This thing sucks so many different ways, it's hard to even get your head around it all. But one thing that struck me a particularly odd, and scary, was the fact that legislators who oppose the bill, or at least parts of it, particularly the elimination of the right of habeus corpus, seem content that the courts will strike down the legislation.
The removal of habeas corpus came under particular criticism, from both sides, with even some Republicans who voted for the bill nonetheless predicting it likely that the Supreme Court would strike down the legislation because of its scrapping of the right of prisoners to challenge their own detention.
Aside from the fact that it's a completely ridiculous idea not to vote against, and filibuster if possible, any bill that you oppose (otherwise why even show up?) , the scary part of this is that I don't see how this is going to work. Perhaps I'm missing something, but if prisoners don't have the ability to challenge their own detention, then how will a case ever get to the courts in the first place? Where can that challenge possibly come from?
It's still amazing to me that in America in 2006, we're actually having public debate about whether it's ok to torture people. No matter how many times people point out that torture doesn't work, of that it's not about sparing the terrorists from torture, it's about preserving the rights of everyone, there's still those idiots who will argue that "What if your whole family was about to be killed, and there isn't enough time to save them unless you torture this guy who has already murdered 100 people?" First off, even though in the 24 influenced minds of these morons these scenarios happen every day, in reality this is never ever going to happen. But even if this fantasy could ever take place, there's nothing preventing anyone from torturing the guy to save your family, or to save the world, or whatever. Sure, there are (or were) laws against it, but obviously those aren't as important as saving people's lives, and when you're on trial a jury will probably sympathize. The thing is, like Jack Bauer always is, you'd better be right.
There are laws against murder, but if I see Osama bin Laden walking down the street, and I beat him to death with an American flag, I'm pretty sure I could get off. I would face the consequences and probably be ok, but even if I wasn't, I would still know that I did the right thing. But that's no reason to repeal the laws against murder on the off chance that this happens, so I can walk away free when it just happens to be an old guy with a beard who looks like him.
This whole thing just makes me sick. Mostly, because it's so completely repellent to everything that I understand America to be.