I’m horrified to see our spineless and anti-American Congress has caved to the demands of King George by passing legislation that makes torture legal, retroactively pardons those who have engaged in torture prior to this date, grants the president unfettered powers to detain and torture anyone he calls an enemy, and suspends the Great Writ of habeas corpus (the constitutional right of accused people to seek their day in court). In fact, the bill authorizes the president to determine what constitutes torture, and that means Americans are now free to rape, sodomize, waterboard, electrocute, and perform all manner of heinous crimes against everyone. And so the police state begins. With the ability to suspend the rights of anyone at any time, the president now controls more power than any president in the history of our country. His power has been extended beyond the limitations of the Constitution and law so that he can act contrary to both without concern. Congress has granted an unnecessary and worrisome increase in authority to the executive branch and intentionally precluded the courts from intervening. Our course toward a dictatorship is now complete.
Moral cowards in the executive and legislative branches have dismantled our own Constitution and subverted whatever shreds might have remained of the once great American democracy. We already know we’re not safer, so we keep destroying what makes us who we are for no reason whatsoever. The terrorists are indeed winning if their point is to destroy our way of life. Surprisingly, all they had to do was poke us with a stick; we’ve done the rest of the damage to ourselves.
We already know Republicans are shamefully supportive of this national self-destruction, but Democrats are equally to blame for they could have blocked this bill. Sure, the GOP would have called it coddling terrorists. Any liberal worth his weight could likewise have responded with the utter truth: “We are America. We don’t do this kind of thing. It’s against our Constitution, our heritage, our democracy, and our way of life. We will not give up what makes America great as trade for the false sense of security that is promised but never delivered.”
Fear is the new weapon used against our own citizens, and our own citizens out of fear allow it to be wielded like a club bashed repeatedly against everything we stand for. This step has finally removed all obstacles standing between our old democracy and our new dictatorship. Our president is no longer bound by the law or Constitution. Our rights have been suspended. Our nation has been authorized to use horrific acts of inhumanity against anyone it deems fit needing only to label them an enemy before engaging in such terrors. We have become the new terrorists. Anyone who believes this power will not be turned against our own citizens need only look at those already detained to see citizenship does not guarantee safety.
I blame the Democrats for this outrage. They could have stopped it. They are the only ones who could have stopped this. They could have stood up to the ruling party and declared that American ideals are more important than politics. Instead, they rolled over and played dead in the face of yet another assault on this once great nation of ours. Shame on all of them, and shame on the majority of Americans for sitting idly on the side and letting it happen, if not outright supporting it.
John Scalzi hit the nail on the head:
I’m proud to be an American, but I’m tired of being ashamed of my government. I’m tired of having to count the seconds until this bilious waste of a president is shoved out the door in January of 2009. I’m tired of hoping that some members of the president’s political party might actually put principle over political expedience, particularly when it concerns the Constitution. And I’m tired of waiting for the opposing party to actually grow a goddamned spine and become an opposing party. I’m tired of wondering why the people we elect to lead us don’t seem to actually understand what it means to be American, and to be moral, and to do what [is] right for us. And I’m tired of having to look so hard for genuine leadership as opposed to the sham idiot version we have now. I feel like Diogenes, and I’m coming up short.
I’m tired of being led by moral cowards. I want better for myself, and for my country.
I’m disgusted and horrified by my own country. Hell, this isn’t even my country anymore. These are not the values I grew up with, that I was taught in social studies courses throughout school, that were ingrained in my very being as the natural order of societies based on liberty. Remember this moment when reports of American soldiers being tortured begin to roll in. When we authorized it for our own use, we also authorized it as acceptable for use against our military and citizens. When our soldiers are captured and held indefinitely with no hope of release or trial, again remember this day. Just picture Abu Ghraib, but put US military personnel in place of Iraqis. More importantly, remember this day when America’s own KGB starts helping people “disappear” because they are deemed enemies of the state. And remember this day as the time when the state’s interests were redefined to mean the executive’s interests, for all power now rests in one man’s hands who no longer needs worry about interference by the courts—not even the US Supreme Court. This is a dark day for our country.
Regrettably, Congress has now opened the door for this president to extend his reign should he so choose. I’m frightened, poppets, and I can’t understand any American who does not share that sentiment. I’ve suspected since 2001 that our nation would be overshadowed by a civil war between 2008 and 2012. I’ve said as much to a great many people. I believe we’ve now taken the last step necessary to make that a reality. How I wish I’d been wrong. I still hope I am.
In the meantime, welcome to Amerika. The king welcomes you and asks that you swear your eternal allegiance before taking your place as a new monarchial servant. Please remember to kiss his ring.
[Update] I want to point out something from Coturnix that is unnerving. He wrote this today:
Many of my friends and neighbors have not experienced, like I did in Yugoslavia of the late 1980s and early 1990s, the gradual transformation from a nice, sweet, proseprous, freedom-loving country into a bunch of thugs duking it out over land and religion. Tito was dead for ten years. Prime Minister was Ante Markovic. Thousands of small businesses were starting up every week. Small people were getting rich. There was ebullience in the air.
Then, in a manner eerily reminiscent of BuchCo, thugs like Milosevic, Tudjman and Izetbegovic hijacked the government and started a civil war, ending with a break up of one big strong country into six small, economically weak and dependent units.
But that was a small country. Who is going to stop the USA? If you leave for Australia, Europe or Canada, you will just feel the effects a litle later than if you stay.
Glenn is optimistic.
He may be right, if we act right now. If not, within three years, I predict that Americans will be fighting Americans on American soil. Just a hunch. An eerie feeling of deja vu from someone who has seen the same signs fifteen years ago.
I recoiled in horror when I read that. Why? Because I’ve been saying the same thing for five years without the first-hand frame of reference he has, and he sees the same thing I do: civil war looming on the horizon to be realized between 2008 and 2012.