Monday, May 25, 2009

Sell Your Soul for Security

Would you sell your soul for security?

Sounds like the opening lines in some story I had to read in American Lit…Daniel Webster or Mark Twain or somebody like that.

However, this question is no dead writer's conundrum or some school morality play by bored adolescences dreaming of the big time. It's being played out right now. Obama gives a speech in Constitutional Hall or some place like that with a bunch of Founding Father type dudes in old pictures behind him. I don't know where Cheney spoke. Some conservative think tank, truth-in-policy special interest group like Friends for Truth in America, or a Republican Party enclave, which is the same thing and makes one question the term "think tank".

And the blogs went wild.

Did Obama know Cheney was going to give the speech he gave or was it the other way around?

I wrote the Explainer at Slate magazine the following:
In the recent speech off on Gitmo, whose speech was scheduled first? I know Obama spoke before Cheney by a few minutes, but whose speech was scheduled first? Who knew the other was speaking – first?

I don't know if those explainers over at Slate will take up the question and give us insight into how this bit of political maneuvering came about, but I'm thinking Cheney or his folks found out about Obama speech and decided to respond – or more to react, as that is a hallmark for this group.

Cheney is definitely a character from Dr. Strangelove, but I can't decide if he is General Buck Turgidson or General Jack D. Ripper.

Maybe appealing to people's lesser instincts is like doing dope. The conservatives just can't give up a good argument that has served them so well in the past. Trying to touch a nerve that has kept them in power is just to tempting a maneuver. They can't keep from doing it. They just can't say no.

If you have read this blog, you know I think they should close Gitmo. And at a MoDo post here. They should have never opened it. It's wrong, it's an abomination, it's French or Russia or German or Japanese, but it's not American. Some how it has gotten out in the world that Americans are softies who can be taken advantage of, who have no international understandings, and who in spite of all these short coming built the system that everyone wants to emulate in some form or fashion. Our system is our best asset.

We don't need to torture people to see it our way. Sitting through another beach movie should be torture enough for anyone or a waterboarding of reality TV until you agree to whatever I'm trying to sell. That's the type of torture for which Americans are noted. As flippant as I might be, part of the torture technique at Gitmo was playing really bad rock'n'roll, really loud, for a really long time. What is torture to someone from an obscure valley in Afghanistan is heaven to a valley girl. But who's counting?

To continue with facilities like Gitmo and the rendering of prisoners to places that would not be allowed on U.S. soil, is selling our collective soul for the sake of security. I have security but I lost my soul. Is that a fair trade off?

People stood by a watched as Native Americans were move to a less threatening part of the country and Americans of Japanese origin when concentrated in the name of security, and now we say we were wrong. We lost a bit of our soul then, and we are losing it now as long as Gitmo stays open.






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