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We Are Not a Fearful People

The thing I love about the blogosphere is that you can randomly stumble around and then actually run smack into something brilliant. I found this comment left by “KevinK”.

We are not a fearful people.

We are a nation that insisted in the face of strong opposition from its allies on formal legal trials for the war criminals of Nazi Germany. Providing lawyers for the accused with evidence documented and presented. These were not show trials. Some were acquitted. Some were sentenced to prison. Some were executed.

This was not a fearful country. This was a proud country unafraid of the light.

This same country has now rejected the right of habeus corpus for any non-citizen it deems an enemy combatant.

What constitutes an enemy combatant? We don’t know. This administration has told us that we don’t have a right to know.

Why do conservatives defend this?

Men are being held year after year, never being accused, never being told why, never being able to stand up in the bright light of the rule of law and defend themselves.

Is this the country that you grew up in? It’s not the one I remember.

This country now kidnaps citizens of foreign countries and sends them on to other countries for interrogation. What kind of interrogation? We don’t know. We have been told that it is no longer our right to know what is being done in our name.

This does not make me hate Bush. This makes me sad. This brings me to tears when I remember the pride I once felt in my country.

These are the actions of a fearful people – afraid of the light that we have embraced throughout our history.

We now have complicated legal discussions about whether a technique called waterboarding is torture. A technique invented for use by Torquedo in the Spanish Inquisition, used by Pol Pot and declared illegal by our own government when it was discovered it had been used on our soldiers by the Japanese in the Phillipines – evidence of which was later used to convict the Japanese of war crimes.

This administration has said “we don’t torture.” But seems to think that changing the definition is enough to support that strong statement.

Is this the country you grew up in? I didn’t.

These are the actions of a fearful people. These are the actions of fearful country.

We are not a fearful people.

These are only the greatest hits of a long list of instances in which this administration has hid – from demanding telecom amnesty without ever detailing why the companies actions deserve protection even though a court has ruled that all the lawsuits have legal merit and deserve to be heard – to administration members refusing to respond to congressional supoenas and on and on and on.

What is everybody so afraid of? Why is everybody so afraid to vigorously defend and explain their actions?

When did we become a fearful people?

What are we afraid of?

A bearded lunatic hiding in a cave with a makeshift backdrop and a video camera?

This is the person who has the power to turn a mighty nation like ours into a quivering, shaking, secretive mess? This is the person who makes us turn our back on the rule of law and decency? On 300 or so years of a grand experiment that had the audacity to proclaim that every man has rights? A grand experiment that cobbled together people from hundreds of countries by telling them and believing that here we can create a society that rejects the the idea that power or class or religion or country of origin has anything to do with what a man truly is or what a man can become?

Is it him? The Shias? The Shiites? Hezbollah?

Is it possible that this beautiful country whose example has set the standard for human rights and decency – whose devotion to the rule of law and transparency has inspired so many could so quickly cower and reject the very principles that made it great?

Because of the pathetic, deluded Bin-Laden?

We are a better people than that.


Osama Bin Laden is not the man who changed us. These “changes” were waiting for an excuse. You know who did this to our country.

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