There has been a great deal of discussion about the Military Commissions Act
of 2006 [.pdf], recently passed by both houses of Congress, and most of it has
to do with the provisions allowing torture of alien detainees, that is, of non-citizens
apprehended in, say, Afghanistan or Iraq, and their treatment at the hands of their American captors. Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and John Warner,
all Republicans, grandstanded for weeks over the torture provisions, then capitulated.
Another “Republican maverick,” Arlen Specter, zeroed in on the real
issue, however, when he said the bill would set us back 800 years by repealing
the habeas corpus protections against arbitrary arrest and jailings — and then went ahead and voted for it, anyway.
Liberal opposition mainly centered around the morality
— or, rather, immorality — of torture, but the debate largely ignored the ticking time-bomb at the heart of this legislation, scheduled to go off, perhaps, in tandem with some future crisis, e.g., another terrorist attack on American soil: the redefinition of the “unlawful combatant” concept that lays the foundations for this administration’s reconstruction of the gulag. Here is the new, broadened definition, as enunciated in the legislation recently passed by the House:
“The term ‘unlawful enemy combatant’ means Ã± (i) a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al-Qaeda, or associated forces); or (ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the president or the secretary of defense.”
Defining existential politics.
by Byron Belitsos
With the inauguration of George W. Bush for a second term, we enter a nightmare phase of American history, a descent into the era of what might be called “deep politics.”
In this short essay I reach out for an expanded definition of a phrase first coined by the distinguished author Peter Dale Scott. In Deep Politics and the Death of JFK1, Scott refers to the “underlying continuities of deep politics” displayed by the apparent convergence of the covert interests of military, rightwing, intelligence agency, and organized crime conspirators that coalesced in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Veteran journalist Jim Marrs points in a similar direction with his Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy, as does the Oliver Stone movie based in part on that book. Marrs then works out the implications in later books, including Rule by Secrecy and Inside Job2, an expose of US government collusion with the 9/11 plot. Big-picture writers like Scott, Marrs, and investigative journalist Mike Ruppert, author of Crossing the Rubicon3, have succeeded in synthesizing a growing body of evidence that support the notion that America now inhabits a surreal realm of deep politics, where amoral, Machiavellian, covert action directs (or conditions) the agenda of the overt world, and cover stories are spun by self-deceived politicians, “pundits,” and mainstream media.
Meanwhile, the truth and the facts about the black-budget world of covert action migrates to isolated ghettos inhabited by independent… Continue reading
By Jeremy Baker
No sensible person would attempt to minimize the gravity of W’s recent re-selection to the highest office on the planet, and the implications of his extended reign is understandably sending shockwaves through the hearts and minds of those who are enlightened enough politically to see through this administration’s hypocrisies and Christianity-abuse.
Amidst this medieval evolutionary backslide it’s understandable that well-meaning social reformers and dedicated 9/11 activists might feel compelled to fold their wings and founder beneath this manufactured, illusory wave of conservatism, frustrated that their simple goal — that this country can emerge from its 9/11 induced coma and right itself again — may remain but a quixotic delusion, the windmills we tilt at having been recently reinforced with DU girded blades.
But I believe, and have said so many times before, that a republican victory in 2004 may not be the disaster that it seems and may, in fact, allow us the protracted opportunity to pursue justice for those who fell victim to 9/11 and the Bushites and finish the job that we spent so much of 2004 beginning. With W and his minions still tight under the spotlight we can deprive our “friendly fascists” of the chance to ride off on their gold plated saddles into an oily Texas sunset.
Certainly we’ve seen this sort of thing before. The Warren Commission debacle, which predictably concluded that bullet enchanter and Castro confidante Lee… Continue reading