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If We All Had The Guts

excerpts from a column by Chris Satullo. July 4, 2005

If we all had the guts to die for the idea we call America, the halls of Congress would be jammed, the White House encircled, by citizens demanding an end to the sinful violations of our ideals: Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and "extraordinary rendition." They would proclaim they'd rather die at a terrorist's hand than watch America move from "rule of law" to "arrogant outlaw." Instead, near silence. Alibis. Self-absorbed complicity.

America must never torture. But we have. America must never contract out its torturing to some of the world's most brutal regimes. But we have. America must not imprison indefinitely without evidence or fair trial. But we have. A beacon for the rule of law must never claim unilateral power to thrust prisoners into a Kafkaesque world where they are neither criminal suspect nor prisoner of war, lacking the legal protections of either. But America does.

These are not the raving allegations of some Left Bank leftist. These are cold facts to which honorable people in our military, law enforcement agencies and courts have attested beyond reasonable doubt. The offenses go beyond the photos from Abu Ghraib, or Korans in toilets. They are even darker and more violent.

We are not excused because some of the prisoners harmed are brutes who mean us harm. We should be ashamed that, at Abu Ghraib, some were innocents swept up by the chaos of a war we started.

What matters most is that we are America. We are called to be better than that. How can we hide behind the apologists who mewl, "We're not as bad as Saddam, or Stalin, or Hitler"?

You have been reading excerpts from "Are Americans too craven to die for their ideals?" by Chris Satullo. Read the entire piece: informationclearinghouse.info/article9374.htm. Thanks to informationclearinghouse.info for this and much more. We visit often and we hope you will too.

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