Wednesday, June 04, 2008


June 3.

Diane and I spoke, without incident. The Mayor basically ignored us and blathered most of the time with his cohorts.

Mayor, council members, good evening. This is my seventeenth appearance here in behalf of this resolution.

There are those who try to portray what we say here as mostly opinions, rather than matters of fact. I can only respond by saying that simply isn't true.

I will tell you that if I can write one of these little talks in under three hours, I've done amazingly well. One reason for that is due to the time I take reading and researching the facts. I've always believed that facts would hold more sway here than mere opinions.

So, it is not simply my opinion that the Bush Administration lied to get us into a war. That is a fact.

Nor is it my opinion that then Secretary of State Colin Powell presented an array of lies to the U.N. to justify the invasion, complete with fraudulently interpreted satellite photos. That, too, is a fact.

It is not mere opinion that we invaded a sovereign country. Nor that under the U.N. and the Nuremburg Charters, such an invasion constitutes a war of aggression and is therefore defined as a war crime.

Nor is it my opinion, but a fact, that these charters are treaties to which our country is a signatory, and that according to Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, all treaties made by us “shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”

That the U.S. has suspended the law of habeas corpus, that it has held people captive for years without due process, that people held by us have been brutalized, driven insane, and even murdered by the use of torture—these are facts, not my opinion.

It is not my opinion that in a memo of March 14, 2003, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo dismissed the Geneva Conventions, the Convention Against Torture, the Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Amendments, and the federal statutes against war crimes and torture. That is a fact.

The Bush Administration has flatly said that at Guantanamo, the Constitution does not apply. That, too, is a fact. And now, here comes an opinion, or maybe just a question.

If the Constitution does not apply at Guantanamo, then why on earth is our flag still flying over that place? If the Constitution has been effectively shredded and neutralized, what possible meaning could still exist in the flag of our country?

Just wondering.

It was opinions that put thirty-three innocent men behind bars in Texas. It was facts that recently got them out. And it was opinions that got us into war in Iraq rather than the intelligence, which was ignored.

I understand the need some people have to portray what we say here as mere opinions. It's so much easier to say, “We don't share your opinion,” than it is to say, “We disagree with the facts.”

If all we have here is a difference of opinion, then it becomes easy for those in positions of power to ignore the elephant in the room and do nothing.

Thank you.


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