Torture and Terror, Un-American Activities

I was sitting at the kitchen table going through my morning emails, reading the blogs I keep up with and generally doing what I do during the quiet of a Saturday morn when after checking out Fragments I started running Fred’s link list. Basically, I was looking for some new voices on what was happening in the world.

The voice that resonated this morning is from Chris Clarke of Creek Running North. His essay from yesterday about the latest fiasco our “elected” representatives have gotten into was entitled “I am an enemy combatant”. Chris is just one of the multitude of voices beginning to rise up out here in the real world, and he has a very eloquent way of putting the common outrage being felt by at least half of this country’s citizens.

For all its manifold faults, for all its history steeped in racism and genocide, for all its wars of empire and Know-Nothing heritage, this country was manifestly founded on the notion that a just government bases its authority in the consent of the governed. Now the Bush administration has declared that the interests of this country are coincident with, and limited to, the short-term interests of the administration and its corporate backers, and the most basic, most essential Constitutional rights of the citizenry be damned, not by the odious exceptionalism of privilege that marred this country’s history, but across the board. All of us are three-fifths of a person now, granted the privilege of full protection only if we do nothing that requires protection, unless we are unlucky enough to be falsely accused. And I withdraw my consent.

It is a slippery slope that this administration and this congress have started us down. At some point the slide is going to get out of control. Who will have their hand on the button when this slide careens into the chasm at the bottom? We all know what the button controls, the biggest stockpile of wmd’s this old world has ever seen. And a petulant, spoiled child seems to have the button…Does that thought make you feel safe and comforted?

One of the commenters on Chris’s site, Alice, had this to say about his post…

The past few days, I’ve been pondering the quotation “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just”, even as I worry whether a God that I don’t believe in will care if I don’t observe Yom Kippur. Your post impelled me to google the quotation, which tells me (a) that it’s from Thomas Jefferson’s denunciation of slavery in 1785; and (b) that a lot of other folks are also pondering this, in the context of this latest assault on the principles underlying the founding of our country.

Of all of the fool things George W has done since he moved into the real world of international bull-in-the-china-shop, “I am the Decider” self indulgence, setting himself up to lead this country into a dictatorship has got to be the ultimate. And all because he needed that gold-plated “Get out of Jail Free” card. Can’t depend on the Republican congress coming back to keep all of the investigations shut down. Can’t take a chance the Democrats may take over the House and actually, you know, start doing the oversite that the Constitution mandates Congress do. Hell, if the democracy should actually spring up in America, you never know what might happen, George W and Dick may find themselves extradited to the Netherlands to face a jury of their peers…right?

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…Torture is Torture, America does not make it a policy to torture. As Chris said, we do not have a perfect record, but as a rule we try. Now the rule will be that you can, and we have all seen were that can get you. Does anyone in Washington remember Abu Ghraib? When you make it a policy to allow torture, torture happens. When you give the President the right to imprison people, does anyone want to bet it won’t happen?

As this debate played out in the halls of Congress, I had faith that somehow this Congress would find it’s (pardon the loss of a better word) balls to stand up to the Dick and George Show and remember what it was they swore an oath to protect. Sure, I’ve heard all of the arguments about this only applies to non-citizens, but so what. I am already being lumped in with the terrorists because I don’t feel that George W and crew have kept me safe without destroying the very things that make us American.

How long will it be before my rights of citizenship depend upon my kowtowing to the ruling party?

Crossposted at Blues From the Red Side of Life

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