Friday, June 22, 2007

On The Guantanamo Bait and Switch

All of my enthusiasm from yesterday was misplaced. The White House apparently canceled the meeting set to discuss closing Guantanamo because it broke in the press. Oh well.

In reply to my last post a good friend asked, "If constitutional rights are conferred to non-citizens then what is the point of citizenship?" This point is the one that causes me the most consternation. We as Americans have spent our time as an imperial power spreading the great gift of our Constitution to those in the far reaches of the planet. We made evil empires in Germany and Japan model western democracies with free and peaceful people. Yet it seems that today we tell the world that it needs to turn to democratic freedoms, but if you were not born in the 50 states we can treat you however we damn well please. We tell the Iraqis to embrace the rule of law, but we keep our captives in a lawless nether-region. I would ask; if it is so incontrovertible that these people are so dangerous, what is the fear that this cannot be proven in court? Why is it that we feel we cannot let these people play by the rules that we tell the world are the best? It is not that constitutional rights are being given to non-citizens, it is that we seem unable to play by our own rules. If we cannot play by our own rules, then why do we even have them?

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