but the Buckwheat was burned coal-black by the lightning, and it was now like a dead weed upon the field

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Over the past few years others have pointed out the similarities between conservatives and Islamic fundamentalists: the general contempt for freedom, the view that popular culture is a threat to an orderly society, that men should be the arbiter’s of women’s behavior, that the best government is a theocracy, and that a few elite know what is best and the mass of men and women should follow along according to the elites infallible wisdom. Just as the jihadists have declared war on our unique American principles, so too have conservatives. Even like the jihadists the right-wing conservatives ultimately claim that regardless of the constitution and legal precedent their personal god (not to be confused with those that practice a religion of humility) is the ultimate source of the one and only absolute truth. When Do We Publish a Secret?

But the virulent hatred espoused by terrorists, judging by their literature, is directed not just against our people and our buildings. It is also aimed at our values, at our freedoms and at our faith in the self-government of an informed electorate. If the freedom of the press makes some Americans uneasy, it is anathema to the ideologists of terror.

Yes the Islamic terrorists are actually murdering people, but the right-wing conservative web sites and major news outlets are currently filled with the muderous fantasies of people, those conservatives are only American in the geographic sense. To read this swill is to wonder where or how they learned their values or lack thereof. One wonders if conservatives fantasize more about hanging liberals or jihadists. If they actually pushed away the cheetos and keyboard and used some that energy to fight terrorism instead of spreading unhinged hatred there would be few jihadists left. Bush supporters have dived head long into some nether world of reality, many are still connecting 9-11 with Iraq . Iraq was many things, but never the center or major exporter of jihadist terrorism. Given this president’s record and the unrelenting layers of lies of conservatives, it is obvious they are far more interested in covering up Bush’s treachery then protecting America, there is simply no way that a rational citizen can take them at their word for anything,

We understand that honorable people may disagree with any of these choices — to publish or not to publish. But making those decisions is the responsibility that falls to editors, a corollary to the great gift of our independence. It is not a responsibility we take lightly. And it is not one we can surrender to the government.

Even if we had good trustworthy government, our democratic traditions are best served with a little suspicion about an unparalleled level of secrecy and lack of oversight. Conservatives can scream from their echo chamber all day and it will not erase the fact that they have told lie after lie not just about Iraq, Afghanistan, and terrorism but every issue under the sun from education to taxes to the environment to science. To trust conservatives and especially this president to run secret programs without oversight is like trusting a child molesters to babysit your children. The chances that this will be the one time that they act with honor and integrity are less then zero.

Some have suggested that regardless of the Hamdan decision that Congress can simply pass a law that makes Bush’s secret tribunals OK, that is not the case, Hamdan Panel: Carlos Vázquez

Whether or not the Conventions are judicially enforceable by individuals in courts is separate from whether the Conventions bind the US and the president. Nothing in the case sets the president free from the Conventions. The administration relied on Eisentrager, but in that case the Court made clear that the Conventions were binding (even if they couldn’t be enforced by a court). All of the OLC opinions written in reliance on the administration’s interpretation will have to be revised.

As usual the right wants everyone to see the issue as caring about people have have beheaded others, about the rights of terrorists, but ist is not that simple. The issue is about innocent people being locked up without any legal recourse.
Poor General Powell’s hate mail is about to go up, he doesn’t think the die hard neocons have any respect for the constitution, THE HIDDEN POWER

According to someone who knows Powell, his comment about the article was terse. “It’s Addington,” he said. “He doesn’t care about the Constitution.” Powell was referring to David S. Addington, Vice-President Cheney’s chief of staff and his longtime principal legal adviser. Powell’s office says that he does not recall making the statement. But his former top aide, Lawrence Wilkerson, confirms that he and Powell shared this opinion of Addington.

“Media Matters”; by Paul Waldman

This week, the conservatives declared war.

Not on The New York Times. Not even on the media in general. No, this week the entire conservative movement — from the White House to Republicans in Congress to Fox News to right-wing talk radio to conservative magazines — declared war on the very idea of an independent press.

They declared war on the idea that journalists have not just the right but the obligation to hold those in power accountable for their actions. They declared war on the idea that journalists, not the government and not a political party, get to decide what appears in the press. They declared war on the idea that the public has a right to know what the government is doing in our name.

This is a profound threat to our democracy, and we underestimate it at our peril.

At this point what I wouldn’t give for the manufacturers of reality, otherwise known as conservative bloggers to get the issue right. It is not a question of whether Bush uses SWIFT to track terrorists banking transactions ( though the EU may have some legal problems with it) the issue is what it is another program that is being carried out as though Bush was emperor or rather like a little boy prince who hides things from Congress just for the pure juvenile thrill of hiding things. It serves no real national security function to not have congressional oversight and those not blinded by partisan loyality must at some point ask themselves that simple question about both the SWIFT program and the NSA. Americans by and large are supportive of extraordinary measures to track down and be proactive about stopping terrorists; what practical purpose does it serve to keep Congress out of the loop. It cannot be that Bush doesn’t trust the Intelligence Committe of the U. S. Senate? Can it? Information about programs have been leaked by both the administration when it feels it helps them and by whistleblowers with access to the programs. If nothing else Al Queda can find out all they want to know about what the president does and how he thinks by reading any conservative blog; no wonder the jihadists feel they can win.

“Bend your head like us,” said the Flowers.
“I’ve not the slightest cause to do so,” replied the Buckwheat.
“Bend your head as we do,” cried the various Crops. “Now the Storm comes flying on. He has wings that reach from the clouds just down to the earth, and he’ll beat you in halves before you can cry for mercy.”
“Yes, but I won’t bend,” quoth the Buckwheat.
“Shut up your flowers and bend your leaves,” said the old Willow-tree. “Don’t look up at the lightning when the cloud bursts: even men do not do that, for in the lightning one may look into heaven, but the light dazzles even men; and what would happen to us, if we dared do so—we, the plants of the field, that are much less worthy than they?”
“Much less worthy!” cried the Buckwheat. “Now I’ll just look straight up into heaven.”
And it did so, in its pride and vainglory. It was as if the whole world were on fire, so vivid was the lightning.
When afterward the bad weather had passed by, the flowers and the crops stood in the still, pure air, quite refreshed by the rain; but the Buckwheat was burned coal-black by the lightning, and it was now like a dead weed upon the field.

from the story The Buckwheat by Hans Christian Andersen