Checks and Balances Returning to Life in Washington?

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uighurs twn music.jpg
This is important and is more evidence of the dismantling of George W. Bush’s imperial presidency.
Federal District Court Judge Ricardo Urbina has ordered the release by the end of this week of 17 Guantanamo detainees who happen to be Uighers.
Very significant news that raises questions about who these people really are, what they were doing, why America held them for six years in detention, and what blowback we may suffer yet for this mess.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

13 comments on “Checks and Balances Returning to Life in Washington?

  1. Kathleen says:

    On checks and balances, I think Dopey and Darth have brought that comcept to new depths with this move… Tis the season for October Surprises. …This from The Corner Report
    Deployed on U.S. Streets Ready to Carry Out “Crowd Control” ;
    U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman of California said to Congress, captured on YouTube (see above) that individual members of the House were threatened with martial law within a week if they did not pass the bailout bill: “The only way they can pass this bill is by creating and sustaining a panic atmosphere. … Many of us were told in private conversations that if we voted against this bill on Monday that the sky would fall, the market would drop two or three thousand points the first day and a couple of thousand on the second day, and a few members were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no.”
    From an interview with retired U.S. Air Force Colonel David Antoon:
    If the President directed the First Brigade to arrest Congress, what could stop him?
    Antoon: “Nothing. Their only recourse is to cut off funding. The Congress would be at the mercy of military leaders to go to them and ask them not to obey illegal orders.”
    But these orders are now legal?
    Antoon: “Correct.”
    If the President directs the First Brigade to arrest a bunch of voters, what would stop him?
    Antoon: “Nothing. It would end up in courts but the action would have been taken.”
    If the President directs the First Brigade to kill civilians, what would stop him?
    Antoon: “Nothing.”
    What would prevent him from sending the First Brigade to arrest the editor of the Washington Post?
    Antoon: “Nothing. He could do what he did in Iraq — send a tank down a street in Washington and fire a shell into the Washington Post as they did into Al Jazeera, and claim they were firing at something else.”

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  2. Mr.Murder says:

    This was not unlike spring break, merely some frat pranks at a “state of the art detention facility” as the latest spin seems to indicate.

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  3. David says:

    Can it be? Signs of a return to a nation of laws governed by the requirements of its Constitution by way of three separate branches of government with clearly defined checks and balances which are honored by all government officials, and maybe even sort of understood by the majority of voters – if not even remotely by Sarah Palin or George Bush? I’m not sure my heart can stand the rush of excitement (but I’m damned sure willing to give it a go).

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  4. Paul Norheim says:

    I completely agree with you, Dennis.
    It will come as a big surprise if the new president (Obama?) or
    Congress will make serious efforts to deal with the fundamental
    issues here: balance of power, abuses, torture, the Iraq war,
    illegal spying etc. etc. Some of it will probably be addressed in
    fragmentary ways, but not targeting the principal core of the
    issues.

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  5. Dennis says:

    “Even if restored, the effects of the abuse during the last years will last for decades.”
    As soon as the Democrats are in control history will quickly repeat itself as it has with the recent bailout of Wall Street – “back to business as usual.”
    Congress is not accountable to anyone except big money – political party aside.
    There will be no accountability and as few investigations as possible for the abuses of the Bush regime’s lies for attacking Iraq, illegal spying on Americans, little accountability for war crimes, the politicizing of the Department of Justice, abuses of the FBI, the CIA, the collapse of the lending industry, the torture of prisoners, voter fraud, and the list goes on and on.
    Congress is not accountable and Congressionall ethics are a joke.
    You don’t have to be a blind conservative not to see it, just an ignorant one to deny it.

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  6. Paul Norheim says:

    Even if restored, the effects of the abuse during the last years will
    last for decades.

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  7. Cato says:

    Let’s not call ourselves a restored democracy just yet, shall we? As Chris Brown above notes:
    “The US Court of Appeals on Wednesday issued an emergency stay on the release order at the request of the George W Bush administration. The White House claimed the original ruling – the first of its kind – could set a dangerous precedent.”
    The federal courts and the executive branch are packed full of hard-core, bitter-end, reactionary ideologues who will do anything to advance their authoritarian agenda (including railroading innocents into prison)even after that agenda has been proven a miserable failure. There will not be any progress toward democracy until these elements are recognized for what they are: corrupt apparatchiks, the enemies of an open society. You could help by not giving cover and solace to them (Grover Norquist being a particularly salient example).
    Sorry to rank on you so much, but it seems like you keep declaring victory when the Huns are still in our midst.

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  8. Paul Norheim says:

    You may have a point there, croatoan.

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  9. croatoan says:

    Republicans are going to discover an enthusiasm for the
    separation of powers and limits on the Executive Branch if Obama
    wins.

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  10. Chris Brown says:

    By Marisa Taylor, McClatchy Newspapers Wed Oct 8, 9:31 PM ET
    WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court temporarily blocked the release of 17 Chinese-born Muslims detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba , a day after a landmark decision required them to be freed to the U.S.
    The move Wednesday night by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sets the stage for a protracted court battle over the fate of the men, who’ve been held for nearly seven years despite being cleared for release by the U.S. military. Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina had ordered the Bush administration to ship the men to the U.S. by Friday.

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  11. pt says:

    Isn’t the problem with the Uighers about where they would be sent back to?

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  12. DonS says:

    Thanks, Steve, for highlighting this. The wheels of the courts do grind exceeding slow, but it seems here the we’re getting down to the nub; with the Bush Administration unsurprisingly continuing to threaten and attack.
    Imperial presidency is a relatively kind way to characterize this abomination and coopting of the democratic process, imperfect as it is. Martial law, with a toady Congress rubber stamping the enabling additional legislative support would be equally accurate.
    On top of which, given the example of the race and fear baiting tactics of a Sarah Palin, we must wait and see just how ingrained these polarizing, right wing culture battles have become.
    If the courts, as here exemplified by an apparently pissed and courageous Federal judge, can begin to steer us back on a constitutional path, the real outcome may be more importantly influenced by the fourth estate. Can jack-booted sensationalistic Administration-fondling reportage be wrested from its sloppy and dangerous habits? Can middle of the road values be resurrected without a gloss of cynicism. Can the idea of obvious truth (e.g., global warming) be taken as a given without the fear-based pandering to the .001% of neanderthal Adminsitration flack?
    We know the right wing Palin oriented true believers are not going to go away. Can the institutions of democracy at least revive enough to relegate them to the slimy corner from which they have exfoliated?

    Reply

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