It’s been almost two weeks now since New York’s 24th district Democratic congressional candidate, Michael Arcuri announced that he supports the Military Commissions Act. The Military Commissions Act was written in the Bush White House with the help of Republicans in Congress, so many people are wondering why any Democrat in his right mind would support it. The provisions of the Military Commissions Act are truly barbaric, dragging America back into legal standards that were last in effect in Medieval times.
Here’s some of what the Military Commissions Act does:
- Revokes habeas corpus
- Ends enforcement of the Geneva Conventions
- Legalizes torture
- Gives the President the power to imprison anyone he wants, without need for explanation, if the President declares the imprisoned person to be an “enemy”
- Ends the right to a speedy trial, allowing imprisonment without criminal charges for long periods of time – potentially for a lifetime
- Sets up show trials that allow conviction to happen before an investigation into the alleged criminal activity has even begun
- Allows the government to use secret evidence to convict defendants, which not even the defendants’ lawyers can see.
- Legalizes the use of testimony that was obtained through torture or other means of coercion – much as occurred at the Salem Witch Trials to force people to testify that their neighbors were witches
- Keeps the processes of trials, the results of the trials, and even the existence of the trials, secret from the American public
- Allows defendants and their lawyers to be prevented from cross examining witnesses, while placing no such restriction on the prosecution
- Ends the enforcement of the 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination
- Gives anyone suspected of war crimes, including President Bush himself, immunity from prosecution
The reaction of New York State’s Democratic blogosphere to Michael Arcuri’s decision to hold hands with George W. Bush and support the Military Commissions Act has been downright icy. Oneida County Democratic blogger Bob Hyde, for one, calls his blog the Weekly Democrat, but his writing has ground to a near halt, making his blog in effect the Week-and-a-Halfly Democrat, or the Every-Other-Weekly Democrat. He hasn’t even mentioned Mike Arcuri’s name since August, and now who can blame him?
Maimun Khan actually works on Michael Arcuri’s campaign, and attempted a half-hearted defense of the Military Commissions Act on her blog, and then gave up on the subject, trying to distract readers from the problem by writing about Mark Foley. Am I wrong, or is Mark Foley the crystal meth of this campaign season? Blasting Mark Foley gives a quick burst of energy that lasts a day or two, but doesn’t really further the campaign in a sustainable way. After all, how much does the lustful emailing of a Florida Congressman who has already resigned from office impact us up here in New York?
The pro-Arcuri blog You Go Mike doesn’t even count for this consideration, as its writer quit trying to support Michael Arcuri back in August.
The Working Families Party blog, is of course not strictly Democratic, but it works to support Democratic candidates across New York State. Since Michael Arcuri expressed his support for the Military Commissions Act, the Working Families blog has stopped writing articles promoting Arcuri’s campaign as well.
That leaves only one Democratic blog left writing about Michael Arcuri in the entire district – Take Back 24. The Take Back 24 blog recently announced that it is opposing Michael Arcuri’s election campaign because of the Military Commissions Act, urging voters to protest by voting for neither Arcuri nor Republican Ray Meier (who also supports the Military Commissions Act).
This was supposed to be the hottest congressional race in all New York State, but now it appears that the Democratic candidate has turned off Democratic writers so much that nobody from the district is supporting Michael Arcuri online – except Michael Arcuri himself, of course.