Uncategorized

Thoughts for Memorial Day

President Obama’s decision not to release photos of abused detainees really bothers me. I know that he now feels differently than he did during the campaign, probably because of what his higher security clearance has made clear to him. He’s also backtracking on some promises made about Guantanamo. Now inmates there who he once believed should be tried or released, he’d like to keep indefinitely. Supple thinking is a good thing in a president, as we have certainly learned over the past eight years. Those same eight years, however, have also taught us to think long and hard when our president tells us we have to trust that he’s doing something for the right reasons. For national security reasons. That just gives me a real wiggins after Bush. I want to trust Pres. Obama, but I truly wish I didn’t have to take his word for this one.

The decision to keep the photos under wraps made me uncomfortable, denying people we know we can’t convict their release makes me queasy. Dick Cheney’s bizarre jockeying for position helped crystallize my thinking about it all, oddly enough. I, like many others, think Cheney’s all over the place so that if or when there’s another terrorist attack on the US, he can say he knew better than the current administration. He’s wrong. He was wrong about torture, and he’s wrong to think his phony war made people safer. He’s wrong to think that giving up any bit of freedom in order to be safe is worthwhile. But is the Obama administration right? Can we sacrifice our loftiest ideals for safety’s sake? The Constitution doesn’t apply to foreign nationals, but can we hold prisoners forever, without public trials, and still be true to that foundation?

Memorial Day is when we celebrate and honor the men and women who gave their lives for our country. They did so because they believed in the freedoms they protected. We, lowly individuals, are not those freedoms. The liberty this country promises is greater and more enduring than any single human could ever be. No one gets out of here alive anyway, and we can’t take our freedoms with us. They remain, beacons to a world where no one is as free as a US citizen. Ideals aren’t just pretty words we toss around when everybody’s feeling secure. They’re real, they mean something to citizens and to the wider world. Preventing an attack may save lives, but we would do better to value the Constitution above all our individual lives. Betraying America’s promise will only dishonor those who died for it.

3 Comments


  1. Jerry

    May 22, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    To Quote Pete Townsend “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” If you think Obama is going to be different than Bush on this one you’re a fool. He is not going to lose the war and become a joke like Jimmy Carter. He will do what his generals and handlers tell him to do.

  2. IBXer

    May 26, 2009 at 10:27 am

    “I know that he now feels differently than he did during the campaign, probably because of what his higher security clearance has made clear to him.”

    Cheyney is “wrong. He was wrong about torture, and he’s wrong to think his phony war made people safer.”

    To bad you lack “Supple thinking.”

  3. Single Payer Action

    May 26, 2009 at 11:33 am

    I think that some Raleigh liberals who have bumper strips with peace signs and “War Is Not The Answer” AND Obama stickers on their bumpers are feeling hoodwinked

Check Also

He’s back? A little friendly career advice for Pat McCrory

Dear Pat, Hey there, stranger! It’s been a ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The UNC Board of Governors is holding its last meeting of 2017 Friday, where the latest of its many [...]

Just south of Candler off the Pisgah Highway is a lovely piece of property on Little Piney Mountain [...]

Veteran North Carolina education policy expert Kris Nordstrom has authored a new and vitally importa [...]

When Joni Robbins, a section chief in the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, closes bidding next [...]

“All speech is free, but some speech is more free than others.” This seems to be the motto of the cu [...]

Trumpists prepare to raze another vital common good law It’s hard to keep up these days with the flo [...]

The post That’s how ‘Humbug’ is done appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

The solid citizens of Johnston County, N.C. – in a fateful quirk of geography – for several years ha [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more