From this morning’s editorial page:
Citizens behold a President saying Americans don’t torture, yet unwilling to set policy that would forbid it.
Vice President Cheney appeals to McCain to grant exemptions so that CIA operatives can turn the screws on terror suspects abroad. This, as news reports disclose a network of secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe and elsewhere where who-knows-what goes on beyond public view.
Finally, the same Senate that gave slam-dunk approval to McCain’s measure narrowly approves a distressing proposal to bar federal court appeals by detainees at GuantÃ¡namo Bay, Cuba. Uphold constitutional values with one hand, take them away with the other.
Taken together, these moves send the wrong message about America.
Who is better qualified than McCain to explain why:
“The enemy we fight has no respect for human life or human rights,” he said recently. “They don’t deserve our sympathy. But this isn’t about who they are. This is about who we are. These are the values that distinguish us from our enemies, and we can never, never allow our enemies to take those values away.”
I emailed my Senators last night. I kept it short:
“Please oppose any attempt to limit the right to habeas corpus.
“The very attempt to limit habeas corpus signifies how important it is. This attempt is a further effort to hide from the American people, and everyone else, the bankrupt policies of the current Federal Administration.”
Every step this Federal Administration takes towards torture, towards imprisoning persons without cause, towards proscribing the civil liberties of American citizens, towards spying on persons as they go about legitimate and harmless day-to-day activities is another step towards tyranny and away from the ideals and beliefs that this country has stood for, however imperfectly and with whatever fits and starts, for over two centuries.