More on the Military Commissions Act

From Hillary Clinton, this excerpt from her speech on the Senate floor, urging the Senate to vote no against the impossibly flawed Military Commissions Act of 2006:

"This bill undermines the Geneva Conventions by allowing the President to issue Executive Orders to redefine what are permissible interrogation techniques. Have we fallen so low as to debate how much torture we are willing to stomach? By allowing this Administration to further stretch the definition of what is and is not torture, we lower our moral standards to those whom we despise, undermine the values of our flag wherever it flies, put our troops in danger, and jeopardize our moral strength in a conflict that cannot be won simply with military might.

Once again, there are those who are willing to stay a course that is not working, giving the Bush-Cheney Administration a blank check -- a blank check to torture, to create secret courts using secret evidence, to detain people, including Americans, to be free of judicial oversight and accountability, to put our troops in greater danger.

The bill has several other flaws as well.

This bill would not only deny detainees habeas corpus rights -- a process that would allow them to challenge the very validity of their confinement -- it would also deny these rights to lawful immigrants living in the United States. If enacted, this law would give license to this Administration to pick people up off the streets of the United States and hold them indefinitely without charges and without legal recourse.

At the very least, this is worth a debate on the merits, not on the politics. This is worth putting aside our differences -- it's too important.

Our values are central. Our national security interests in the world are vital. And nothing should be of greater concern to those of us in this chamber than the young men and women who are, right now, wearing our nation's uniform, serving in dangerous territory.

After all, our standing, our morality, our beliefs are tested in this chamber and their impact and their consequences are tested under fire, they are tested when American lives are on the line, they are tested when our strength and ideals are questioned by our friends and by our enemies.

When our soldiers face an enemy, when our soldiers are in danger, that is when our decisions in this chamber will be felt. Will that enemy surrender? Or will he continue to fight, with fear for how he might be treated and with hate directed not at us, but at the patriot wearing our uniform whose life is on the line?

When our nation seeks to lead the world in service to our interests and our values, will we still be able to lead by example?"

Click on the title of this post to link to the full contents of Senator Clinton's speech. It is worth your time to read it. She makes an intellectually brilliant comparison to our fighting the terror of Bristish rule 225 years ago.

1 comment:

Bruce said...

Thanks for this posting. I was not a great fan of Hillary's, but her strong stand on this issue has made me reconsider.

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