|February 28, 2006|
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
How can the President of the United States and those that blindly support his actions tell the people of the United States that we do not participate in torture? How can those that make such false statements defend them with any sense of morality? To do so is a sin. To do so is to speak falsely. I challenge those of you that can stare so blankly into the camera or boldly make spurious statements to explain the case of Maher Arar.
Mr. Arar is a Canadian citizen who was taken into custody at Kennedy airport in 2002 while returning from a family vacation. As his NAME would suggest he is of Middle Eastern descent. Mr. Arar was then taken to a detention center in Brooklyn. His "truth" was not the truth that this administration and the culture it has allowed to pervade across this land was looking for. They wanted to save America, regardless of the laws that were violated or the American principles that it desecrated. So Mr. Arar was sent off to a rat-infested prison in Syria and subjected to brutal torture techniques for 10 months. It was the United States government that sent Maher Arar to Syria under the auspices of "extraordinary rendition."
Mr. Arar was finally released, because HE WAS INNOCENT!!!! And to add insult to injury, when Mr. Arar tried to sue the United States for his loss and injuries he was denied, because in the eyes of the United States the case would cause harm to our National Security.
Thus when President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and any others who go before the public and claim that the United States does not participate in torture it is just one more lie, one more attempt to cover up the egregious acts that have taken place under this administration to ignore the very principles on which we were founded.
The horrific attack on September 11th, 2001 did not justify such actions. It is under these very sorts of challenges that our adherence to the ideals and genius of our Founding Fathers should be at our strongest. To be a free people takes courage by both the citizenry and our elected officials. Our elected officials do not have the honor of sitting in Washington DC to simply rubber stamp the ideology of the President, nor are they there as either a Republican or Democrat, they are there as a representative of the people of this Republic for which it stands. I ask them to have the courage of those ideals. Torture is a shameful and UNAMERICAN activity that is the tactic of cowards.
In closing, and on a lesser note, a VA Nurse in Albuquerque, New Mexico has been charged with Sedition simply because she spoke out against the policies of George W. Bush. If this were the 1770's and John Adams was President and the very future of our nation was in question as an infant nation, then, perhaps such an action might be appropriate, but it is not proper in either case. How does the person who levied such a charge remain in the employ of the United States? In any event, I suppose the torture would follow a conviction of Sedition. It is just one more shameful act, and misguided modern ideals of patriotism.
Democracy's Regression (TomPaine)
What those that precipitate such actions misunderstand is that a culture of "my country right or wrong" is not Patriotism, it is "Nationalism." To hold our country liable for the very principles on which it was founded, even if that means speaking out when others are afraid to do so, is an act of Patriotism.
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