[Vision2020] Gitmo

keely emerinemix kjajmix1 at msn.com
Wed Jun 18 13:53:59 PDT 2008

Andreas, I don't know when I've read a more cogent analysis of liberty, justice, and terrorism.  Thank you.

And I feel fortunate that you're going to be a lawyer, because reasonableness of the type you demonstrate here hasn't seemed to be all that common in law or government these days.


> Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 23:41:14 -0700
> From: ophite at gmail.com
> To: donovanjarnold2005 at yahoo.com
> CC: vision2020 at moscow.com
> Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Gitmo
> > Individual rights are important. Very important. But understand, they are
> > not more important than rights of an entire nation to be safe and free from
> > being blown up at work, school, or home.
> Donovan --
> Individual rights and the rule of law are, in fact, more important
> than the "right" to be safe and free from being blown up. Americans
> die in hurricanes and of heart attacks; they die of bee stings and car
> bombings. We die whether or not our government fights terrorism, but
> the way in which we live and die is shaped in no small part by the
> actions of our government.
> Our nation has made a conscious decision that we are to be a liberal
> democracy and not an autocratic security state. This has costs, and
> like virtually all of the costs of government action, from Medicare
> deductibles to Army Corps of Engineers levees to free speech, these
> costs are measured in human lives.
> It's popular to talk about the way in which our military pays the
> price for the freedoms which we take for granted. But not enough
> Americans are willing to shoulder the burden of American civilian
> deaths for our principles. I'm fairly sure those deaths have happened.
> A competent antiterrorism policy, based around the principle that had
> prevented foreign terrorist attacks on American soil for fifty years,
> could have prevented 9/11. A policy of arbitrary detention of
> immigrants from Arab nations could quite likely have done likewise,
> though it would have likely spurred more and worse attacks. We chose
> not to do that. Rightly so.
> Guantanamo is an attempt to covertly renegotiate the social contract
> that states that there are certain things which we will not do: that
> we will not torture or arbitrarily detain people; that we will treat
> our enemies with respect whether or not they deserve it, because of
> the code we live by, rather than the way they would treat us were our
> situations reversed.
> I would object less if it were done out in the light: if we had made
> no attempts to deny what we were doing. But this attempt to undercut
> the Constitution and the Geneva Convention under cover of secrecy,
> "for our own safety," corrupts our culture without forcing us to have
> a conversation about the risks we are willing to take for the
> principles that lie at the very heart of our culture.
> -- ACS
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