Longer (via Carla Binion at Information Clearinghouse):
On October 17, George W. Bush signed into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006. This new law gives Bush power similar to that of Stalin or Hitler, and grants agencies within the executive branch powers similar to those of the KGB or Gestapo.
Bush justifies this act by claiming he needs it to fight the "war on terror," but a number of critics, including former counterterrorism officials, have said the administration has greatly exaggerated the threat and used illogical methods to combat terrorism. (Examples are listed below.)
Except for MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, few television news reporters have bothered to mention that the Military Commissions Act has changed the U.S. justice system and our approach to human rights. As Olbermann said of the new law on his October 17 Countdown program, the new act "does away with habeas corpus, the right of suspected terrorists or anybody else to know why they have been imprisoned."
Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Constitutional Law Professor, was Olbermann's guest. Olbermann asked him, "Does this mean that under this law, ultimately the only thing keeping you, I, or the viewer out of Gitmo is the sanity and honesty of the president of the United States?"
Turley responded: "It does. And it's a huge sea change for our democracy. The framers created a system where we did not have to rely on the good graces or good mood of the president...People have no idea how significant this is. What, really a time of shame this is for the American system. What the Congress did and what the president signed today essentially revokes over 200 years of American principles and values."
... Robert Dreyfuss covers national security for Rolling Stone. He interviewed nearly a dozen former high-ranking counterterrorism officials about Bush's approach to the war on terrorism. In his article, "The Phony War," (Rolling Stone, 9/21/06) Dreyfuss says these officials conclude:
· The war on terror is bogus. Terrorism shouldn't be treated as if it were a nation to be battled with the military, but should instead be fought with police work and intelligence agencies.
· Terrorism is not an enemy, but a method. Even if the United States were to wipe out every terrorist cell in the world today, terrorism would be back tomorrow.
· Bush lacks a clear understanding of the nature of the "enemy" and has no real strategy for dealing with them.
· The Bush administration confuses the issue by grouping "Al Qaeda" with everything from Iraq's resistance movement to states such as Syria and Iran.
· Today, there's virtually no real "Al Qaeda threat" to Americans.
· Bush's policies have spawned a new generation of "amateur terrorists," but there are few of them, and they're not likely to pose a major threat to the U.S.
· Though Bush has said he will fight his "war" until every last terrorist is eliminated, terrorism can never be defeated, merely "contained and reduced."
Dreyfuss says, "In the short term, the cops and spies can continue to do their best to watch for terrorist threats as they emerge, and occasionally, as in London, they will succeed. But they are the first to admit that stopping a plot before it can unfold involved, more than anything, plain dumbluck."