Thursday, July 19, 2007

"You're a no-good dumbo nothing" - The Late, Great, Douglas Adams

Meet the Honorable Senator Patty Murray, from my home state of Washington. I read that she is inexplicably one of the many(!) remaining Senate Democrats that is not yet supporting bill S.185, the restoration of FUCKING HABEUS CORPUS (that should have been the name of the bill). I emailed her with my my passionate - polite and respectful- feelings on the matter. I'm not ruling out the possibility that there is a valid reason to not support this critically important un-fucking of the rule of law. Here is the reply:

Dear Mr. [Stucco} :

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding the use of

Let me be clear, I have strongly supported giving our military and
intelligence agencies the tools they need to protect our nation. To
defend our country and our liberties, we must find information from
those who seek to do us harm.

As you may know, in December 2005, Congress approved the Fiscal Year
2006 Omnibus Appropriations bi ll which included the Detainee Treatment
Act that clarified American policies against the cruel, inhumane and
degrading treatment of detainees. These provisions prohibited inhumane
treatment and limited the use of certain interrogation techniques on
detai nees at security facilities like the one operated at Guantanamo
Bay , Cuba . When President Bush signed the bill into law, he issued a
statement that as President and Commander-in-Chief he would only follow
the law insofar as it did not restrict his power t o treat detainees as
he saw fit, with very limited court review.

In June 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that
President Bush's policy of trying detainees at Guantanamo Bay using
so-called "military commissions" was not authorized by existing law and,
partly because they allowed evidence obtained through torture, did not
comply with the Geneva Conventions. The Geneva Conventions are a
fundamental part of the laws of war and protect our nation's troops

As a result of thi s decision, Congress had to act. In September 2006,
Congress addressed this issue and the Senate took up S. 3930, the
Military Commissions Act. This legislation set new
Congressionally-authorized rules for trying unlawful enemy combatants by
amending the Uniform Code of Military Justice and federal criminal law.

While S. 3930 specifically barred cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment
or punishment of enemy combatants or detainees, the actual changes to
the War Crimes Act only include a new definition that is so vague that
some cruel and extreme interrogation techn iques may still be permitted.
S. 3930 also stripped American courts of the power to consider whether
the President properly tried detainees, allowed the President to
unilaterally interpret the meaning of the Geneva Conventions, and
declared that the Genev a Conventions were no longer a source of rights
under the law. It also effectively allowed the President to detain enemy
combatants not held at Guantanamo Bay outside the law.

Though legislation was certainly necessary after the Hamdan decision,
this p olitically motivated bill failed to honor the commitments to
basic moral values and international law that underpin our identity as
Americans. That is why I voted against it. Practically speaking, S.
3930, may not meet the standards set by the Supreme Co urt in its Hamdan
decision and as a result may be ruled unconstitutional. And as a matter
of principle, by failing to adhere to the fundamental tenets of the
Geneva Conventions, I am concerned that the U.S. will alienate our
allies and, more importantly, endanger American troops, leaving troops
captured abroad without the most basic protections the Geneva
Conventions provide.

Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind if this issue
should be brought up during the 110th Congress . Thank you again for
contacting me and please keep in touch.

I hope all is well in Seattle .

That's the whole of it, save for the typo's I've fixed (I know I make typo's on Blogger because the spell check is dodgy on my Mac, but DAMN, who can manage a spell check from an email client?). So there's the laser-focused-hyper-accurate reply from the Senator. Here is my reply:


Do you need to be a galloping dipshit to get into Congress, or does being there make you one? Holy crap, pay a little goddamned attention! (I feel a bout of Tourette's coming on here...) Fuck! And it's not even the Senator that was behind this I'm sure- I know the drill, they have staffers that, in the case of male Congressmen, are Hooters girls polished up for the rotunda, and are probably not known for pressing charges when the Honorable Gentlemen press themselves inappropriately upon thier feminine features, or in the case of female Congresspersons, "causes" or "the indebted"- people who are for one reason or another unable to find something better to do. It was surely a minion that read my email, chose the nearest pat reply (people go missing without Habeus Corpus, and they also go missing and Guantanamo Bay- a match!) and replied, and then deleted my email without bringing it to the Senators attention.

Incidentally, I replied to the email, using the "reply" button in my Outlook and that uses whatever the sender has specified as the appropriate address for response- in this case " No where in the email did it say that this address was invalid, but it is. The only way to email a Senator, is to use the online Web based email form (unless your Senator has made other arrangements). How can I trust these idiots to pass sensible laws about technology when THEY HAVEN'T EVEN FIGURED OUT FUCKING EMAIL? Dear lord- I thought Sentator Ted "The Internet is a bunch of TUBES!" Stevens R-AK (and senile as the day is long) was the odd man out in this crowd...

I'd run against these damned people in a New York Minute if it weren't for all the unsavory bones in my closet, and my tendency to cuss like a wounded sailor.



Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

"I'd run against these damned people in a New York Minute if it weren't for all the unsavory bones in my closet, and my tendency to cuss like a wounded sailor."

You know what? Even WITH those things, I'd still vote for you. I am just DYING for someone REAL to vote for.

6:10 PM  

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