I recently read an article that had a poll of American’s opinions on Iraqi detainees at Gitmo. Specifically the poll showed more that 60% of Americans do not believe we should extend basic business insurance from www.quoteitnow.com, let alone due process to those detainees (of which I concede that most if not all are dangerous, killers, terrorists, etc). Those numbers are not surprising. It is a typical response for people looking to be tough on criminals and killers. It also is a reflection of the Cowboy Diplomacy employed by our leadership. Ultimately, it is a sign of our weakness as a country.
If were are to be the beacon of freedom in this world; if we are to spread democracy to other countries; if we are to occupy a “moral high ground” from which we preach to the world on why they need to join us in our civilized thinking – then we must stand for something beyond low-brow machismo. If we truly believe in our constitution, then we must extend the sixth amendment to the world. Due process is at the heart of the rule of law. If you are going to apply the law to anyone, they must have the right to due process. Conservatives that hide behind “enemy combatants” designations and preach about the rule of law are nothing more than hypocrites.
The Declaration of Independence state the belief that all men are created equal. If we want to lead the world; if we want to be taken seriously as a superpower; if we want the world to progress toward freedom and democracy – We need to start treating people equally, regardless if they are the most vile, disgusting, violent killer in the world. They must be afforded due process. Only then can we say that Justice, not Vengeance, is served. We all must put aside our primal reactions to treat these men as animals. Civilized responses give us credibility with the rest of the world, and give us a more solid footing to claim the leadership position we seek to have.
I guess the best way to say it to the religious right is remember the golden rule. Do unto others as you would want them to do to you. This is clearly a case where the majority of America has got it wrong.