not doubleplusungood, but ungood nevertheless
14 September 2006, 11:56 AM
This is minor, and really counts as Just Another Awfulness, nothing compared to the people that have been killed, maimed, tortured, wrongfully imprisoned, or bankrupted. But the ways Our Only President and his Republican Congress fuck with language makes YHB vomit, not because it’s worse than their policies, which, you know, couldn’t happen, but because it’s so unnecessary, vile and crude.
During a Tuesday meeting of the House Republican conference, Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) unveiled a handy new rhetorical device aimed at furthering House Republicans tough-on-terrorism national security agenda.
Instead of referring to military tribunals as, well, the military tribunals that they are and have been known as throughout their entire existence, House Republicans should start referring to them as “terrorist tribunals,” to emphasize the bad guys they will be trying. (Very clever. Never mind that good ol’ American adage “innocent until proven guilty.”)
But even after Pryce’s instructions, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) needed a reminder. When he rose to speak about next week’s floor schedule, according to our fly on the wall, he mentioned “military tribunals for suspected terrorists.” He then caught himself, looked at Pryce, and asked, “What is it again?”
Pryce corrected Boehner, who then amended his speech with the by-the-playbook phrase “terrorist tribunals.”
In addition to the presumption of guilt—which is nauseating enough—there’s the fact that we know more or less what military tribunals are and what their rules are, a terrorist tribunal could be anything. Including just taking them out and shooting them. In fact, the image in my mind of a terrorist tribunal is not so much civilized people judging allegations of terrorism but terrorists deciding what targets to strike. A terrorist tribunal is Jacque One, Jacque Two and Jacque Three deciding that a particular aristocratic head is for Little Saint Guillotine, Jacque Three gnawing on his hands, hoping only for more heads.
Not that Our Only President would countenance such things. No, he just wants his Republican Congress to legislate terrorist tribunals. Because all their earlier work has failed, and they need a new ground for failure. And do you know? All those failures—that’s why this President and his Republican Congress are so unpopular.
chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek,