Friday, January 8, 2010

What Would You Pay For Freedom?

Individual rights and liberty have been devalued in American society because most Americans have never personally experienced any real lack of them.  They foolishly assume that rights and liberty are easy to come by.  They have been willingly trading their liberty for illusions of security ( USA PATRIOT Act courtesy W. Bush,  Special Administrative Measures courtesy W. Clinton, etc) provided by a government that shows less and less regard for our Constitutional Republic.

What if you (an American citizen) were held in solitary confinement -- in America -- for over three years without ever seeing the evidence against you?  What if your access to attorneys, family and other prisoners was prevented or severely curtailed?  What if you were required to clean yourself and use toilet facilities on camera?  What if during that period you were only let out of solitary for one hour every 24 hours to exercise in a cage?  If all these things were being done to you what would you be willing to "pay" for freedom?

As you probably already guessed, this is happening --in America -- right now.  This is not the "...liberty and justice for all"  that we say we believe in.  According to Paul Craig Roberts,

Syed Fahad Hashmi is a U.S. citizen, but his government has violated every right guaranteed to him by the Constitution. The U.S. government, in violation of U.S. law, is also subjecting Hashmi to psychological torture known as extreme sensory deprivation. The bogus “evidence” against him is classified and denied to him. Like Joseph K. in Kafka’s The Trial, Hashmi is under arrest on secret evidence. As the case against him is unknown or nonexistent, defense is impossible.
I have at least a basic understanding of the threat of Radical Muslims and their stated purpose to destroy our country.  I have been to Africa.  I have seen the hatred for America ("The Great Satan") and the western world.  But while I believe that there is a physical and spiritual war of civilizations going on right now, I am compelled to stand for liberty and the oppressed. Thomas Paine rightly stated, “He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”

John Adams defended his enemies and wrote in his diary: "The part I took in defense of captain Preston and the soldiers, procured me anxiety, and obloquy enough. It was, however, one of the most gallant, generous, manly and disinterested actions of my whole life, and one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country. Judgment of death against those soldiers would have been as foul a stain upon this country as the executions of the Quakers or witches, anciently.”

May our generation stand up and be as "gallant, generous, manly and disinterested" as Adams was.  For if we do not stand for the principles of liberty and individual rights today, the generation following us may only dream of what we hold in our grasp.

Stand for liberty today. It's much cheaper than trying to buy it tomorrow.

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