27 September 2006

Semantics


I do hope that the members of the Senate who vote “aye” on the torture legislation (the House did so, today) realize that once it’s done, we can’t go back.

I’d like to think they’ve thought this through (fat chance) because it has a far broader purpose, in its vague wording, than to simply allow the government of this country to torture “terrorists” in the hope of getting information that will help keep all Americans safe from attacks like those on Sept. 11, 2001.

The language is so vague, and so broad, so easily interpreted to mean whatever the interpreter wishes it to mean, that it will turn America into a police state.

Under this legislation, anyone who “engages in hostilities against the United States” now includes “anyone who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States.” Under this legislation, people who do this are “unlawful enemy combatants.”

Once again, we’re engaged in a war of semantics, one that no one can win. What defines “support?” What does “hostilities” mean? How about “purposefully?”

At this moment, there are good Americans all over this nation who are appalled by this torture legislation, and large numbers of them are speaking out against it, as they have the terrible stupidity and crime of the war in Iraq and against the very thought of attacking Iran, with or without nuclear weapons.

Will these Americans one day be victims of the easy, broad interpretation of the torture bill? By speaking out, will their government consider them as “unlawful enemy combatants?”

4 comments:

Wil Morat said...

Bill Frist on ABC's "This Week" with Stephanopolous (spelling?) on Sunday refused to answer the question "Do you believe 'waterboarding' is not torture" on the grounds that answering such a question would "help the terrorists."

So now it refusing to answer the public's questions about torture by pulling the "it'll help the terrorists" card is considered OK.

Therefore, not only is "speaking out," as you refer to, considered an enemy act, but even to answer questions would be to join the enemy.

The misinformation machine is cranking up...

belledame222 said...

Welcome to McCarthy 2.0.

the fact that unless they somehow miraculously get their shit together it will remain, as it is now, just more officially, a Keystone Kop State, is not much of a comfort.

roxtar said...

This legislation is the enabling act for KKKarl Rove's Oktober Surprise: our own Kristallnacht. Round up all the brown folks on the premise that they have been designated as "enemy combatants." Since they won't have the right of habeas corpus, no judge will have an opportunity to hear, much less consider, their denials. They'll sit in some military prison, incommunicado, while the Resident of the United States trumpets their incarceration as a great victory in the War on Terra. We'll just have to take his word for it, I suppose, because he's never wrong. The sheeple, grateful for having been spared from unspeakable horror, troop to the polls and install an even greater Republican majority, who will dutifully suspend the '08 presidential election on grounds of "national security."

And there you have it. Permission to vomit, Your Honor?

Kevin Wolf said...

roxtar is correct, as usual. The people letting this happen are relying on a corrupt, incompetent administration to "do the right thing" with the powers granted them by this law. Meanwhile, no one will be able to check what they've actually done in exercising their powers because they will have been used in secret.

I suppose it's not too late to move out of the country...