One of the best weapons against terrorists, homegrown or foreign, is the alertness of us citizens. We have been very lucky so far this year that citizens recognized and took action against two would-be bombers. The latest incident involving a Pakistan-American citizen also showcased the quick action of the New York police and federal authorities, despite some mistakes, in apprehending the suspect after a citizen reported to an officer that he had seen smoking coming from a parked car in Times Square.
What bothers me is why American citizens of Middle Eastern descent attack America. Both the the Army base killer and the car bomber are US citizens. Neither of them seemed to be poor and both apparently had done well as US citizens. Yet, they chose to bite the hand that fed them. I find it hard to believe it was entirely due to Islamic ideology when they could look around them and see that the radical ideology of some islamists is not true about America.
We are not perfect. We are not as some want to claim exceptional. We are still a nation trying to figure out who we are. Some want to go against some of our most cherished values in fighting terrorism. They want to take away the citizenship of anyone who is accused of an act of terrorism even before they have been convicted. Why do they want to do this? To deprive the suspect of the basic American right not to talk to authorities without a lawyer.
And let us not forget the brouhaha over torture.
The threat of terrorism, it seems, has made some us lose our minds.
Many folks want the lawyers who wrote the torture memos and the doctors and psychologists who devised the methods of torture to be punished for giving wrong advice to the President of the United States.
The philosopher of common sense thinks the wrong people are being blamed for the torture of “prisoners of war” held by the US government. Sure the staff people gave the advice, but consider this, would they have given the advice if they hadn’t been asked or probably told to justify what some in the Administration at the time had already decided to do? The Decider didn’t have to follow the advice. The Decider or someone close to him could have said “this is wrong.”
You are a doctor or a psychologist and are asked to come up with ways to make prisoners talk. Two choices: quit or do the job. You are told the president needs your help to defend the nation against the terrorists who might stage another attack any day now. The prisoners, you are told, may have valuable information that could prevent another attack on the US. You come up with some methods. Again, the Deciders don’t have to use the methods. But, they believe the methods will get results and haven’t their staff lawyers justified the use of torture as legal?
The blame, it seems to the philosopher of common sense, belongs with the person or persons who made the decision to torture “prisoners of war” to extract information.
Okay, now yo’all clambering for prosecution of them lawyers who gave President Bush and his gang some really bad legal advice. How come yo’all want to prosecutor the messenger and not the ones who made the decision and okay the policy that said torturing them terrorists was not against the law.
Now common sense tells me yo’all once again want to hold the little guy responsible and not the big boys. Hey, says common sense, ifn you gon prosecute the messenger, then you got to prosecute them what asked for the message. That’s right, you got to prosecute the president, vice president, and secretary of defense in the Bush administration.
And I aint so sure you shouldn’t prosecute some congress folks what was told what them memo said. As one journalist has written, “congress failed, the press failed, the judiciary failed.”
This whole mess came bout cause Bush and Cheney was tryin to establish some kinda imperial presidency. You know, the president of these United States had the right and authority to do what he damn well pleased without any say so from the congress or the courts.
No sir, I’m agin prosecuting anybody cause it aint gon do no good for nobody. Let us the American people know what happened so we can kinda see that it don’t happen again.
Hell, common sense say we aint without guilt in the whole mess cause we just let the president and his gang do whatever they pleased after 9/11. And they damn well pleased to do a lotta bad things.