Pan-African News Wire Editor, Abayomi Azikiwe, Protesting the Exclusion of David Sole From US Senate Debate at the Detroit Economic Club, Oct. 18, 2006 (Photo: Patricia Lay-Dorsey)
Originally uploaded by panafnewswire.
Why, Senator Stabenow, WHY?
Courtesy of Patricia Lay Dorsey
Today I found out that I am not the only Michigander who is outraged by our Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow's vote in favor of the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Heather is another. And her sister and brother "detainees" and even "George W. Bush" and "Dick Cheney" came out today to say, "Shame on Stabenow!" (Writer refers to guerrilla theater activists dressed as Bush and Cheney).
There were probably 30-40 of us who took to the streets today in front of the Marriott Hotel in the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. The Detroit Economic Club was sponsoring a debate between Senator Stabenow and her Republican challenger, Mike Bouchard, that was scheduled to start at noon. And the fact that there were only two candidates debating was another reason for our protest.
David Sole, the Green Party candidate for Senate--the ONLY anti-war candidate, I might add--had been excluded from the debate. David had filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission after the Detroit Economic Club did not respond to his request to be included in the debate. He called it a violation of FEC laws, but to no avail: the exclusion stood.
Only one member of the press took any notice of us, but we knew we were doing what had to be done. (Later Univision, the Latino TV network, the Metro Times, the Detroit News, Critical Moment Newspaper and Metro Networks Radio covered the action).
On my drive downtown this morning, I'd rehearsed what I might say if asked why I was out there. Well, no one asked but I'll tell you, my readers:
I am out here because I consider it my civic duty to hold Senator Stabenow accountable for her vote in favor of the Military Commissions Act of 2006. This Senate has passed countless bad bills in the past six years, but none as dangerous to our Constitution and system of government as this one.
By voting for the Military Commissions Act of 2006, Senator Stabenow--a Democrat--endorsed torture and CIA extraordinary renditions, eliminated habeas corpus for anyone said to be an "unlawful combatant," and gave retroactive immunity to the President and all those who have brazenly violated the U.S. War Crimes Act of 1996. But the most distressing aspect of this bill is how it legally expands presidential powers while eliminating the checks and balances upon which our democracy was founded.
The eleven Democratic senators who joined Senator Stabenow in voting for this bill are all running for re-election. I believe they voted on politics not principle. Well, I am out here today on principle NOT politics.