Monday, January 30, 2006

Matriotism - by Cindy Sheehan


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Just trust us...

Trying to drum up support for domestic spying, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Gen. Michael Hayden of the National Security Agency, VP Dick Cheney, President Bush and the rest keep asking us to just trust them.

I do not trust them.

They are the same bunch who have imprisoned hundreds of Muslim men for nearly four years without charging them with any crime. They are the same bunch who have authorized torture and extraordinary rendition - the practice of shipping prisoners to countries where torture is committed. They are the same bunch who have launched an illegal war sold to the American public with lies, and who have forged alliances with countries with atrocious human rights records. With every act of violence and humiliation, they radicalize more Muslims.

They consistently break American and international law, always saying that it's to protect us. If illegal wiretapping, indefinite detentions, torture and preemptive wars are actually helping them catch the bad guys, where are the evidence, the arrests, the charges, the big court cases? According to the Washington Post, Justice Department “statistics provide little support for the contention that authorities have discovered and prosecuted hundreds of terrorists here. Except for a small number of well-known cases -- such as truck driver Iyman Faris, who sought to take down the Brooklyn Bridge -- few of those arrested appear to have been involved in active plots inside the United States.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/11/AR2005061100381_pf.html And Mr. Faris’ conviction is now jeopardized by the possibility that evidence used in his prosecution was illegally obtained. http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060206/delavega

Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden has issued a new tape showing him to be more credible than Bush has ever been. Bin Laden acknowledges the disaster on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, while Bush insists that more deaths and maimings every year than the year before is "progress." Bin Laden confirms what most intelligent Americans suspect - there have been no new attacks on American soil because Al Qaeda plans slowly and carefully, not because our intelligence system has penetrated their networks. Independent American analyses of American intelligence-gathering and post-9/11 terrorist attack preparation has found that the U.S. has not learned any lessons or made most of the key changes needed. Our spy agencies lack Arabic translators and spies; our nuclear and chemical plants are still vulnerable; our ports and water supplies are still wide open; our public health system is in tatters. We have no national plan for weaning ourselves from our oil addiction: no major public transit plan, no food distribution plan in the event of an oil shock, no alternative energy plan.

Most importantly, bin Laden acknowledged that most Americans want the troops withdrawn, and, in response to Americans' desire for peace, he called for a truce, identifying himself and his group as having real political goals and legitimate complaints about American activities within sovereign nations of the Middle East. They are not mindless haters. They are resistance fighters, and while I completely abhor the violence they have used against Americans, I abhor equally the violence America is using against them, against the Iraqis and Afghanis, and now against our own civil liberties, Constitution, and tradition of rule of law.

The one-sentence, meaningless, ignorant White House talking point response? The U.S. "does not negotiate with terrorists." "Terrorist" refers to anyone they want to so designate, without listening to their complaints, attempting to see the world from their historical point of view, without evidence, charge, trial, or judicial review. Anyone who disagrees with the White House, vigorously objects to how they are running this country and the world into the ground, renounces all violence, makes any attempt to see the world from the historical point of view of the oppressed, rather than the exploiters, and believes that the Constitutional rule of law requires probable cause, due process, evidence, charges, competent legal representation, an impartial judge, a jury of peers, and the right of appeal, is a "terrorist" in their book.

Count me in, then. The world is full of that kind of "terrorist," and our love for genuine peace and freedom, founded on mutual respect rather than the threat of being bombed to smithereens, terrifies only those who would like the mass of humanity to pipe down, make more widgets, go shopping and increase the quarterly profits and the GNP.