Thursday, November 09, 2006


Ted Rall: "Our long national nightmare has just begun"

I'm heartened to see that a number of writers, notably cartoonist Ted Rall, understand that winning an election was just a start. After Bush I was repudiated in 1992, the "conservatives" were back spreading smears and undercutting the president-elect months before he entered office. Ted Rallbrings to our attention the fact that Bush has taken over the National Guard: Bush signed the JWDAA hours after the MCA, in a furtive closed-door White House ceremony. There is, buried deep down in Title V, Subtitle B, Part II, Section 525(a) of the JWDAA, a coup. The Bush Administration has quietly stolen the National Guard away from the states. Here's the relevant section of Public Law 109-364: "The [military] Secretary [of the Army, Navy or Air Force] concerned may order a member of a reserve component under the Secretary's jurisdiction to active duty...The training or duty ordered to be performed...may of operations or missions undertaken by the member's unit at the request of the President or Secretary of Defense." The National Guard, used to maintain order during natural disasters and civil disturbances and the sole vehicle available under U.S. law to enforce a declaration of martial law, has previously been controlled by state governors. They have now been stripped of that control. Thanks to the JWDAA, Bush or Rumsfeld can now deploy National Guardsmen in American cities without obtaining permission from state governors. Now, if right-wingers believed what they claimed to believe, this would be anathema. If there is a national emergency, the president has always had the power to take command of the Guard. This bill allows him to seize control of command in the absence of any emergency. As Rall says about the news that KBR got $385 million for building internment camps, Following so much hateful rhetoric, you can't blame liberals for wondering whether they too are about to be declared "enemy combatants." They're not paranoid; they're just paying attention. Unlike Rall, I do not fear this. These are the desperate acts of a man who knows that the end of his kingdom has already been written. We must, of course, repudiate and overturn the deformations of the law. There are probably dark days ahead, of recession and extremis,mBut we know the ending of this nightmare: a nation revived, the rights of all Mankind reasserted.
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