Thursday, August 05, 2004

PRRW: Abu Ghraib and Gitmo

Publius at Legal Fiction zips off a real hum-dinger here (GITMO - Shame on Us).

It's a terrific post about the consequences of the (more and more undeniable) atrocities perpetuated in our names.

The issue goes back to the conclusion of Dahlia Lithwick's recent piece. This is or should be an election about the scope of executive power. The balance of power has been teetering since before the Bush administration, but now the balance is more precarious than ever; America needs to take a stand for executive accountability that encompasses Congressional supervision of executive activities. Our Republic simply will not function if the President is empowered to make quasi-judicial determinations (you're an enemy combatant!) and then keep such decisions secret. The Republic will fail if the President can hurl such detainees into a legal limbo, create a climate that encourages torture and brutality, and then chock the inevitable results up to "a few bad apples." Such a system, in effect, gives the executive nearly limitless power to act as he wishes. Some would call this a necessary power to protect America.

I call it tyranny.


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