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October 23, 2009

Prisoner abuse cover-up passed under false pretenses

The Homeland Security appropriations bill passed both houses of Congress. It had one good provision that we cover on our blog.

However, the bill also included a provision to cover-up the prisoner abuse crime we told you about last week.

This cover-up provision couldn’t have passed on its own merits. That’s why the Congressional leadership attached it to the completely unrelated DHS funding bill.

We must force Congress to stop combining unrelated legislation into one bill. Protest what they did with the cover-up measure and tell your representatives to introduce and pass’s One Subject At A Time Act (OSTA).

Here’s what I wrote in my personal comments . . .

The Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 2892) is a perfect example of why we need OSTA. The prisoner abuse cover-up law it contained had absolutely nothing to do with the funding or activities of the DHS (Department of Homeland Security).

Those opposed to the cover-up measure had an ethical responsibility to oppose the bill as a whole. There was no urgency to pass this bill. Congress could have funded the DHS at current levels with a continuing resolution. That’s why I think a vote for H.R. 2892 was really a vote for the prisoner abuse cover-up.

Those who voted for this bill failed in their duty to uphold the law. Those who failed to protest the inclusion of the cover-up bill in unrelated legislation are likewise guilty. But it gets worse . . .

Jameel Jaffer notes that this law also paves the way for my government to hide nearly everything related to military activities during the Bush years.

I also believe this cover-up will put our troops in greater peril than if the photographic evidence of prisoner abuse was revealed. America’s enemies will say that . . .

 1. Our politicians are hypocritical when they demand openness from other countries
 2. Censoring the photos is evidence that they are more terrible than anyone can imagine
 3. Obama wants to cover-up this Bush-era scandal because he’s continuing the same policies

If “protecting the troops” can justify the cover-up of possible war crimes overseas, I fear Congress will next use “national security” as an excuse to hide government wrongdoing at home.

Please uphold the law and do your job as my representative. You can best achieve this by taking two actions . . .

 1. Introduce legislation to repeal the prisoner abuse cover-up law
 2. Introduce’s One Subject At A Time Act


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Jim Babka, President

P.S. Yesterday, and this morning, Downsize DC President Jim Babka was on air for radio interviews. Not all interviews are, or even can be posted here in these Dispatches. But we will post interviews on the blog, which features an RSS feed, as well as on our Twitter page, DDCDispatch. Please check the blog regularly, or sign up for the RSS feed, or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news.

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