As a nation, we continue down a road of insignificance. Yesterday the House of Representatives passed HR 6166. This resolution allows the following things: (from the sidebar of this CNN Article)
- Requires that a defendant being tried by military commission have access to any evidence given to a jury.
- Drops a section of the administration’s previous proposal that stated an existing ban on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment satisfies the nation’s obligations under the Geneva Conventions.
- Prohibits “grave breaches” of the Geneva Conventions. Defines grave breaches as acts such as torture, rape, biological experiments and cruel and inhuman treatment.
- Notes the president has the authority to interpret “the meaning and application” of the Geneva Conventions.
- Allows hearsay evidence.
- Allows coerced testimony if the statement was acquired before a 2005 ban on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and a judge finds it to be reliable. Bans coerced statements taken after the 2005 ban went into effect if it violates constitutional definitions of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
- Bars individuals from protesting violations of Geneva Conventions standards in court.
(Bullet points from the Associated Press)
We are flaunting years of international agreements. We are damaging America’s reputation with the rest of the world. We are endangering our soldiers in future conflicts. And for a country that is supposably “Christian,” we are not acting like it. We will not be able to undo this legislation. Even if the Democrats try to change it after the mid-term elections, they will not have enough votes to over rule a Presidential veto. Plus 34 Democrats voted for this resolution (names and states represented below the cut). More than likely the Senate will pass this as well today and Bush will quickly sign it into law.
Why doesn’t American care? What can we do? Are we going to see a theocratic American in my lifetime? These are my fears. Its almost as if some of the “Christian right” are trying to speed along the rapture.
US Senator Russ Feingold’s statement In Opposition to the Military Commissions Act
US Senator John Kerry speaks out as well as reported on The Democratic Daily.
US Senator Hillary Clinton speaks as reported on Crooks and Liars.
US Senator Barak Obama speaks as reported on Eschaton.
Update: The Bill passes the Senate 65-34.
These are the Democratic Representatives that voted for the Resolution:
Robert E. Andrews (NJ)
John Barrow (GA)
Melissa L. Bean (IL)
Sandford D. Bishop Jr. (GA)
Dan Boren (OK)
Leonard L. Boswell (IA)
Allen Boyd (FL)
Corrine Brown (OH)
Ben Chandler (KY)
Robert E. (Bud) Cramer Jr. (AL)
Henry Cuellar (TX)
Artur Davis (AL)
Lincoln Davis (TN)
Chet Edwards (TX)
Bob Etheridge (NC)
Harold E. Ford Jr. (TN)
Bart Gordon (TN)
Stephanie Herseth (SD)
Brian Higgins (NY)
Tim Holden (PA)
Jim Marshall (GA)
Jim Matheson (UT)
Mike McIntyre (NC)
Charlie Melancon (LA)
Michael H. Michaud (ME)
Dennis Moore (KS)
Collin C.Peterson (MN)
Earl Pomeroy (ND)
Mike Ross (AR)
John T. Salazar (CO)
David Scott (GA)
John M. Spratt Jr. (SC)
John S. Tanner (TN)
Gene Taylor (MS)
Senate facts about the bill: (from Glenn Greenwald’s Blog)
Democrats in favor (12) – Carper (Del.), Johnson (S.D.), Landrieu (La.), Lautenberg (N.J.), Lieberman (Conn.), Menendez (N.J), Pryor (Ark.), Rockefeller (W. Va.), Salazar (Co.), Stabenow (Mich.), Nelson (Fla.), Nelson (Neb.)
Republicans against (1) – Chafee (R.I.).
Jeffords (Independent) voted against.