Here is something that the Democrats in DC need to understand: the “base” has not forgotten about health care with a public option. They have not dropped it. They have not run from it. Pass health care with a strong public option, or a LOT of people are not going to show up at the polls in November.
I am not advocating this, I am afraid of this. Out there in “the real world” people are not tuned into the finer points of the legislative process. ALL they know is that the Congress spent the year on health care, and nothing has been done. And the polls still show that the public option is what the pubic wants. None of this has changed, even if Washington is tired of it.
Meanwhile, if you are watching the CPAC convention of crazy conservatives this week you are seeing the people who are going to be in office if people are not given good reasons to show up and vote.
The Republican agenda is Tax Cuts, Torture and Triggering a depression. We really don’t want that. Democrats, get your act together and pass that health care! The country need to you get this done.
We learned this week that the CIA destroyed tapes of American officials committing torture. The American people deserve to know whether laws were violated and whether the President was directly involved in illegal activities. Torture is a black and white moral issue. A failure to act decisively in this case will be an unacceptable failure of leadership.
Torture is un-American, it violates international law, and it is wrong. And when I am President, I will make sure that those who are responsible for torture are held accountable for their actions.
In response to U.S. Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey’s refusal to say
whether waterboarding is torture, the Governor this morning issued the following
“Waterboarding is torture, and anyone who is unwilling to identify it as such is not qualified to be the chief legal officer of the United States of America. If I were in the U.S. Senate, I would vote against Mukasey unless he denounces such specific forms of torture.
“Torture does not work. Mistreatment backfires and destroys our international leadership, as we saw with Abu Ghraib. Torture also endangers our own troops. The standards we adopt may well be what our own troops are subjected to.
“Anytime one makes a person think he or she is being executed, the very nature of waterboarding, it obviously is a violation of the U.S. Constitution, international law, and basic human decency.
“ABC News has described waterboarding as follows: ‘The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner’s face, and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in, and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.’
“If another nation engaged in waterboarding against American citizens, we would denounce that country and call the practice barbaric, and rightly so.
“We must stand against torture without equivocation, without compromise, and without exception. Torture is a violation of everything we stand for as Americans and as human beings.”
Iran has captured 15 British sailors and marines and says they are “interrogating” them. The fear is that the Iranians might follow the example set by the United States for “interrogation” procedures. Digby said what many of us have been thinking,
I can’t believe we are in the position of having to hope the Iranians show more restraint and good sense than Dick Cheney, but we are.
The Bush administration is asking Congress to pass “protections” from prosecution of people who kill or torture prisoners. The specific law they want changed was passed by a Republican-controlled House, and unanimously by a Republican-controlled Senate in 1996. WP: Detainee abuse charges feared,
Senior officials have responded by drafting legislation that would grant U.S. personnel involved in the terrorism fight new protections against prosecution for past violations of the War Crimes Act of 1996. That law criminalizes violations of the Geneva Conventions governing conduct in war and threatens the death penalty if U.S.-held detainees die in custody from abusive treatment.
… Gonzales told the lawmakers that a shield is needed for actions taken by U.S. personnel under a 2002 presidential order, which the Supreme Court declared illegal, and under Justice Department legal opinions that have been withdrawn under fire, the source said.
… Jones and other advocates intended the law for use against future abusers of captured U.S. troops in countries such as Bosnia, El Salvador and Somalia, but the Pentagon supported making its provisions applicable to U.S. personnel because doing so set a high standard for others to follow.
The Bush administration was predicted in one of the great tunes of all time (there is a sound clip sample at the end of the referenced page):