Tuesday, December 20, 2005

President Run Amok

Marie Cocco needs more syndication.

This is a president who believes no law applies to him.

He long ago violated a 1971 statute that bars the detention of U.S. citizens "except pursuant to an Act of Congress." In his "war on terror," Bush has nonetheless thrown American citizens into the clink and asserted he has the right to hold them there indefinitely, without charge and without showing any evidence against them.

He failed to comply with U.S. and international laws against cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners - his political apparatchiks at the Pentagon and in the Justice Department instead concocted justifications for violating them. The president relented only days ago, and only after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) forced submission by engineering overwhelming votes in Congress to bring a measure of sanity to our detention schemes.

The Geneva Conventions have been tossed aside like wastepaper. They are replaced by gross violations of basic human rights at U.S. detention facilities, secret and semi-secret, around the world. The Pentagon, supposedly restricted from gathering information on the American citizenry, has compiled a vast database of information on anti-war protesters and those opposed to military recruitment practices.

Who else is in their sights? We do not yet know.

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