RANGER AGAINST WAR: Forever and a Day <

Friday, March 30, 2007

Forever and a Day

Gone away is the rumbird,
Here to stay is the gatesbird
He sings the same song,
As Dems go along,
Talking 'Bout George Bush's Blunderland
Talking 'Bout George Bush's Blunderland, fr. the Bushwatch Songbook

The AP reports that Defense Secretary Robert Gates suggests Congress and the Bush administration should "work together to allow the U.S. to permanently imprison some of the more dangerous Gitmo detainees elsewhere," allowing the Gitmo Detention Center (="The Prison With Neither Sentencing nor Parole") to be closed. ("Gates Calls for Bill to Help Close Gitmo, " AP.)

Further, Gates told the House Defense Appropriations subcommittees it may require a new law to "address the concerns about some of these people who really need to be incarcerated forever, but that doesn't get them involved in a judicial system where there is the potential of them being released."

Does Mr. Gates think Americans will accept the token closing of Gitmo, much as the administration thought to erase the Abu Ghraib scandal by closing the prison doors? Are Americans that much in thrall to the grand gesture that high propaganda will remove any uneasy feelings they might have had about the unconstitutionality of the detentions?

In other words, the America that exports more democracy than cars, and more violence than democracy, does not care to export the Constitution. Its words are so sacred that they can only be applied in the continental U.S., and then it seems, exceptions are possible.

It is amazing that Congressmen will listen to Gates' unconstitutional utterances. Where is the progress over Rumsfeld? Dump Gates, Rice and Gonzales and start from scratch. We did it in Iraq; let's do it in Washington.

Ranger has a few more questions:

[1] Doesn't this--the adjudication of Gitmo prisoner's guilt or innocence, and subsequent sentencing--sound like a Department of Justice function? Why is Gates doing Gonzales's job? Surely two wars should be enough to fill his plate.

Aren't these questions usually determined by a judge and jury?

[2] Does this mean that a presumption of innocence is no longer is the basis of U.S. jurisprudence? Usually a trial takes place before guilt is ascribed and punishment is meted out. Are we reverting to the Napoleonic Code? Are we becoming Frenchies? Is that what they want for us?!

[3] Has anybody in the Department of State negotiated with Russia to rent a spare gulag or two?


Anonymous Axel said...

Are we reverting to the Napoleonic Code? Are we becoming Frenchies? Do you know what you're writing? First, the Napoleonic code is civil law. It stipulates that "Good faith is always presumed; it is incumbent on whoever alleges bad faith to prove it exists." (Code civil des fran├žais, 1804.) As for criminal law, the Declaration of the Rights of Man of 1789 enshrines it, and that declaration is referenced as constitutional authority in the present French constitution. There has been some backsliding on this issue in the last 200 years, but probably not on a scale comparable to the number of lynchings in the United States over the same period. Finally, your use of the term "Frenchies" - without any appearance of humour - has blown the respect I used to have for you.

Saturday, March 31, 2007 at 12:03:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


It's just a joke; don't get wound up about it. Show that you Frenchies have a sense of humor, too.


Saturday, March 31, 2007 at 12:18:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Axel said...

Oh, I'm glad that was a joke. I don't consider myself a Frenchie (Frenchy?), just a Quebecker worried about the suicidal tendency of the big country to the south of me.

Saturday, March 31, 2007 at 12:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


We were being satirically sarcastic here. America has become quite Frenchie-phobic since 9-11. No disrespect was meant. I'm no Francophobe. I like Edith Piaf as much as the next person. Heck, I even eat French Fries, even though they are rampant with trans-fats.


Saturday, March 31, 2007 at 2:24:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Axel said...

Okay, sorry I got carried away. But the topic seems rather solemn to have a lame joke tacked on at the end.

Saturday, March 31, 2007 at 9:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


You are correct--this is extremely solemn stuff. It becomes so absurd, at times, that the only way to countenance it seems to be with song and dance tunes, or cartoons, or whatever.

But you know our stance is not a frivolous one. We are disgusted by the ethnocentrism displayed by this administration, and by much of the U.S. It is our hope that our integrity is not compromised by our recognition of the absurdity.

Saturday, March 31, 2007 at 9:50:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Winter Patriot said...

I wouldn't worry about your integrity being compromised. This is such a grim subject that I cannot write about it at all unless dripping with sarcasm and full of jokes. And they haven't carted me off yet.

Thanks and keep up the good work.

Sunday, April 1, 2007 at 8:08:00 PM GMT-5  

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