Just read an article on the Washington Post
about Obama’s response to Sarah Palin’s statement that, “Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America and he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights.” The article itself was not much more than a collection of Obama’s quotes, but Peter Slevin did a nice job of parsing his speech and threading it together with good context. Obama said, speaking about the writ of habeas corpus, that, “[the writ] says very simply: If the government grabs you, then you have the right to at least ask, ‘Why was I grabbed?’ And say, ‘Maybe you’ve got the wrong person.'” This is, most definitely something that has been brushed aside by the brute force and subtle undermining that have accompanied the Patriot Act.
Jill and I rented “Rendition” a while back, which is about, fundamentally, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. Rendition is a legal term, which in the circumstances of the film, applies to the federal government’s use of extraordinary rendition for the purposes of transporting suspects to countries where torture is legal. It’s a powerful movie, and Obama’s commentary reminded me of the importance of this issue.
9/11 did not abridge, amend, or otherwise alter The Constitution. Just because some people have used it as a convenient excuse from everything from the atrocious to the simply annoying, it doesn’t mean that it is right or acceptable. This was a country founded on and by revolution. I hope that history is not forgotten this November.
should not make these losses in vain.
Never forget either of them.