Saturday, September 16, 2006

Making a Deal With the Devil

There are two things recently, out of many, which seems to indicate America is willing to make a deal with the devil. In other words, sacrifice its dear principles for "protection." We used to be willing to sacrifice our lives for these very principles, now we want to sacrifice these principles for our lives. What has happened, America?

The first thing is the torture debate. Bush and his cronies are actually advocating openly the use of "alternative set of procedures," known in the no-spin world as torture, methods Bush is still to worried to actually name openly. His fear is that naming them will lead to terrorists finding ways to withstand the new techniques, so they won't provide us with more information on supposed "ticking-time-bomb" scenarios, just like we see in the show "24." But the real reason Bush is worried about naming them openly (they have been, after all, leaked to the press, so terrorists can see exactly what we are talking about----furthermore, you think America has worse torture techniques than, say, Jordan or Egypt, who have refined the methods over the centuries?), is because he will then be advocating openly for something specific. It is the irony of the whole situation. Bush and his cronies decry Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions for being vague, but when asked what techniques need to be used, Bush and his cronies stay vague themselves. What Bush and his cronies want is protection from inevitable prosecution of CIA operatives and employees of the Bush Administration in the future for violations they have committed against the Geneva Conventions (which are the Law of the Land), and the War Crimes Act of 1996. In other words, Bush has already directed CIA operatives to violate the law and he is now seeking protection for himself and his workers. If he dares actually say what they did, instead of remaining vague, prosecutors will have recorded evidence of the Commander in Chief saying what he ordered CIA operatives to do in breaking the law. He has to remain vague for this reason. Any talk about not revealing our techniques to terrorists is a diversion, a red herring. Terrorists are not fearful of being captured by Americans; they fear us renditioning them to Jordan or Egypt, or Pakistan, or even Syria, because Jordan and Egypt and Pakistan and Syria have already sold their souls to the Devil and practice torture to their heart's content.

America used to criticize regimes that tortured prisoners, now we transfer our prisoners to them to torture. I think though, Bush would rather stop rendition and just torture our prisoners here. That's the debate right now. What does America want? What is more important? Living our lives under a contract with the devil supposedly "protected" from death and violence, or risking some casualties in a fight for our principles?

Remember, Bush is pushing Congress strongly right now because he has already broken the law. He just wants to cover his ass at judgment day, when the taxman cometh.

The second way we are making a deal with the devil is something that does not get much airplay, due to the distractions of everything else. But apparently the United States is following other countries in placing a chip inside our passports, which can then be tracked, so the government knows exactly where your passport is anywhere in the world. This is the slow creep towards a deal with the devil, and needs to be revealed openly before this ensnares us. Why do we need chips inside our passports? "Protection." From what? Stuff happening basically. So what if a person steals your passport; get a new one. That's not good enough for some. They would rather sacrifice their ability to remain private for the "protection" that such a chip would supposedly bring. It won't. It is a deal with the devil.

America needs to make a decision here. On the one hand we're given an option to trade some of our principles that we've fought long and hard and dear on for "protection." That's the deal that Bush is giving us.

"The professionals will not step up unless there's clarity in the law," Bush said. "So Congress has got a decision to make: Do you want the program to go forward or not? I strongly recommend that this program go forward in order for us to be able to protect America."

According to this side, the "professionals" supposedly cannot, or maybe will not, protect America without this deal. That's the offer. Trade your principles for your protection. Will America do this?

On the other side is the greater risk of another attack, supposedly, according to Bush. If we don't sacrifice our principles, we're supposedly at risk for another attack. And this is true. If we don't employ all the weapons we have, including nuclear weapons, we are at greater risk of another attack. No one should believe otherwise.

But here is the question. Are we willing to trade our principles for a reduced risk of another attack? What Bush and his cronies will not tell you, which is usual when you make a deal with the devil, is that taking his way won't necessarily reduce the risk of another attack to zero, in other words, we're still going to be at risk of another attack. So what are we getting in return for sacrificing our principles? What exactly are we getting in return if we are still at risk of another attack? Where's the supposed "protection?"

America must not sacrifice its principles. Americans have sacrificed their lives before for the very principles we no longer seem to hold dear. I am willing to sacrifice my life that my fellow Americans live in freedom and from fear. Do no make a deal with the devil; he will one day come to collect his end of the bargain.

Stay free, America!


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