In the beginning there was a revolution. Talk of revolution whispered through the ranks of community leaders. The whispering was necessary because if King George III heard of the treasonous acts he would have the perpetrators jailed, and the possibly deported to some far off prison colony – all with out the benefit of due process. The leaders finally agreed on revolution, a Declaration of Independence was drafted, and the participants secretly stole into Philadelphia to sign the now historic document.
Many years later, after a long fought war for independence, these same men drafted a Constitution. They were careful to include a Bill of Rights – the rights of individuals. Included in this bill of rights was protection from an errant government.
This guarantee of due process for all, regardless of the seriousness of accusations, has been held sacred for over two hundred years. There have been times in our colorful history when egregious violations have been perpetrated by government officials. And today all historians hold their nose when reporting on the dastardly acts by former leaders. We can note here the lack of due process granted to slaves, and later to freed African Americans, and the concentration camps of WWII to house Japanese Americans. These historical events are considered by most to be black eyes on a nation formed on the basis of freedom of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The administration of George Bush and Dick Cheney has blacked the eyes of this great nation once again. I am in no way defending the vile acts of terrorism or the perpetrators of terrorist acts – but one vile act does not justify another – particularly valie acts by our government against the principles under which it was founded.
President Elect Barack Obama has said that he will close GITMO – the ‘enemy combatant prison at Guantanamo Bay Cuba.” Vice President Cheney says Obama is wrong. Sam Brownback, the Republican Senator from Kansas, does not want the ‘enemy combatants’ sent to the Federal Prison in Leavenworth, Kansas. What is wrong with these people?
None of us are happy about the terrorist attacks on our country. None of us have any sympathy for the terrorists. But each of us should have great sympathy and regard for our constitution. Each of us should be scared to death that a modern President can choose to have the power to disregard the law of our land.
Barack Obama is not saying we should turn the prisoners loose – but Barack Obama is a Constitutional Lawyer – he understands the consequences of ignoring the greatest document of government ever written in the history of man. Obama understands what it means to ‘preserve and protect the constitution.’
If a President can arbitrarily decide which part of the constitution he can ignore – then he is not protecting us from anyone – he is threatening us from within.
King George W. Bush does not know what he does. Either that – or he just does not care.