From Pine View Farm

Memorial Day Thoughts–Dishonoring the Troops 0

Andrew Sullivan disects Dick Cheney:

Cheney represents the GOP establishment consensus, as expressed in the recent South Carolina debate, and across the Bush-blogosphere. He views both the Geneva Conventions and the Constitution of the United States as obstacles to be overcome in fighting the war on terror, the kind of obstacles only wimps defer to. After all, the Constitution might be read as forbidding the executive branch from detaining a U.S. citizen on American soil, bringing no charges for years, and torturing that citizen in solitary confinement until he is a quivering wreck of a human being. But in the battle between Cheney, Padilla and the constitution, Cheney won – and Padilla and the Constitution lost.

Cheney seems to believe that the military and the president have taken oaths to defend American lives and American territory and American interests. But of course, presidents and vice-presidents and U.S. servicemembers take no such oath. Servicemembers take the following oath:

“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

Does Cheney understand this oath? Do the Republicans? The Constitution – not the territory, not the people – is what the U.S. government is constructed to defend. And yet the current administration clearly views that Constitution as very September 10. We have a year and a half to go under a president and vice-president with this view of the Constitution. If you are not worried, you should be.

By dishonoring the American dream, the dream of a nation of laws, not of men, a nation where the rights of persons (not just citizens, but persons) are protected, Cheney dishonors all those who have sacrificed–or will sacrifice–to protect that dream.

And their misconduct is on the hands of all of us, for we have let it happen.

(Aside: What Kool-Aid are these guys drinking, anyway?)


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