Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Rebuilding our republic...

Spencer Ackerman, at TPM Muckraker, reports the Senators Chris Dodd and Bob Menendez will introduce a bill to radically reform Bush's demented law on foreign detainees. Among other basics, Dodd and Menendez want to restore habeas corpus and bar the use of evidence obtained through torture. Will they have the votes to pass the reform? Unclear. Will they have the votes to over-ride a certain Bush veto? Probably not. But it at least begins shifting the momentum.

The Bush bill was passed during a heated election campaign, and many Democrats supported it because they were too timid about voting down the entire bill based on those particular violations of basic human rights. They knew that to vote against the entire bill would have led to Republican and corporate media accusations that they were "soft on terror." No honor in their putting fear above principle. But they now have the opportunity to keep the legitimate parts of the law, while ridding it of its most obscene depredations. They might lose the votes, but they can at least force people to put on the record where they stand specifically on habeas corpus and torture.

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