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Norman Horowitz

Norman Horowitz

Posted February 7, 2009 | 11:39 AM (EST)

Due Process


I am an American.

I only know "reasonableness" when it comes to "the law" as it appears to be to me. I am an engineer who has been in the US Air Force, and worked in the media for a long time. I have both an inherent belief in, and at the same time, a suspicion of "the system." I believe in the adage of "what's the use of having power if you don't abuse it?" I look upon that as the mantra of President Bush.

I have never trusted a good deal of "law enforcement" for a variety of reasons, and many Americans share that distrust.

While in the Air Force, I had been actually threatened by military "authority."

While in the private sector, I have been threatened by corporate "authority."

While interacting with "law enforcement" I have been threatened by police "authority."

I have never accepted the notion that if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear.

All in all I have distrusted the "system" particularly as it pertains to the Feds, and particularly now as it pertains to the nebulous "war on terror."

It has always appeared to me that this war on terror is not a "war" but rather a law enforcement issue with bigger and better public relations over spin. Call it a "war" and it is much easier for an administration to grab all of the power that they choose to grab.

The "Bush people" have used this "you all are in big, big danger but if you let us do what we want to do we will protect you" to justify so many violations of our rights as well as the rights of others.

I will misquote a line from a song in the Broadway musical "The King and I."

"If the Feds are strong enough to protect me, might they not protect me out of all I own?"

Even though I am not as conversant on the law as I would like, I believe in "due process."

Our President announces the appropriate closing of Guantanamo Bay, and "poof" an issue arises concerning a prisoner previously released. It must be magic!

Our Constitutional Democracy has imprisoned and tortured people for a long time, and these people had no recourse whatsoever.

I expect that the administration believed that they were dong the right thing by defining everyone that they imprisoned as our enemy, and a danger to our society.

These people defined as "enemy combatants" (whatever that means in reality) are denied of any hope and any form of due process, or future release for that matter.

Is America safer today then it was on September 12th 2001?

I think not. Our former leader is gone. Our new leader gives us hope, yet is left with a gargantuan mess by our old leader.

Nevertheless: I wonder how many "enemy combatants and terrorists" we have created by attempting to bomb Iraq back to the Stone Age and invading and occupying their country.

I wonder how many "enemy combatants and terrorists" we have inspired by attempting to bomb Afghanistan back to the Stone Age and invading and occupying their country.