Seizing the rhetorical high ground

OK, so I feel less bad for having referred to Bush’s speeches about going to war in Afghanistan as ‘The Rhetoric of Failure‘ now that I’ve read Safire’s editorial in the Times today. I’ve talked with a lot of people about the PATRIOT act that got ramrodded through Congress and about the suspension of due process, and I thought I was the only one that was concerned. It’s a bit weird for me to find Safire, a staunch conservative, agreeing with me on this one:

“Misadvised by a frustrated and panic-stricken attorney general, a president of the United States has just assumed what amounts to dictatorial power to jail or execute aliens. Intimidated by terrorists and inflamed by a passion for rough justice, we are letting George W. Bush get away with the replacement of the American rule of law with military kangaroo courts…. No longer does the judicial branch and an independent jury stand between the government and the accused. In lieu of those checks and balances central to our legal system, non-citizens face an executive that is now investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury and jailer or executioner. In an Orwellian twist, Bush’s order calls this Soviet-style abomination “a full and fair trial.”

Call your congressman. It’s time to put the brakes on before this creeping abuse of power gets any worse.