Tuesday, February 21, 2006
GOP Hates Rule Of Law
The Republicans have told their talk-radio and blogger buddies to push the lie that any discussion of crimes committed by Americans in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo or anywhere else "to fight the war on terror" is somehow bad. As usual, the Bush/GOP response when caught doing something wrong is not to admit guilt, but to attack the people who caught them. Whatever happened to the rule of law in this country? Bush and his tame conservative media friends claim that it will be bad for us if news about the atrocities we've committed gets out to the Muslim world. But the Muslim world not only knows about it, they've been living it for over three years now. They know more about it than do most Americans -- especially about certain things such as the fact that most of the persons jailed at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and other US-run or US-sponsored torture sites are innocent of anything having to do with terrorism, and so are being tortured for no good reason. Here's some national media contact info: National: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com; National Public Radio: 1-800-989-TALK (8255); MSNBC: 1-888-MSNBC-USA.
Born in Boston in 1952, he is the son of a Hungarian mother, Klara, and a Cuban father, Lidio, both of whom left behind Communist regimes for America. Klara's father, who had been a lawyer in Hungary, joined her in exile just before the Soviet Union took control. From the time Alberto was a small boy, Klara Mora told me, he heard from his grandfather the message that "the law is sacred." For the Moras, injustice and abuse were not merely theoretical concepts. One of Mora's great-uncles had been interned in a Nazi concentration camp, and another was hanged after having been tortured. Mora's first memory, as a young child, is of playing on the floor in his mother's bedroom, and watching her crying as she listened to a report on the radio declaring that the 1956 anti-Communist uprising in Hungary had been crushed. "People who went through things like this tend to have very strong views about the rule of law, totalitarianism, and America," Mora said.
At the time, Mora's family was living in Cuba. His father, a Harvard-trained physician, had taken his wife and infant son back in 1952. When Castro seized power, seven years later, the family barely escaped detention after a servant informed the authorities that they planned to flee to America. ...
Mora was shocked when Brant told him that the abuse [at Guantanamo] wasn't "rogue activity" but was "rumored to have been authorized at a high level in Washington." The mood in the room, Mora wrote, was one of "dismay." He added, "I was under the opinion that the interrogation activities described would be unlawful and unworthy of the military services." Mora told me, "I was appalled by the whole thing. It was clearly abusive, and it was clearly contrary to everything we were ever taught about American values."
Mora thinks that the media has focussed too narrowly on allegations of U.S.-sanctioned torture. As he sees it, the authorization of cruelty is equally pernicious. "To my mind, there's no moral or practical distinction," he told me. "If cruelty is no longer declared unlawful, but instead is applied as a matter of policy, it alters the fundamental relationship of man to government. It destroys the whole notion of individual rights. The Constitution recognizes that man has an inherent right, not bestowed by the state or laws, to personal dignity, including the right to be free of cruelty. It applies to all human beings, not just in America-even those designated as 'unlawful enemy combatants.' If you make this exception, the whole Constitution crumbles. It's a transformative issue."
(thanks to Avedon)
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