It is now official. Everything I was taught to believe about the government of the United States of America as a child, as an Eagle Scout, as a delegate to the American Legion’s Boy’s State in High School and in Government class is, a quaint historical fiction. The terrorists have won.
How did your Senator vote? [Nevada: Reid = no, Ensign = yes]
How did your Representative vote? [Nevada: Berkley = no, Gibbons = yes, Porter = yes]
It’s a 40 day slog through the desert to the polls for you and I. I certainly know who I will be voting for. How about you?
Senator Harry Reid’s (D-NV) floor statement on the detainee bill:
The Framers of our Constitution understood the need for checks and balances, but this bill discards them.
Many of the worst provisions were not in the Committee-reported bill, and were not in the compromise announced last Friday. They were added over the weekend after backroom meetings with White House lawyers.
We have tried to improve this legislation. Senator Levin proposed to substitute the bipartisan bill that was reported by the Armed Services Committee. That amendment was rejected.
Senators Specter and Leahy offered an amendment to restore the right to judicial review – that amendment was rejected.
Senator Rockefeller offered an amendment to improve congressional oversight of CIA programs – that amendment was rejected.
Senator Kennedy offered an amendment to clarify that inhumane interrogation tactics prohibited by the Army Field manual could not be used on Americans or on others – that amendment was rejected.
And Senator Byrd offered an amendment to sunset military commissions so that Congress would simply be required to reconsider this far-reaching authority after five years of experience. Even that amendment was rejected.
I strongly believe this legislation is unconstitutional. It will almost certainly be struck down by the Supreme Court. And when that happens, we’ll be back here several years from now debating how to bring terrorists to justice.
The families of the 9/11 victims and the nation have been waiting five years for the perpetrators of these attacks to be brought to justice. They should not have to wait longer. We should get this right now – and we are not doing so by passing this bill. The National security policies of this administration and Republican Congress may have been tough, but they haven’t been smart. The American people are paying a price for their mistakes.
History will judge our actions here today. I am convinced that future generations will view passage of this bill as a grave error. I wish to be recorded as one who voted against taking this step.
Another from kos:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
-Shakespeare, Richard II, Act 2 scene 1
On this dark day, we are by turns enraged, despondent, half out of our minds, determined. But not silent. Maybe you can find in these diaries something you need: solace, distraction, some borrowed strength to keep on.
mcjoan at dailykos:
On the question do you favor (1) allowing the President to define torture, (2) strip the court of judicial review via habeas corpus (even though the constitution does not allow you to except in cases of invasion or Rebellion), and (3) allowing the President to jail American citizens arbitrarily and without court review?
Gutless Democrats saying Aye:
Tom Carper (Del.)
Tim Johnson (S.D.)
Mary Landrieu (La.)
Frank Lautenberg (N.J.)
Bob Menendez (N.J)
Bill Nelson (Fla.)
Ben Nelson (Neb.)
Jay Rockefeller (W. Va.)
Ken Salazar (Co.)
Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)
Gutless Connecticut for Liebermans saying Aye:
Joe Lieberman (Conn.)
History will not absolve you.
Matt Stoller over at MyDD:
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.)
Independents against (1) – Jeffords