Thursday, February 22, 2007

I Want a Refund

Last fall Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow joined forces with George W. Bush to vote for the Military Commissions Act of 2006. The most heinous part of that Act is the denial of habeas corpus to detainees in the following language, "No person may invoke the Geneva Conventions or any protocols thereto in any habeas corpus or other civil action or proceeding to which the United States, or a current or former officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent of the United States is a party as a source of rights in any court of the United States or its States or territories.”

Some of my friends and my kids accuse me of being a Democrat simply because I express liberal opinions when it comes to matters of individual liberties and rights. Let me go on the record here; I am not a Democrat, but I have given money to support the campaigns of various Democrats in the past including Michigan junior Senator Stabenow's recent campaign for re-election to a second term. When I discovered that she had voted in favor of suspending habeas protection I immediately sent her an e-mail demanding my 'investment' back. I wanted a refund because, most simply put, I could not support a candidate who thought that the suspension of a right guaranteed in the first article of the U.S. Constitution would somehow advance the cause of freedom in our world. Habeas protection is one of the features of our system of government that distinguishes us from third world banana republics.

I guess that Senator Stabenow did not read my e-mail because I have not received a response to my request, but I still recive information from her. In a letter she sent out to Michigan constituents justifying her vote for the Military Commissions Act, she wrote, “This bill does not amend the Geneva Convention in any way.” That statement is false as indicated by the above passage in the Act. To clarify any possible misunderstanding, the law contains the following additional language: “The President has the authority for the United States to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions” and “No alien unlawful enemy combatant subject to trial by military commission under this chapter may invoke the Geneva Conventions as a source of rights.” Either Senator Stabenow was too busy to read the bill before she voted for it, or if she read the bill did not understand the significance of what she was agreeing to destroy (i.e. a fundamental value preserved in our constitution), or she is willing to distort the truth of what she has done for political gain (Maybe there are some voters out there who still believe anything a politician says is true).

In any event, she was re-elected, but I still want my thousand bucks back.

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