The title of this post comes from the Presidential Oath of Office. It's full text is:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.George Bush has grossly violated this oath. The Supreme Court has sent him back multiple times, telling him to fix this. Instead of fixing his behaviour to adhere to the Constitution, Bush, with Congress's incomprehensible complicity, continues to keep trying to square the circle, by passing law after law, seeking somehow to make the blatant Statism constitutional. It will not work - it cannot work.
In the latest go around, the Military Commissions Act, John McCain's culpability is total.
John McCain is not fit to be president of the United States.
I don't know whether Obama is fit to be president, but I know that McCain is not. I do know that Obama voted against and spoke out against this abomination.
MaxedOutMama has covered part of this well - as related to the McCain-Feingold act. (I believe she has found reason to dislike Obama even more, especially here, however.)
To add to the infamy of McCain-Feingold's blatant trampling of the 1st Amendment, I give you the Bush-McCain undermining of the right to Habeas Corpus and right to trial by jury before deprivation of liberty.
For what Bush/McCain America has come to, I give you the case of Jose Padilla.
Padilla is a U.S. Citizen. He was arrested in Chicago, which, (in spite Mayor Daley's best efforts), is still part of the United States.
Here is what happened next:
When suspected Al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla was whisked from the criminal justice system to military custody in June 2002, it was done for a key purpose – to break his will to remain silent.
As a US citizen, Mr. Padilla enjoyed a right against forced self-incrimination. But this constitutional guarantee vanished the instant President Bush declared him an enemy combatant....
Padilla was delivered to the US Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, S.C., where he was held not only in solitary confinement but as the sole detainee in a high-security wing of the prison. Fifteen other cells sat empty around him.
The purpose of the extraordinary privacy, according to experts familiar with the technique, was to eliminate the possibility of human contact. No voices in the hallway. No conversations with other prisoners. No tapping out messages on the walls. No ability to maintain a sense of human connection, a sense of place or time.
In essence, experts say, the US government was trying to break Padilla's silence by plunging him into a mental twilight zone. Padilla was not the only Al Qaeda suspect locked away in isolation. Although harsh interrogation methods such as water-boarding, forced hypothermia, sleep deprivation, and stress positions draw more media attention, use of isolation to "soften up" detainees for questioning is much more common.
According to defense motions on file in the case, Padilla's cell measured nine feet by seven feet. The windows were covered over. There was a toilet and sink. The steel bunk was missing its mattress.
He had no pillow. No sheet. No clock. No calendar. No radio. No television. No telephone calls. No visitors. Even Padilla's lawyer was prevented from seeing him for nearly two years.
For significant periods of time the Muslim convert was denied any reading material, including the Koran. The mirror on the wall was confiscated. Meals were slid through a slot in the door. The light in his cell was always on.
So, the government can throw you in a hole that is closer to a sensory deprivation chamber than it is to a normal jail cell and leave you there for 2 years. Where is that in the Constitution? NOWHERE.
In the Constitution we are guaranteed the Writ of Habeas Corpus, where the government must bring the accused into a Court of law and make its case for holding the accused.
The Constitution provides that "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it."
We are not in a state of rebellion. We are not being invaded. And Bush has not suspended the writ in any legal fashion - he has arrogated to himself the privilege of pretending it doesn't exist whenever he feels like it. Or whenever the Secretary of Defense feels like it. Or whenever anybody so delegated by either of those to feel like it - because that's the range of people who can declare you an unlawful enemy combatant in the MCA.
No American is safe while the laws of the Bush regime are on the books. And John McCain helped very much to put those laws there.
So what happened to Jose Padilla? He was *never* even tried for the "Dirty Bomb" plot.
But he did become hopelessly mentally ill, courtesy George Bush.
"People who have known him and loved him before his military detention don't feel they can even bear to see him because he is so clearly mentally ill."
In May 2002, a month before he entered the brig, Padilla was taken into custody, held in New York City, and given access to a court-appointed lawyer, Donna Newman. Two years later, when the Bush administration first allowed Padilla to see his lawyers again, Ms. Newman and another attorney visited.
"There is no question he had changed," Newman says. "Prior to his being held in South Carolina there was no reason to suspect that he had any kind of [mental] problem."
His mother said she had visited him eight or nine times but that it was becoming too hard emotionally to "see Jose that way." She added that he did not have facial ticks prior to being incarcerated.
Some psychological tests place him on par with individuals who have suffered brain damage, according to the reports prepared by Hegarty, Grassian, and Patricia Zapf, a New York psychologist and psychology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
Padilla's treatment in the brig is classified as a state secret.
Padilla's mother became increasingly anxious. Finally she confronted her son: "Did they torture you?" she asked.
"He turned towards her, his face grimacing, his eyes blinking, and in panic and rage he demanded: 'Don't you ever, ever, ask that question again,' " the Grassian report says....
The government never presented any part of the alleged "dirty-bomb" plot in the case, and some analysts say the government's cobbled-together case against Padilla is weak.
It is unclear what Padilla thinks about the possibility of an acquittal in Miami. But Hegarty says that if Padilla's lawyers win the case it could mark the worst possible outcome for him. That's because the president might try to move Padilla back to his old cell in the brig.
"There is no question in my mind that his first and most important priority is to not go back to the brig," Hegarty says. "This is what leaves me chilled, if one were to offer him a long prison term or return to the brig, he would take prison, in a heartbeat."
She adds, "He told me more than once that if he went back to the brig he knew what he had to do." Her notes reflect Padilla's hints of suicide.
That's right folks - even if acquitted, Padilla faced incarceration for life due to his designation as an unlawful enemy combatant.Same deal for Hamdan:
The White House claims it can still imprison for life anyone the president designates as an enemy combatant, as Bush has Hamdan, even if the detainee is acquitted or has served his sentence.
That's Bush's America. That's McCain's America. No way in HELL is that MY America.