Saturday, September 23, 2006

Approve Unto Others What You Approve Done To Yourself

I've been catching up on my reading after being out of town and wanted to point people to an excellent series of posts on Bloggers Against Torture called The Truth About Torture (part 1), (part two), (part three), (part four), (part five), (part six).

Here's a quote of President Bush, included in part six:
"First, I'm asking Congress to list the specific, recognizable offense that would be considered crimes under the War Crimes Act so our personnel could know clearly what is prohibited in the handling of terrorist enemies."
Can you imagine a politician asking for the same sort of clarification on corruption?
"First, I'm asking Congress to list the specific, recognizable offense that would be considered crimes under the anti-corruption laws so our personnel could know clearly what is prohibited in the assigning of government contracts, earmarking government funds, personal favors, campaign contributions, quid pro quo and so on."
If there isn't a menu listing all the permutations of these crimes, how can our personnel know whether they are selecting actions on or off this menu? Honestly, if you have to ask, "Is this a war crime?" The answer is yes.

What the President is asking for is permission to keep all possible loopholes wide open.

For anyone who says terrorists deserve no respect and no rights and that only whacko liberals could have any concern for the treatment of terrorists, remember that our policies also serve as a template for our enemies and those who are uneasy about Americans. If we can do something to their citizens, they can do it to ours and we have no right to say they are acting illegally or immorally.

Think about what that could mean specifically.

If you were on vacation outside the US, would you want to be detained without charges and without any rights whatsoever? Would you want to be shipped from what you considered a safe country to a country where there are no rules? Would you want to be a ghost detainee? Would you want to be interrogated by someone who needs to check to see if what they are doing to you is on or off the list of war crimes?

If you are in the "anything goes for suspected terrorists" camp and also identify yourself as Christian, consider how you come across to non-Christians.

Atheist Ethicist: A Just God?

Is it not the case that this God they are supposed to be worshipping is a just God? Why would worshippers of a just God be so eager to throw out virtually all of the basic principles of justice?

There are some Christians who would be adamant that I'm either not a true Christian or that I have let myself be swayed away from God's true path because I have serious misgivings about the ethics of this administration and the way this administration seeks to exploit God and Christianity to market human actions as Godly actions.

While you think about the answers to the questions and issues raised so far, here's a question that may hit closer to home:

With the prevalence of identity theft in America, how can you be certain that someone out to harm the US won't use your identity and have their actions linked to your name and social security number?

How will you be able to prove that the terrorist activity done using your identity was committed by someone other than you? How will you know that you will even be allowed to present evidence that proves you couldn't have done what you were accused of doing without habeas corpus?

Do you really want to wait passively until this supposition becomes reality for you or someone you care about to know whether you will have all of the rights you expect to have?

As Clint Eastwood used to say in his role as Dirty Harry, "Do you feel lucky?"

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:58 AM   0 comments links to this post


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