Tuesday, June 26, 2007

JMO - Bring back our humanity

Like everyone since 9/11 I've listened over and over about the capture, detention and processing of "illegal enemy combatants", the term used by George Bush and the rest of the White House Administration about the prisoners at Gitmo and in the CIA-run secret prison sent there under the practice of extraordinary rendtion. And I've followed the trials of all the "terrorists" discovered and arrested by the FBI in the US. I personally think we're going down the slippery slope into a place we have long criticized other nations for their brutality.

I'm not saying all of those at Gitmo are just ordinary citizens, and given the opportunity, some might engage or support actions against the US military overseas, and at the extreme, may plan and be involved in actions against Americans here in the US. What I have a problem with is that fact the majority of them were not captured on the battlefield and many weren't even in Afghanistan at the time of their capture. In other words they were arrested for reasons no one really knows, and relying solely on the US military to prove their guilt is suspect at best.

Well, I got to thinking about this lately listening to the radio show today (6/26/07) To the Point about Dick Cheney and his work to eviscerate the CIA under the George Bush Presidency. While I'm no fan of the CIA, I'm less of fan of Dick Cheney and his efforts to consolidate power under his secret work in the disguise of fighting terrorism.

We have become the laughing stock of the world about civil liberties and human rights. No one believes anymore that we stand for democracy and freedom. They see all of Bush's talk as rhetoric. If he really believed what he says, he would move all the prisoners to the States and put them on trial in civilian courts. But he knows he can't because the cases would be thrown out or lost. So he has the Justice Department dancing around the legal hoops to keep them in Gitmo.

The reputation of the US as the leader in the world on the issues of democracy - well sometimes because we have a history of supporting military coups and dictators, like Saddham Hussein, and human rights - well sometimes because we have supported governments engaged in human rights abuses even providing training and intelligence. But never has our reputation been so low that even our friends criticize us.

I hope the next President changes this, but like many things of late by those in Washington DC, I'm not holding my breath. George can do a lot more damage in his remaining months and the next President may find they like the power George has stolen from the citizens. But we need a rebellion if they don't return us to civility and humanity.

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