world is a terrible place — nevermind that I don’t try to do anything about it.
    Shellock — It bugs me how, despite it’s other failings, the prequels ring true with some of their political commentary. I think that has more to do with the sorry state of reality — Star Wars was a melodramatic fiction, and it really should have stayed that way.
    On one more slightly tangential note… AG or Z, either of you remember the retarded (and, fortunately, very rare) game we played in Quake N once a few times, “try and kill me before I kill myself!”? I sometimes feel like that’s what we’re doing with our “teh freedoms”.
    “We can’t let the terr’ists take our teh freedoms! Quick let’s take them away from ourselves so they can’t get at ’em!”
    Current mood: Bitter
    Current music: Dylan – Mr. Tambourine Man, Finch – Postscript
    Current coffee: See mood
    Cluster status: 120/256 processors functional

  7. Justin

    The political commentary in Eps. 2 and 3 (just the end of 2, really, IIRC) should ring true – my understanding is that it was a deliberate and heavy-handed commentary on present-day US politics, at the time “merely” the Patriot Act. Let’s hope the parallels end there, though. If it comes to the point where we need Senators Boxer and Obama to go into hiding and lead a Rebellion, we’re screwed. :-)
    Hmm, Patrick Fitzgerald as Yoda, I like that a lot! And Specter as Jar Jar also works well.

  8. Zifnab

    Yup, I remember that game. Usually played on The Longest Yard, where the trick was you could jump off anywhere, and it took mad railgun skills to finish you before you went splat.
    I agree on the analogy, it does seem like that’s what is happening. I’m actually sort of curious if this was the intent of the terrorist groups – at the current progression, it’s looking like the US will become a target for the rest of the world (if not already). If they just wanted to spread terror, there are better, different ways to do so, which don’t have a ‘simple’ answer like tightening airport security. But i’m not going to go there, as I wouldn’t want to live in that world I can imagine. Not that the current one isn’t bad, but I can imagine far worse.
    -Z

  9. Mason

    Viva la revolucion! (sp?)
    I would love for current trends to reverse, but I just don’t see it happening.
    One day, I want to wake up and be able to say that I’m at least not mortified at what my leaders are doing. Forget being happy with them. That’s just not realistic. I’ll settle for much less than that for now and maybe we can eventually go from there.

  10. Josh

    The interesting thing is, the old Republican argument that “we need to let everyone have guns so that we can defend ourselves from our government” seemed archaic and silly to me until these past few years.

  11. Josh

    LOL, Mason. I rarely, truly say LOL because I rarely do so literally. However, I nearly snarfed wine out my nose when I read that.

  12. Lemming

    BFG? Phsaw.
    Anyone who matters *coughcough* will tell you that the BFG is for pansies. Real Men ™ use either a railgun, rocket launcher or double-barreled shotgun.

  13. Justin

    Plasma rifle. Back in my day, we didn’t have no stinkin’ railgun. Heck, double-barreled shotguns were a late-arriving luxury, we had to use a regular old single-barreled shotgun for our boomstick needs! Rocket launchers are right out. Sometimes we stuck to pistols, even.
    Of course nothing beats a cockfight between two peckers! Those chicken egg thingies were awesome. Too bad I can’t remember the name of the game – Hexen, Heretic, something with an “H”. The first fantasy FPS, back in ’95 or ’96.

  14. Zifnab

    That’d be Hexen, if i’m remembering it right. Only thing I can remember about the game is that chicken ability. :)
    -Z

  15. Lemming

    Wikipedia r teh winnar:
    Heretic was released in December of ’94.
    Hexen was a pseudo-sequel, released in October of ’95.
    Heretic wasn’t the first fantasy FPS — I had to look this up, since my memory is fuzzy, but Catacomb 3D was released in Nov. ’91, and there may have been others before that. Yes, I actually played it, too, though it was otherwise unremarkable.

  16. Justin

    Reading up on some of those links, I’m apparently thinking of Heretic. The official name for it seems to be “morph ovum” rather than “chicken egg thingy”. I don’t think I played much Hexen, it didn’t sound very familiar. Right, Civ2 came out a few months later, that would be why…

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