Continuing our theme from Independence Day, let’s talk about freedoms and rights. For those such as Alan Dershowitz who advocate such things as torture warrants, or for simple apologists for the Bush administration’s shameful behavior, now comes this little ditty from the New York Times about how the CIA took a crash course in rough interregation techniques for Guantanamo Bay just after the Towers came down. What they probably didn’t know was that the material was derived from a 1957 Chinese training manual that an airforce psychologist discredited as generating false confessions. Of course, even if the method did work, we now know who this administration turns to for guidance: a discredited regime used by a form of government we despised. This brings me to a point that I’ve always believed: fasism, communism, whatever: each can be used to subjugate citizens in just the same manner. It’s just a slightly different rationale. Yes, that says that it can and has happened in the United States, and it goes back to what Benjamin Franklin said: Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. We’ve already seen that U.S. Senator Kit Bond was a perfect example. Of course, Franklin was defending against a different King George.
With our King George and in this case, we have to worry about what moral authority we have lost. Those Americans who happen to be abroad and in the wrong place and the wrong time will be the sorry beneficiaries of this president’s legacy.