Friday, December 13, 2013

Rule of Law in a Free Society

     I read with some bemused interest today John McCain’s latest umbrage with the policies of Hif Majeftie, Barack Obama. This concerns the well-hoped-for release of the Congressional Report on Torture, which Mr. McCain (and many concerned Americans) would like to see, for themselves. How far the USA is willing to go to forego its own regulations (or international obligations) and Constitutional guarantees to citizen and non-citizen alike has become a bellwether for indications of how close or how far America comes to upholding the principles upon which it was founded, and attests to still adhere to (with ever-less visual confirmations).
     Senator McCain “does not mourn the death of any terrorist” he says, last of all, Bin Laden. Neither do I necessarily, however I add my own caveats to all that. The killing of Osama Bin Laden, while welcomed by most all Americans, took place outside of the theater of due process. Granted this- that Bin Laden at least received the notice of any official indictment (something which neither Anwar Awlaki, Al Qaeda propagandist, nor his son Abdulrahman, a youth with no connection whatsoever  to AQ except his own “attainted” blood-relationship to his father) happened to get- but yet, Bin Laden was not arrested, by the forces sent to apprehend him. Nor was he brought to the scene of his crime, to answer for it. Although he had admitted it. Instead, lynch mob justice prevailed, shoot-to-kill orders were invoked, and he was granted his most fervent wish- to become a martyr at the hands of the US Government. Here again, another indication of how little those charged with directing our military have had to do with the common sense compiled in Sun Tzu’s Art of War. But I digress.
     Terrorists are criminals. Do not legitimize them by arguing “we are at war”... We are NOT at war unless we receive a CONGRESSIONAL DECLARATION OF WAR. All other use of representative force is nothing but a run-around of the Constitution. Apparently, for the past seventy years, Congress has been too lazy to invoke this, or (more likely) the “threats” the nation faces have been truly unworthy of such a measure. Which is my own suspicion. Do not lend the cause of terrorists legitimacy by invoking them as a state enemy, even if their propaganda itself declares “jihad” against a certain society. Defining them as military opponents lends them a legitimacy they do not deserve. For in just such ways we have noted how little of the freedoms we claim they reject actually still hold sway in our own Republic.
      Nor by our surrendering the protections guaranteed by our Fourth and Fifth Amendments do we protect “our cherished values,” but we actually achieve the stated goals, OF those terrorists that oppose us, by our becoming a super-totalitarian police state under which all citizens become terror suspects as the targets of brain-dead “collect it all” surveillance.
     Something else which flies under the same flag, is the notion of the “Warrior Policeman-Hero.” This idea gains momentum through popular culture easily, spread by prolefeed programs such as “Homeland” (the very word of which echoes the Nazi concept of “Heimat”). Higher standards of bravery are needed for a culture of policemen so threatened by a family’s PETS that deadly force is often applied. The number of dead-by-cop dogs (and even birds!) is adding up. Obviously more bullies and chickenshit-enforcers are being recruited by law enforcement nationwide, to an extent that one begins to think perhaps such a profile has become a matter of hiring policy for too many police departments. The police state’s fear-mongering propaganda (which again, plays out in programs like “Homeland”) is a sure means of reinforcing the idea that it is necessary for the members of a free society to hunker down like sheep, while the wolves hired to protect them go about winnowing their own flock of truth-tellers and “malcontent elements” and “radicalizers.” As persons who defend the Constitution are increasingly derided as “radicals” or “potential terrorists” rather than the “true believers” in American justice which they are, yet opposed to what they rightly see as ever-increasing totalitarian encroachment, one wonders what will be left of “Freedom” —when the wolves have finished feeding.

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