One Nation Under Bush:
There's probably not a lot to add to Keith Olbermann's Special Comment last night on the President's signing of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, where Olbermann repeatedly called Bush a "liar" and seemed to stop just short of asking Dubya to step outside. But for an equally or even more intestine-grinding gut punch, check out Tuesday's Olbermann interview with Jonathan Turley on the same subject. Turley ain't a flame-spewing liberal (although, in these vicious times, anyone who even murmurs that the Bush administration has gone too far is proclaimed a flag burner). He told Olbermann, "[P]eople 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."

And then he smacked down the country for its laissez-who-gives-a-fuck attitude: "It couldn’t be more significant. And the strange thing is, we’ve become sort of constitutional couch potatoes. I mean, the Congress just gave the president despotic powers, and you could hear the yawn across the country as people turned to, you know, Dancing with the Stars. I mean, it’s otherworldly."

The law the President signed is the kind of shit that, in a real democracy, would cause citizens to be rioting in the streets, daring the government to invoke the law against them. It's the kind of thing that ought to shut the nation down because of the convulsive revulsion of the people, a massive expectoration of unified disgust at what a group of Republicans has allowed to happen. Nothing of the sort will happen here, though.

Americans will desperately cling to those lies that make their lives easier. It's like when you know, with all your being, that your lover is fucking around on you, despite all her protestations of devotion and monogamy. It's just simpler, at the end of the day, to suck it up and pretend that her body is yours and yours alone. For most Americans, if their neighbor or lawn guy gets picked up by Homeland Security and his family cannot find out why, it's just less taxing on the mind to think, "Goddamn, Jorge or Omar must've done something, and, really, did I really know him that well?" Even when it's not Jorge or Omar. Even when it's Johnny All-Star, maybe a blond-haired, blue-eyed blogger. Even then most of us would comfort ourselves thinking, maybe not articulating it this way, but still, "Bush knows best; Bush knows best." Even as poll after poll suggests how much we despise him, it's just easier.

Yesterday, Alberto Gonzales, Igor to Cheney's Dr. Frankenstein, "answered" "questions" from the "public" about the MCA. Most of it was the same bullshit you've heard from just about every Republican opening his or her mouth on the topic. But when Gonzales was asked if he was proud of the act (in a pretty confrontational question), Gonzales answered, "I am very proud of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and every American should share that pride." Share the love. Gonzales was practically licking his red rocket over the Act: "Future generations will look back and commend us for recognizing the threat of terrorism and taking every possible step -consistent with American values and the rule of law- to defeat it." Of course, the act pretty much allows a President to detain anyone who isn't proud of it. Gonzales went out of his way a couple of times to say the act doesn't apply to Americans, but, fuck, c'mon. Not after you've already detained a couple of Americans.

When Bush signed the MCA, he gave a little speech where he made feints at specificity in relation to the "good" the CIA's near-death experience interrogations have done. He said evil sounding names whose invocation made one think of facial hair and olive skin. He said, "The CIA program helped us identify terrorists who were sent to case targets inside the United States, including financial buildings in major cities on the East Coast. And the CIA program helped us stop the planned strike on U.S. Marines in Djibouti, a planned attack on the U.S. consulate in Karachi, and a plot to hijack airplanes and fly them into Heathrow Airport and Canary Wharf in London." Gonzales reiterated these triumphs of torture.

But here's the thing: we just have their word for it. On everything. No wonder these motherfuckers are opposed to habeas corpus. Show the body? Fuck that. How about showing a single thread of evidence that demonstrates our "new" methods of interrogation have led to anything that the old, tired ones couldn't have obtained?

Essentially, what Bush and Gonzales have said is that American military law, the treaties we have abided by, and our entire goddamned judicial system is so weak, that it coddles criminals, that to be tried and sentenced, or even to be charged, is merely liberal weakness. In the end, Bush is saying, to truly love your country, you better be willing to undermine its civic foundations, you better be willing to vest power in a single leader for the duration of a "new kind of war," as Gonzales called it. Yes, this war on "terror" is different. Yes, certain powers have been granted to Presidents in more traditional wars, wars with nations and armies, and, above all, clear objectives and certain end.

To those who would support the Bush administration and the act, which, as Jonathan Turley said made "a fundamental change [in] who we are as a country," we can pull out that old conservative line, "America - love it or leave it."