So just presume you’re the new President and one of the first things you see on your desk is a note from the Attorney General that says, “We have a problem.” It appears that after six plus years of holding some foreign nationals in an off shore prison, the general consensus is that that some of them might be innocent. What do you want to do? If you are the newly elected Republican, it’s not an issue. Tell them to keep the place running and ask them some more questions. But if you are the newly elected Democrat; that option isn’t available. Ever wade into quicksand blindfolded?
You get the picture. Recently I was asked, what difference does it make who gets elected, the corporations make all the decisions. Well my answer was; plenty. This decision and many more regarding policy start with the President; what will he/she do?
Given the fact that the United States is the first one to cry foul when our troops are mistreated or our citizenry detained when not on American soil, for whatever reason, we certainly have dropped the ball on rights issues these last eight years. In the post, 911 world it has become common to use fear as an excuse to bend the law, twist it, run it under water and in many cases abandon it while we look the other way to suit political agendas. When it comes to illegal detaining, torture and false imprisonment of supposed enemies the basic tenet of our constitution that we are all innocent until proven guilty is almost secondary to us today. Properly scared the American people without so much as a fight have given up many of their own rights, such as habeas corpus, all under the guise of some distorted form of nationalism for the good of our country. Do any of us feel any safer because of it?
We have sent detainees to foreign countries whose laws toward human rights are practically non existent, to house our prisoners and to torture them in search of information on enemies that have neither country nor official place of residence. All the while forgetting, it is just possible that some of these suspected criminals were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. People the wrong color, doing something someone just thought different, and they got tangled in the mess.
The fact that they have been held incommunicado, without lawyers or proper connection to their homelands, aside, we still must ask what is our responsibility to make this right? Already some Republicans are lining up to make sure that whatever happens, the detainees, not the Congressmen don’t get sent to prisons in their sates.
For sure many will not be able to be retuned home for they most certainly will be treated as confessors or traitorous. The idea of innocent until proven guilty gets put under the rug real quick when a national panic of fear grips a country. The problems that lie ahead are many, the solutions not as easy as we might hope. Does it make a difference who gets elected? You bet your freedom it does!