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Friday, October 6, 2006

Published

As I have said before, my only real “claim to fame” in writing has been published letters to the editor, professional contract language, and the creation and amending of constitutions & bylaws. I got word last night that my recent letter to the editor of the Times Herald in Port Huron was printed. The letter was about the recently passed torture legislation.

I also received a response from U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow to my letter criticizing her for supporting the torture legislation which included the suspension of Habeas Corpus rights for alleged enemy combatants. Her response:

Thank you . . .

. . . for contacting me about the Military Commissions Act of 2006. I understand your deeply held beliefs regarding this bill and your distrust of the Bush Administration which I share.

As you may know, the Supreme Court's Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision found the President's military tribunals unconstitutional. This decision created a void with no judicial process in place for the detainees who our country has been holding indefinitely.

I understand the distrust of the Bush Administration which has frankly shown a flagrant disregard for the law. However, having no law in place would have given this administration continued justification to act without any accountability.

This proposal puts in place protections that do not exist today for detainees and is a better system than the one proposed by the President. I strongly opposed the President's attempts to undermine the Geneva Convention. This bill does not amend the Geneva Convention in any way. This proposal puts in place specific protections against torture, providing needed clarification on what constitutes war crimes and criminalizing specific interrogation techniques.

Could this bill be improved? Absolutely. I supported every Democratic amendment to tighten definitions and strengthen this legislation. Unfortunately, we lost them in close votes. I will continue to work with my colleagues to modify the law, and am hopeful that with changes in the new Congress, we will be successful in making these needed improvements.

There is no question that Congress will need to continue its oversight role of this Administration. While we may respectfully disagree about this bill, my vote was based on the sincere belief that ignoring the Hamdan decision and passing no legislation was not an option. If we had not passed this bill, our military would not have been able to move forward with trials against suspected terrorists now in U.S. custody.

Thanks for sharing your views with me on this legislation. As always, I welcome your input.

Sincerely,

Debbie Stabenow

United States Senator"


I am still sad about the fact that our government has taken us down the road to hell. Senator Stabenow obviously didn’t read the legislation that she supported. Yes, the Military Commission Act did not redefine Article III of the Geneva Conventions – it gave King George the authority to interpret its meaning. How very naïve, Ms. Stabenow – and how very irresponsible.

After World War II, our government imprisoned Japanese officers for water-boarding (torturing) American and Allied prisoners of war. Our government just gave GWB and the CIA retroactive permission for the water-boarding of suspected terrorists and permission to interpret what is and isn’t humiliating treatment of prisoners. How freaking sad -- how very un-American.

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