Detainees upon arrival at
Camp X-Ray, January 2002
As of 2-20-2007, the federal appeal court of the District of Columbia upheld a key provision in President Bush’s counter-terrorism plans, declaring 2-1 that civilian courts no longer have the ability to contest whether the U.S. military is holding suspect terrorists against American law.
In doing so, the court has forgotten the spirit behind the laws that constitute the backbone of our nation. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness- how dare our justice systems discard the essence of their existence for the sake of paranoia? Does our constitution extend only to the shores of the states, and fade away just because the United States military chooses to operate in a base away from home? As the defenders and foreign representatives of America and the self-appointed world police, our military is the living extension of the constitution, the symbol of our honor and believes in freedom: so what is the army doing robbing prisoners of their right to American justice?
Moreover, this news brings us to this question: If our military would not enforce grace and justice to their prisoners, why did our courts condone this? In the wake of the Guantanamo Bay tortures, our government does nothing to rectify this situation, and instead gives us the commission act. Under this legislation, the military would have the authority now to rob suspected terrorists of all their rights. What is Bush planning? The president may claim divine sanction for his war, ‘moral’ domestic policies, and appeal to the Christian fundamentalists for ‘righteous’ aid- yet he fails to adhere to his crusader’s honor. If you are reading this, Mr. President, then tell this nation’s youth: How are you fighting the enemy if you are just like them, ruthless and self-justifying?
Since September 11, 2001, America has entered into a period of early triumph, and also persistent decay. Remember the amendment Bush made to the posse commitus act; Remember the weapons of mass destruction scandal; remember the equipment failures which continually plague our troops today, and the discourtesy Bush took to a grieving mother. Maybe then, the youth today would realize how far we have deviated from the justice we represented once upon a blue moon, when the best of the colonists gathered to resist, and struggle free of England despotic rule. To the military officers reading my article, I will say this: How is robbing away the natural rights of suspect terrorists fitting to the ideals of the state, let alone fair to the forefather-soldiers that once sacrificed their lives for equality, justice, and liberty?
There may be a president’s day last Monday, and there may be Independence Day celebrations, but these holidays are meaningless if we cannot follow the ideals that so created, and sustain still this land. As the self-declared leader of the world, America has the foremost duty to protect justice- especially in their homes. Distance does not matter, nor does borders- as long as Americans will dwell in establishment; they are obligated to protect their home, from invasion or tyranny.
Truth, freedom, knowledge.