Navy Net - Royal Navy Community

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

NEW YORK TIMES - Editorial on New Years Eve



Looking at America

Published: December 31, 2007

There are too many moments these days when we cannot recognize our country. Sunday was one of them, as we read the account in The Times of how men in some of the most trusted posts in the nation plotted to cover up the torture of prisoners by Central Intelligence Agency interrogators by destroying videotapes of their sickening behavior. It was impossible to see the founding principles of the greatest democracy in the contempt these men and their bosses showed for the Constitution, the rule of law and human decency.

The country and much of the world was rightly and profoundly frightened by the single-minded hatred and ingenuity displayed by this new enemy. But there is no excuse for how President Bush and his advisers panicked — how they forgot that it is their responsibility to protect American lives and American ideals, that there really is no safety for Americans or their country when those ideals are sacrificed.

Out of panic and ideology, President Bush squandered America’s position of moral and political leadership, swept aside international institutions and treaties, sullied America’s global image, and trampled on the constitutional pillars that have supported our democracy through the most terrifying and challenging times. These policies have fed the world’s anger and alienation and have not made any of us safer.

In the years since 9/11, we have seen American soldiers abuse, sexually humiliate, torment and murder prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq. A few have been punished, but their leaders have never been called to account. We have seen mercenaries gun down Iraqi civilians with no fear of prosecution. We have seen the president, sworn to defend the Constitution, turn his powers on his own citizens, authorizing the intelligence agencies to spy on Americans, wiretapping phones and intercepting international e-mail messages without a warrant.

We have read accounts of how the government’s top lawyers huddled in secret after the attacks in New York and Washington and plotted ways to circumvent the Geneva Conventions — and both American and international law — to hold anyone the president chose indefinitely without charges or judicial review.

Those same lawyers then twisted other laws beyond recognition to allow Mr. Bush to turn intelligence agents into torturers, to force doctors to abdicate their professional oaths and responsibilities to prepare prisoners for abuse, and then to monitor the torment to make sure it didn’t go just a bit too far and actually kill them.

The White House used the fear of terrorism and the sense of national unity to ram laws through Congress that gave law-enforcement agencies far more power than they truly needed to respond to the threat — and at the same time fulfilled the imperial fantasies of Vice President Dick Cheney and others determined to use the tragedy of 9/11 to arrogate as much power as they could.

Hundreds of men, swept up on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, were thrown into a prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, so that the White House could claim they were beyond the reach of American laws. Prisoners are held there with no hope of real justice, only the chance to face a kangaroo court where evidence and the names of their accusers are kept secret, and where they are not permitted to talk about the abuse they have suffered at the hands of American jailers.

In other foreign lands, the C.I.A. set up secret jails where “high-value detainees†were subjected to ever more barbaric acts, including simulated drowning. These crimes were videotaped, so that “experts†could watch them, and then the videotapes were destroyed, after consultation with the White House, in the hope that Americans would never know.

The C.I.A. contracted out its inhumanity to nations with no respect for life or law, sending prisoners — some of them innocents kidnapped on street corners and in airports — to be tortured into making false confessions, or until it was clear they had nothing to say and so were let go without any apology or hope of redress.

These are not the only shocking abuses of President Bush’s two terms in office, made in the name of fighting terrorism. There is much more — so much that the next president will have a full agenda simply discovering all the wrongs that have been done and then righting them.

We can only hope that this time, unlike 2004, American voters will have the wisdom to grant the awesome powers of the presidency to someone who has the integrity, principle and decency to use them honorably. Then when we look in the mirror as a nation, we will see, once again, the reflection of the United States of America.
Thanks for posting this illuminating Editorial Bergan. Let's hope the US electorate heed this when voting.
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
MoD_RSS Ring road upgrade to cut journey times and boost connectivity in York MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Plans to improve flood defences in York’s Museum Gardens approved MoD News 0
MoD_RSS York Steiner School: warning notice MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Plans for a flood storage area in York approved by planning chiefs MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Infrastructure work at York Central given the go ahead MoD News 0
MoD_RSS York Central infrastructure funding confirmed MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Dame Barbara Woodward appointed UK Permanent Representative to the UN in New York MoD News 0
MoD_RSS York flood defence plans for Museum Gardens and Marygate MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Have your say at York flood alleviation scheme’s first virtual event MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Recovered appeal: land at Moor Lane, Woodthorpe, York (ref: 3233973 - 13 May 2020) MoD News 0
MoD_RSS York flood scheme continues in line with Covid-19 guidelines MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Business Secretary and COP26 President, Alok Sharma's statement at the COP26 Briefing to all Member States at the United Nations, New York MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Environment Agency announces updated plans for York flood scheme MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Archbishop of York: Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Over £85 million of deals announced at UN General Assembly in New York MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Help us to improve the flood defence in York’s Museum Gardens MoD News 0
MoD_RSS International Trade minister visits Washington DC and New York City MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Press release: Major milestone for £45 million York Flood Alleviation Scheme MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Press release: Chair of the York Crown Nominations Commission: 25 April 2019 MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Press release: Queen appoints Dean of York MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Press release: York graduates win £25,000 national video game competition MoD News 0
MoD_RSS Speech: David Mundell addresses Cycle to Syracuse participants in New York MoD News 0
SaladDodger HMS Queen Elizabeth New York Current Affairs 22
soleil Portmouth News: "HMS Queen Elizabeth To Visit New York On Maiden Trip To The USA" The Fleet 24
Stirlin York City Knights.....could be Dragon killers. Sports and Adventure Training 8
Stirlin Former York's Regiment soldier facebook comments goes viral. Current Affairs 1
Stirlin Bar Convent...York. Hobbies & The Great Indoors 0
Stirlin HMS York makes final journey. The Quarterdeck 2
Sgt Jobsearch Engineering Technician (York) - North Yorkshire - £24,000 + Benefits The Afterlife - Resettlement and Jobs 0
soleil The Press (York): "PCSO Backs Campaign To Get More People To Join Service Reserves" Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) 1
AAF Archbishop of York launches investigation into alleged sex abuse . Current Affairs 0
Naval_Gazer RN time-bomb found in Central Park, New York Current Affairs 5
stan_the_man HMS YORK the last day Diamond Lil's 8
D HMS York into Pompey for the last time The Fleet 0
Stirling HMS York. The Fleet 7
soleil ITV: Duke Of York Set For Daredevil Abseil Down The Shard For RM Charity The Corps 22
soleil Navy News: "Former Crew Invited To Celebrate York’s 27-Year Career" The Fleet 0
MoD_RSS HMS York monitors Russian aircraft carrier 'Admiral Kuznetsov' Current Affairs 0
Stirling If you ever visit York....... The Gash Barge 2
soleil Telegraph: "Duke Of York Reveals His 'Anxiety' Over Falklands Invasion" History 1
MoD_RSS HMS York returns to Libya The Quarterdeck 66
soleil York Press: "New HMS York Naval Captain Takes The Helm" The Fleet 0
MoD_RSS HMS York returns from 27,000-mile deployment Current Affairs 1
soleil Pompey News: "Gun Salute, Fly-Past And Family Reunions As HMS York Returns Home" The Fleet 0
MoD_RSS HMS York switches oceans as she begins home voyage Current Affairs 1
finknottle Is time up for Prince Andrew, Duke of York? Current Affairs 65
MoD_RSS HMS York arrives in Malta with evacuees from Libya Current Affairs 0
soleil Radio 4 - PM - Commander Simon Staley Speaking Live From HMS York Current Affairs 4
MoD_RSS HMS York Sails For South Atlantic The Fleet 12
scouse Susannah York Films, Music, TV & All Things Artsy 2
Similar threads

Latest Threads

New Posts