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Friday, September 22, 2006

The Talk of "The Nation"

I was up late last night watching the premieres of Grey's Anatomy and ER . . . Great by the way! . . . And trying to catch up on my reading at the same time. (I finished my book about the friendship between Thoreau and Emerson, but haven't had time to write the review it deserves. Excellent book, that's all I'll say for now. Details to follow.) So I was reading the Sept. 25th issue of The Nation and it's an all encompassing analysis of the U.S. and its policies since 9/11.

So I start reading this column by David Cole and I just wanted to share a couple of paragraphs. Not because it's earth shattering news or analysis, but because I don't think that enough people know the facts.

The Bush Administration continues to try and scare us with threats of another terrorist attack if we don't allow the CIA to continue to use torture and other extreme means to get information from suspects. Dubyah also says that if we were to leave Iraq now it would be a victory for the insurgents and set Iraq up as a training ground amid the chaos for terrorists. (Isn't that what's happening now?) He claims that the language used in the Geneva Conventions articles regarding the treatment of POWs and "people of interest" is vague (as it is intended to be so that those in power don't come anywhere near crossing it) and therefore he can say with certainty that the U.S. doesn't cross those boundaries. That if Congress tries to pass legislation that holds interrogators responsible, in a legal and criminal sense, for their actions if they are shown to have crossed the guidelines setup in the Geneva Conventions then Dubyah will be forced to shut down the interrogation program altogether and the U.S. will be vulnerable to future terrorist attacks.


There are so many things wrong with what he says that I hope they are glaring to those of you reading this. I don't have the time or patience to go through each and every ludicrous statement that comes out of his mouth. But to have the balls to stand in front of the world and defend the torture of human beings for "national security reasons" is appalling . . . . And people wonder why foreign leaders have called him "the devil" and "a tyrant" in their own speeches at the U.N.

But I digress. Just read the following paragraphs and keep them in the back of your mind the next time that propaganda machine known as the President is spewing lies with his latest soundbyte on the evening news:

"More than 5,000 foreign nationals within the United States were locked up in anti-terrorism initiatives in the first two years after 9/11 - yet as I have noted before, not a single one has been convicted of a terrorist crime. The Special Registration program also came up short. It required 80,000 immigrants from countries with predominantly Arab and Muslim populations to come into immigration offices for interviews, fingerprinting and photographing. Yet it failed to identify and convict a single terrorist . . .

"In the President's eyes, the threat of terrorism has justified warrantless spying on Americans, detention without charges of thousands around the world and at home, unprecendented intrusions on privacy, close monitoring of Quakers and other anitwar dissenters, and the torture of suspects at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere - all in the name of making us safe . . . it appears we have sacrificed liberty for security, and obtained neither."

Scary, isn't it? Special Registration program? Secret dententions? Torture? Makes you proud to be an American, doesn't it?

This isn't the America I grew up believing in and I will do what I can when I vote in November to stop this madness.


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