The most important thing about today’s Supreme Court’s decision about Guantanamo prisoners is the Court’s view that the Geneva Conventions apply to them. The Bushies have been ignoring the Geneva Conventions in every possible way — not only holding war prisoners without trials but also using torture or sending them to countries that will torture them. Bush doesn’t believe in international law. His defiance of American law governing spying on Americans suggests he doesn’t believe in U.S. law either. The question now is whether his administration will obey the Supreme Court. The White House continues to argue that the President, in his role as Commander-in-Chief, stands above and apart from the other branches of government.
I’ve been spending time helping candidates in close House races. I think it likely the Democrats will win back the House in November. If they do, House Dems will be sorely tempted to hold extensive hearings on the lawlessness of the Bush White House. They might even extend their investigative gaze to the Florida election of 2000 and the Ohio election of 2004; in both cases, there’s mounting and convincing evidence of political tampering.
But I think it would be a grave mistake for House Dems to spend the next two years on such hearings. Yes, the Bush administration is lawless. But Democratic party hearings will not convince anyone of that fact who’s not already convinced. They’ll simply allow the White House to claim that all the fuss is nothing but partisan politics. I’d prefer House Dems spend two years putting forth a positive agenda for getting the nation back on track economically and in foreign policy.
Let the Supreme Court — now mostly hand-picked by Republican presidents — continue to reveal to the nation the lawlessness of the lawless and shameless Bushies.