It is a gross lie and it is deeply deceptive, manipulative and idiotic for the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, Republican of Illinois, to proclaim that any questions or doubts to legislation regarding military tribunals is an act of protection for terrorists attacking the U.S. and its interests.
The legislation, H.R. 6166, brought out this outlandish comment from Hastert, that opposition to it: means "... more rights for terrorists. So the same terrorists who plan to harm innocent Americans ... would be coddled if we follow the Democratic plan."
Let's be honest about the failure of the GOP leadership from Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist -- they have failed for the last three years (or perhaps even intentionally delayed) constructing the systems and legal definitions necessary to conduct tribunals or hearings for individuals apprehended in the "war on terror".
Sen. Frist referred to the bill as a "critical tool", yet it is a "tool" which his leadership has failed to properly devise -- and now their failures are somehow blamed on Evil Democrats.
Only a decision from the Supreme Court has spurred these party bosses and the current administration to develop a proper legal basis for handling what is admittedly a very complex problem.
In recent months, I have heard deeply disfigured lanquage used in reference to actions termed "alternative interrogation techniques" or "extraordinary rendentions".
Last year, reports that the United States were operating "secret prisons" was rejected as nonsense, or as the near-treasonous reports of liberal media. Yet, a few weeks ago, the President reversed his stand and hailed these operations as successful detentions which resulted in vital security protections.
What is that can be done to effectively halt, prevent and investigate the crimes and acts of war against our nation and others by terrorists?
The one certainty is that these "critical" issues have been danced and waltzed around by congress like shy fifth-grade boys at their first dance. Thoughtful and wise and reasoned legislation is in tremendous demand now -- current and future generations of Americans and other free citizens of the world will deal with the outcome of decisions today.
And what is clear from this proposed legislation - and the Republican proclamations about it - is that they hope to use it as a "critical tool" on the campaign trail to scare the bejesus out of anyone considering casting a vote based on facts and not based in fear.
Perhaps the public - and the press - need to also highlight the other important actions made by the House of Representatives on Wednesday:
-- House Conference Resolution 478 -- "Supporting the goals and ideals of 'Lights on Afterschool!'. a national celebration of after-school programs."
-- House Conference Resolution 458 -- "Expressing the sense of Congress that there should be established a Let's All Play Day."