Saturday, December 02, 2006

Interesting Snips From Today's Rags

I found a couple of interesting articles that may or may not make it to the AP wire and thus be spread as news at the usual watering holes.

Seems like there is a fair amount of agreement on this first point:
The administration has too often operated under vague legal guidelines, pursuant to secret legal opinions generated by few and vetted by almost none.
Certainly, the indiscretion of the W, Rove and Co has tarnished the reputation of America as a whole and sullied our nation to such a degree that we have lost face over and over again:
...The term 'war on terror' is a misnomer," Harman said. "Wars are fought and won with military power; but the era of terror will not be ended by military force alone. In addition, the very designation of the struggle against terror as a 'war' enables the president to invoke commander-in-chief authorities to circumvent Congress, legal precedent and many constitutional requirements."

She added: "How we treat people in U.S. custody says a lot about us and what we're fighting for. Holding detainees for years with no status determination, or using interrogation practices that go over the line, erodes our moral authority and ultimately harms our effort in the struggle for the hearts and minds of the moderate Arab and Muslim world."
There are those who would say, "Screw the Arab and Muslim world." And I would say that's a rather narrow focus for a shrinking global community. But if you need another reason to have a serious distaste for the W, Rove and Co, how about looking at their willingness to violate our rights:
Harman also took a parting jab at the National Security Agency's secret wiretapping program of suspected terrorists' phone calls, which she had defended in January as "essential to U.S. national security."

"Let me be clear," she said Friday. "I want the intelligence community to intercept the communications of terrorists. But it is not exempt from following the law and the Constitution."

In another article, we see that there are some in Congress that could be a beacon of hope and willing, starting in January, to make a stand:
At a recent White House reception for freshman members of Congress, Virginia's newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn't long before Bush found him.

"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

James Webb, Virginia Democratic senator-elect, says he's "not looking to simply be a renegade."

"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"

"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.

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