Right now, President Barack Obama is giving a speech justifying his re-creation of George W. Bush’s military tribunal show trials – a separate and unequal system of courts that are designed to evade American standards of justice, ensuring conviction of prisoners who have been prejudged to be guilty. Obama is continuing one of the worst abuses of the Bush years, merely softening it around the edges.
The President, once again, is undermining the rule of law in an attempt to assuage Americans’ Homeland Security fears. When this happens, it’s the job of the United States Congress to exercise its powers of oversight. Members of Congress have the responsibility to speak out and act to control anti-constitutional moves by the Executive.
So where is Congress? Congress is sleeping on the job. No one in Congress has risen to speak out against Barack Obama’s resurrection of kangaroo courts…
…no one except* for Ron Paul. A couple of days ago, I wrote an article about how not one single Republican or Democrat in Congress had spoken out on this issue. Since that article was written, however, alone among all members of Congress, Ron Paul spoke out. Here’s what Congressman Paul had to say about the need to let the legitimate system of American justice deal with the people held prisoner in Guantamo:
“They’re not allowing them to be tried in a legitimate court of law. I think a good example was set with the individuals that were involved with the bombing of the towers in 1993. I mean, we even went into Pakistan, arrested them, brought them over here and tried them in our court system, and they’re not our neighbors. They are in a federal prison and nobody feels threatened by them. I’m not sure why they are so determined not to pursue the law. Anyway, it has been politicized enough and it looks like the politicians are going to win this argument and the rule of law will not win.”
Thanks to Representative Paul for speaking out on this issue. What a sad state the Democratic Party is in when a Republican from Texas speaks out against a Bush-era abuse that the Democrats in Congress all* refuse to confront.
* Update: Things are developing quickly on this issue. Just after I got done writing this article, I walked into a room where the Stephanie Miller Show was playing on the radio. On that show, New York Democratic U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler was questioning the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s plan to use military tribunals against Guantanamo prisoners.
So, Ron Paul is no longer the sole voice of opposition on this issue, but still, he did speak out before any other member of Congress, as far as I can tell, and he deserves credit for that.