So sad to see this happen now and again. Peter Welch, who otherwise has been on quite a roll lately, just voted along with a massive majority of his fellow members of the House of Representatives to keep secret the deliberations on the Department of Defense Authorization Bill. This is the rather sizable allowance given by us tax-payers each year to the Pentagon to ensure that the Wars on The World can go on and on forever and ever, Amen.
This year, a rider has been attached to the main spending bill with some rules on indefinite military detention for — well, pretty much anybody, anywhere, anytime for almost anything. Almost all the mentally unstable wankers in the House and Senate simply *love* the idea of endless detention, and so does the current occupant of the White House, too. So, slam dunk, you’d think, but there’s a snag. Because Sir Change-a-Lot doesn’t like that his executive power to, say, execute or detain Americans at home or abroad be regulated by anybody — least of all Congress, so he’s not too keen on the proposed language and has threatened to veto the whole deal in its current state. Let me be really clear here: It’s not that Obama has a problem with indefinite detention — he’s a huge fan, uses it all the time (when he doesn’t just decide to kill people without due process), and he and his Administration defends the use of it whenever they’re challenged on the issue. This is why he couldn’t be bothered to shut down Gitmo as he’d promised on the campaign trail, but instead proposed that it be turned into a sort of “Six Flags of the American Inquisition” in Illinois instead. He just wants it to be his very own little power as Supreme Grand Poobah of the Free World (yes, the irony there is disheartening), and his alone — One Ring and all that…
And, so, the House and the Senate now have to figure out a way to let Obama have his Preciousss while at the same time satisfying their own nasty fetish for handcuffs and waterboarding. With the vote earlier today, they decided that such a debate better be had in private, far away from the eye of the pesky public. Which is kind of ironic, given that the upshot of this latest bit of Orwellian “progress” could well be that any American anywhere could at any time be designated a “terrorist sympathizer” and without further ado or process of law be detained forever.
You’d think that might make some Americans feel compelled to follow along and listen to the arguments being made, and you’d perhaps think that Peter Welch might have supported such fundamental transparency to the legal process. But, alas, no. Along with 406 other “Representatives” of the American People, he decided that the American People (including the very people he represents) should *not* be privvy to the discussion.
And that’s really too bad.