WTF and who the he** are we anyway? Would somebody please tell me, America, just who is it we have become?
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the country for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
I’m not delusional ya’ll; like too many of you, I’ve lived the empty irony of “with liberty and justice for all.” but when exactly did the Pledge of Allegiance become the Hypocrites’ Oath? And no I’m not trippin. I know in this context, God is little more than a tool of justification and division, and I know I’m preaching primarily to the choir. Still, when at look around at us, America circa 2009, and can actually pick my jaw up off the floor, ‘bout all I can do is shake my head and mutter…WTF.
Friday Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Obama administration decision to try 911 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and 4 co-defendants in civilian court in New York City. A decision Rep. Peter King (R) New York called, “the most disgraceful any president has ever made,” in a Good Morning America interview Saturday.
Do I have it twisted? America is the country that promises “all” accused criminals a fair and speedy trial by a jury of their peers. Am I in the right place? And as to the peer question, I’m sure there is no shortage of New Yorkers at odds with this country’s current operating policies and procedures. A jury that can both relate to the level of anger and hate that must have motivated the Terrorist 5 and still unequivocally condemn the heinous expression of their frustration can’t be too hard to find.
The crimes of which the Terrorist 5 are accused were perpetrated largely in New York and the city suffered the greatest number of casualties. That New York City should bring them to justice is more than appropriate. America is indeed grossly dishonored but by the fact that these men have been incarcerated, off shore, for 8 years with complete disregard for the justice America proclaims she stands for. In the name of national security, there has been no due process, but there has been torture. The “W” administration demonstrated the same felonious disregard for American integrity and even American law that perpetuated commercial aircraft being used as missiles in the first place.
I’m back to muttering again, but I just don’t get it. America spent nearly $80 million investigating and impeaching Bill Clinton over a … stain and the definition of sex. George W. and company, Colin and Condi included, with intent and meticulous forethought lied to America about weapons of mass destruction. Bush, Cheney, Rice and Powell, who hold 9 degrees between them, could not and still cannot define torture.
It is contemptible indeed that it has taken 8 years and a change of leadership for the renowned/infamous American justice system to squeak into promised operation. It is more ignoble that neither tampering with justice nor treason charges have been brought against those who blatantly and arrogantly abused the trust of their offices and substantially sullied America’s reputation/credibility globally.
Is Mr. Obama taking a risk? I guess one could look at it that way. He has certainly opened the laundry room door for global scrutiny and there’s a lot of stuff in there that just plain stinks. A wound can’t heal unless it’s cleaned out and that’s often a painful process. Perhaps the trial of the Terrorist 5 will crush our rose colored glasses. Perhaps we’ll remember who empowered Osama Bin Laden in the first place. Maybe we’ll even remember that it was “Charlie Wilson’s War” that is largely responsible for arming the Taliban. America gave them the weapons that have been killing our soldiers, our babies, for nearly 10 years. Perhaps with America spotlighted on the world stage, the answer to who we have become will be made painfully and abundantly clear. Perhaps we’ll be able to pinpoint exactly when the Hypocrites’ Oath is restored to the honor and action innate and required by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Perhaps the gentleman from Texas is telling the truth; perhaps he does have faith in our justice system. Perhaps the entire Republican Party does and that’s why they’re frenetically throwing out smoke and mirrors rhetoric. Mr. King, Mr. Smith et al, are you afraid that President Obama’s decision to hold us to the standards we proclaim will cement for the world, what the choir has for centuries known, that the ideal America force feeds the globe and the American reality are all but diametrically opposed?
Are the Terrorist 5 guilty? I believe so, but the greater crime is that there remains so many of us who arrogantly believe that being American justifies any means. Dare I say that it was America’s failure to act in accordance with and integrity to our own professed ideals and standard that brought us first to tragedy and now to this controversy?
Republicans are frantically repudiating and fire breathing, trying with every vile thing in them to deflect the hearts and focus of Americans, who still believe it possible to make that pledge a reality, away from the reprehensibility of America’s action under Republican “leadership.” None of us are innocent, but they are guilty and they know it. GMA further reported that leading scholars are calling the Terrorist 5 trial a Pandora’s Box, a concern apparently shared by Congressman Lamar Smith (R) Texas. In an interview with GMA Weekend Anchor Bill Weir, Smith asserted that trying the Terrorist 5 in New York endangers Americans; a position he explained by saying, “If they were tried at Gitmo they wouldn’t be getting some of these constitutional rights. We wouldn’t have to worry about evidence and you can imagine good defense lawyers, as they should, are going to say were they read their Miranda rights, were they warned, ah … ah what about speedy trials. All these kinds of objections can be raised if they are on U.S. soil.” The congressman concluded with, “I have faith in our justice system, but why take a chance?” Reflective of Republican standards and mores?