- Bars bar terrorism suspects from challenging their detention or treatment through habeas corpus petitions.
- Allows prosecutors to use evidence collected through hearsay or coercion to seek criminal convictions.
- Empowers the executive branch to detain indefinitely anyone the executive branch determines to have “purposefully and materially” supported anti-U.S. hostilities. (While non-citizens are the only ones who can be tried by military tribunals, apparently U.S. citizens can be detained indefinitely under the legislation.)
The way the legislation is written, coupled with the relevant Geneva Conventions, the President is empowered to determine what forms of sexual assault, short of actual penetration, are permissible as interrogation techniques.
Which brings us to Friday of this week when Florida Republican Mark Foley’s hasty resignation from Congress after the “icky e-mails” began to surface. Apparently the e-mails were sexually explicit and directed to a 16 year old male Congressional page. This is particularly egregious since Foley was, among other things, a former co-chair of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children and one of the most vocal opponents of child pornography. Even more problematic in some ways is the fact that House leaders, including Dennis Hastert and John Boehner, knew of Foley’s e-mails to the House page since at least Spring of this year and did nothing about it.
And, finally, just to add to the mix, Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) said that what is wrong with the Republican Congress these days is that they bow to the “thugs and bullies” who lead the Christian Right.
Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey has launched an attack on Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, saying Dobson and his “band of thugsâ€ are “nasty bulliesâ€ and accusing the Republicans of pandering to the Christian right.
He said that the GOP was adrift and rudderless in its commitment to small government. He went on to say:
“The criteria of choice in just about every behavior you see in Congress today is politics. Where in the hell did this Terri Schiavo thing come from? Thereâ€™s not a conservative, Constitution-loving, separation-of-powers guy alive in the world that could have wanted that bill on the floor.
“That was pure, blatant pandering to James Dobson. Thatâ€™s all it was. It was silly, stupid, and irresponsible. Nobody serious about the Constitution would do that. But the question was will this energize our Christian conservative base for the next election.â€
Sager asked why it seems that Christian conservatives are more powerful now than in the 1990s. Armey replied: “To a large extent because Dobson and his gang of thugs are real nasty bullies. I pray devoutly every day, but being a Christian is no excuse for being stupid. Thereâ€™s a high demagoguery coefficient to issues like prayer in schools. Demagoguery doesnâ€™t work unless itâ€™s dumb . . . These issues are easy for the intellectually lazy and can appeal to a large demographic.â€
Amen, brother. Which is probably why we’re starting to see groups like the First Republicans try to steer the party back to its small government, fiscally conservative, socially tolerant roots.