Sunday, September 10, 2006

Post 9/11- Have we lost our way?

A New York Times article today, read here, cites interrogation techniques used on the terrorist Abu Zabaydah, a close associate of Osama Bin Laden. The article raises several questions with me on the issue of the rights of prisoners in this war on terror. I have written extensively on the Geneva Convention in past Blogs and will spare you a repeat of the information now. But I have personal doubts as to whether, as a Nation, we have lost our way.

I am convinced that every time we use suspect techniques for interrogation we lose a part of the America we were once proud of and get closer to those we abhor, the terrorists. The fact that they show no concern for civilians in this war on us, and it is clearly a war, allows us to hate them and behave in ways that brings out the worst of humanity. Hitler and his gang used experimental techniques in interrogation on the Jews during WWII, going far beyond anything humane reaching the depths of depravity and suffering and finally culminated by ending their lives. As a people when we have seen photos of the treatment of the Jews back then we are repulsed and horrified by what we see. Is this what we want to become? Is the price of security worth this? You may wonder why I chose to compare our interrogation of terrorists to Nazi Germany. It is because the techniques are secret and one can only imagine at this point in time what they are doing in these secret prisons. I would bet when the truth is known years from now, it will be uncovered that many lower level terrorists captured were actually killed during interrogation.

Now we want Congress to codify the use of these techniques so they are "legal", meaning they aren't now nor have they been illegal. They were definitely a violation of the spirit of the Geneva Convention if not the actual law itself. I claim that those who authorized torture, all the way to the President, Vice President, Donald Rumsfeld, and Alberto Gonzales, are all guilty of War Crimes, but that's for another posting.

We have lost our image and moral ground with the citizens of the world, over this and the invasion of Iraq. I am looking for a Congress that restores America's image to where it was when JFK was President and we were reaching for the loftiness of the Moon, and the ideals of the Peace Corps, from a world that has gone mad. We must once again become the beacon for the free world. We must examine what policies we want to stand for in the company of Nations. And we must look at past strategies we have employed as a nation, which causes people to want to kill us through killing themselves. We, you and I, created this mess and until we are willing to look at this problem that way, we will never determine how to change it. Accountability is what is lacking most with our leaders - Our President, VP, Republican led Congress and even the Supreme Court Justices, who decided the 2000 election, lack accountability. And so we, as citizens, must be willing to face this inevitable truth and liberate ourselves from this deception and lack of accountability, by those we have elected to serve us, and start with a change of Congress in the upcoming elections in November. Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, as both are often playing games, with serious matters of life and death hanging in the balance, you must vote for a Democratically controlled Congress and Senate so that true oversight begins. Otherwise my friend, you will be responsible for how we continue to have no friends around the world and will be supporting the terrorist cause and their inflicted pain and suffering of all Westerners, including your family members right here!


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