Saturday, April 01, 2006

Fighting Terror

An important lesson has played out for us over the past few days that should not go unnoticed or unlearned. A woman was released after three months of captivity in Iraq. She was told that a condition of her release was to say certain things on a video tape. So she did as her captors demanded. Upon the release of the video Jill Carroll was demonized by some people in the press both in print and on the air waves.

She was raped on the web.

Cindy Sheehan has been called a Communist and worse for standing up and asking the President for an explanation of the invasion of Iraq that took her son’s life.

The list goes on and I won’t bore you with all the names and all the details.

It was done by those who put their face on television or their voice on the radio. They make a lot of money doing this. They enrage the ignorant and then they misinform them. Controversy sells. Who cares who gets hurt?

Decency and integrity are not inventoried in their bag of tricks. They would have us believe they are patriotic Americans whose sole purpose in life is to save us from being duped by terrorist sympathizers. They drape themselves in the flag and carry the cross on their backs. They terrorize an already frightened public into thinking that if they speak, if they take a stand they too will become victimized.

Worse, in many ways, we have people posting absurd and obscene comments on the web without regard to either truth or justice even though they would have us believe they are fighting for the American way. We may never know who these people are. They are anonymous. As far as I am concerned they may remain so. But they are cowards, charlatans and scoundrels. Because they are cowards and only because they are cowards, they are dangerous. What they say is flat out wrong. They don’t care. They have an agenda.

These are the people who want to use the Office of the President of the United States of America to inflict their wrath on whoever is handy. The innocence or guilt of their victims is beside the point. No formal charges are necessary. No reasoned deliberation of the facts required. Indeed, there is no desire on their part to even wait until all the facts are in. They support detaining people without charges and they support torture. Character assassination is simply entertainment.

I stand firmly in opposition to those who would force their will upon us or anyone else without due process of law that is not in violation of the Constitution. I oppose those who would ignore the Geneva Conventions. It does not matter who they are or what power they possess. If they occupy the Oval Office, host a radio show or operate a keyboard we must stand up to them honestly and forthrightly and say, “No, you may not and you will not subvert the Constitution of the United States. No, you will not violate the Geneva Conventions, which we ratified, as a nation, and signed.”

Well, of course, they have. We can not let this stand. Not if we are Americans.

If this is the land of the brave and the free we need to start acting like it is. Take courage in the United States Constitution. In a world of shifting sand it is solid ground to stand on. I refuse to be silenced in my own country and I refuse to be intimidated by lawless hooligans.

My name is Michael Meehan and I stand behind these words.


Late addition from a late edition:

Torture Awareness Month
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