Here's how Arthur Silber phrases the question:
No one speaks of repealing the Military Commissions Act. If anyone in Congress actually gave a damn about liberty and civilization on the most basic level, that is what they would discuss, and they would discuss it all the time. For the Military Commissions Act did not simply destroy habeas corpus; it also established the state's use of torture as an acknowledged, acceptable, standardized means of governance. All the Democratic presidential candidates have recently condemned torture as an element of official government policy -- although I am not aware that anyone has asked Hillary Clinton why she has apparently altered her previously expressed approval of a supposedly narrow "exception" to the prohibition against torture, and if she now rejects her own earlier view. But as long as the Military Commissions Act remains the law, all such condemnations are meaningless, and they deserve to be disbelieved. If any of these politicians were seriously opposed to torture, repeal of the Military Commissions Act would be among their very highest priorities.Of course, the Dims will NOT try to repeal the MCA, because they see practical advantage in its provisions. Silber takes this theme a step further:
I refer you to this statement from one German, noted in Milton Mayer's, They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-1945, and excerpted in my essay, "Thus the World Was Lost":Arthur Silber is a Jeremiah of the first rank, which does NOT mean he's wrong, only that he's ignored."Yes," said my colleague, shaking his head, "the 'excesses' and the 'radicals.' We all opposed them, very quietly. So your two 'little men' thought they must join, as good men, good Germans, even as good Christians, and when enough of them did they would be able to change the party. They would 'bore from within.' 'Big men' told themselves that, too, in the usual sincerity that required them only to abandon one little principle after another, to throw away, little by little, all that was good. I was one of those men.I do not want to be misunderstood on this point, so let me state it as plainly as I can. The time is long since past for every minimally decent American to take a stand: either you are on the side of civilization and humanity, and the irreplaceable, supreme value of an individual human life -- or you are on the side of evil, brutality, torture, sadism, genocidal war, and endless death. The Democrats and the Republicans both stand for Empire, and for the endless horrors already inflicted -- and the endless horrors that still lie in our future. If the Democrats do not repeal the Military Commissions Act or at least try to do so, and if you still support them in the 2008 elections, then you are on the side of all these horrors as well.
"You know," he went on, "when men who understand what is happening--the motion, that is, of history, not the reports of single events or developments--when such men do not object or protest, men who do not understand cannot be expected to. How many men would you say understand--in this sense--in America? And when, as the motion of history accelerates and those who don't understand are crazed by fear, as our people were, and made into a great 'patriotic' mob, will they understand then, when they did not before?
"We learned here--I say this freely--to give up trying to make them understand after, oh, the end of 1938, after the night of the synagogue burning and the things that followed it. Even before the war began, men who were teachers, men whose faith in teaching was their whole faith, gave up, seeing that there was no comprehension, no capacity left for comprehension, and the thing must go its course, taking first its victims, then its architects, and then the rest of us to destruction...."