Olberman’s Special Comment: Death of Habeas Corpus: “Your words are lies, Sir.”

Crooks and Liars has the video and transcript.

Therefore, tonight, have we truly become, the inheritors of our American legacy. For, on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force, we now face what our ancestors faced, at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering:

And lastly, as promised, a Special Comment tonight on the signing of the Military Commissions Act and the loss of Habeas Corpus.

We have lived as if in a trance.

We have lived… as people in fear.

And now — our rights and our freedoms in peril — we slowly awake to learn that we have been afraid… of the wrong thing.

Therefore, tonight, have we truly become, the inheritors of our American legacy.

For, on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force, we now face what our ancestors faced, at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering:

A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to protect us from.

Update:

The video is up on YouTube for those who don’t feel like downloading it from CnL.

Stingray leaps into boat, stabs man in chest

It’s war now!!

MIAMI, Florida (Reuters) — A leaping stingray stabbed an 81-year-old Florida boater in the chest, authorities said Wednesday, leaving its poisonous stinger lodged close to his heart in an incident recalling the one that killed Australian TV naturalist Steve Irwin last month.

Fire Department officials in Lighthouse Point, about 30 miles north of Miami, said James Bertakis was in a small recreational boat with two grandchildren Tuesday when the spotted eagle ray leaped aboard and struck him.

“It’s just a real freak thing,” Lt. Mike Sullivan told Reuters, saying the incident occurred on Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway, where stingrays are rarely seen leaping in the air.

52 Year Old Soldier Killed in Iraq

From KATU.com:

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) – A Vancouver soldier is one of ten killed this week by a roadside bomb in Iraq.

Ron Paulson spent 14 years in the Army and then another 13 years as an inactive reservist. At 52 years old, he was called up for active duty.

When Paulson finished his service in 1992, soldiers were given a choice – take a lump sum of $30,000 and be done, or take an annual payment of $7,000 with a catch.

He said he went for the annual, but that meant he had to stay in the inactive reserve to get it, which is why he ended up getting called back in to service.

(via Whiskey Bar)

Can You Tell a Sunni From a Shiite?

From the NY Times:

A few weeks ago, I took the F.B.I.’s temperature again. At the end of a long interview, I asked Willie Hulon, chief of the bureau’s new national security branch, whether he thought that it was important for a man in his position to know the difference between Sunnis and Shiites. “Yes, sure, it’s right to know the difference,” he said. “It’s important to know who your targets are.”

That was a big advance over 2005. So next I asked him if he could tell me the difference. He was flummoxed. “The basics goes back to their beliefs and who they were following,” he said. “And the conflicts between the Sunnis and the Shia and the difference between who they were following.”

O.K., I asked, trying to help, what about today? Which one is Iran — Sunni or Shiite? He thought for a second. “Iran and Hezbollah,” I prompted. “Which are they?”

He took a stab: “Sunni.”

Wrong.

Al Qaeda? “Sunni.”

Right.

AND to his credit, Mr. Hulon, a distinguished agent who is up nights worrying about Al Qaeda while we safely sleep, did at least know that the vicious struggle between Islam’s Abel and Cain was driving Iraq into civil war. But then we pay him to know things like that, the same as some members of Congress.

Take Representative Terry Everett, a seven-term Alabama Republican who is vice chairman of the House intelligence subcommittee on technical and tactical intelligence.

“Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?” I asked him a few weeks ago.

Mr. Everett responded with a low chuckle. He thought for a moment: “One’s in one location, another’s in another location. No, to be honest with you, I don’t know. I thought it was differences in their religion, different families or something.”

Senate Voting Record for the Military Commissions Act of 2006

In case you are curious as to how the vote went.

Summary: Sidesteps the Supreme Court’s 2006 Hamdan v. Rumsfeld opinion that found the Administration’s plans to hold military tribunals were unconstitutional. Gives Congress’s OK to deny U.S. noncitizen detainees the writ of habeas corpus and to use coerced testimony and hearsay evidence against the defendant. Gives the President the power to name U.S. citizens and legal U.S. residents “unlawful enemy combatants.”