Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Gitmo (Yes, Still)

I'm sorry not to have posted for a while and also sorry to return to a familiar theme (Gitmo) even though there is, in theory, so much news to discuss.

However, I'm having a hard time giving a rat's ass about the primaries. The ratio of coverage to information is so punitive as to make tuning in feel like a very unsexy form of masochism. And let's not even talk about the lack of real conversation and debate. (From here on out, I propose that we replace the debates with Talking-Point Doll Theater. Each candidate would be represented by five dolls, each of which speaks a recorded talking point when you tickle its belly.)

One thing I am interested in but not in a position to have an opinion about: are things getting better in Iraq? The reports don't seem nearly so dire of late. Or is it just that we're no longer getting 24/7 IED porn because the American news outlets got distracted by Clinton's moist eyes?

Anyway, here's my gesture at a post, which actually more of a poll for anybody who happens to still be reading the blog.

The Declaration of Independence says that people shouldn't change their governments capriciously but that when a government becomes destructive to basic liberties, people can and should change the government.

To prove that King George had to go, Jefferson wrote this:
The History of the present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.
HE has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
HE has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
HE has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: FOR imposing Taxes on us without our Consent, FOR depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury, [and] * FOR transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences.

Jefferson goes on to complain that the King had "plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People." I don't think we're there yet (tho' Iraqis may feel differently), but the other complaints do remind me of Gitmo.

So, on a scale of 1-10, how close are they? (1 = "radically dissimilar," 10 = "identical")

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At 11:09 AM , Anonymous ch3lk said...

I think it's stickier than that. The people that have been detained in Gitmo aren't US citizens but people seen as prisoners of war.

Don't get me wrong, we're breaking innumerable moral and ethical values there. In fact I think I saw the ghost of Thomas Jefferson holding his head in his hands and mournfully shaking his head in disbelief.

However, with the Patriot and Military Commissions Acts, we've certainly allowed a president to disregard the law and human rights and deleting millions of emails and ignoring congressional subpoenas certainly looks like obstruction of justice to me.

So I'm going to go with an 8. We're not fully there yet but we're well on our way if we don't choose to stop it.

At 10:33 AM , Anonymous ch3lk said...

I guess I'm the only one reading your blog, and you don't even know me ;)

(friend of maron)

At 6:22 PM , Blogger Jon E. said...

Frankly, it's shocking that anyone at all is reading our blog. We're a bit, um, irregular in our posting these days. Thanks, though.

At 10:34 AM , Anonymous ch3lk said...

I seriously like your blog. You tend to say interesting, thought-provoking things so please know that it's appreciated.

At 10:57 AM , Blogger Jon E. said...

Aw, shucks. I'm blushin'.


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