Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Reversing America's un-American drift

By Michael J.W. Stickings

According to Blue Jersey, Senator Dodd (CT) will sponsor -- along with co-sponsors Senators Menendez (NJ), Feingold (WI), and Leahy (VT) -- the Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007, a bill that, if passed, will (as Restore-Habeas.org puts it) "restore Habeas Corpus protections to detainees, bar information acquired through torture from being introduced as evidence in trials, and limit presidential authority to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions".

A bill for habeas corpus and against torture? How very... American.

And how very sad that such a bill is needed today.

But needed it is. Simply put, President Bush has dislodged America from her principles. In waging war -- the war on terror, the Iraq War, and perhaps wars still to come -- on his own terms, he has struck at the very soul of his own country. And the world, not to mention many Americans themselves, have taken notice. They see an America that tortures, that renders detainees for torture abroad, that deprives detainees of their basic rights, that holds detainees indefinitely even without evidence of guilt. They see an America that is no longer truly American, the America of Gitmo and Abu Ghraib, the America that disregards the Geneva Conventions, the America without checks and balances.

In response, much of the rest of the world has turned away, hearts and minds no longer aligned with what is widely perceived to be such an abusive imperial power.

At home, however, there are efforts underway, such as this bill, to reclaim America, to take her back from those, like Bush, who have sought to redefine her in profoundly un-American ways and according to profoundly un-American principles.

It is time for the real patriots to restore America.

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