I have been in Paris for almost a week visiting my daughter and granddaughters. The only English language television broadcast that is available in my room at my daughter's apartment is the horridly produced and very repetitious CNN.
CNN however has put together a marvelous "look" at Russia under the leadership of Vladimir Putin. It is certainly a frightening piece, and Putin makes President Bush look like a major civil libertarian, and defender of our freedoms. He is almost as scary as Vice President Cheney.
I read the following article in the New York Times a few minutes ago. I have excerpted parts of it. It is in a way much more upsetting then the Putin piece on CNN. The Russians seem to behave in a certain way, and for most of the last few hundred years have been denied their personal liberties for most of that time.
Our country, prior to the Bush Presidency, purported to feature "fair, reasonable and Constitutional behavior.
When I was growing up, I was always under the impression that America behaved in a fair and reasonable manner, ergo, my upset with the following.
"Defense lawyers preparing for the war crimes trial of a 21-year-old Guantanamo detainee have been ordered by a military judge not to tell their client -- or anyone else -- the identity of witnesses against him, newly released documents show..."
"...Defense lawyers say military prosecutors have sought similar orders to keep the names of witnesses secret in other military commission cases, which have been a centerpiece of the Bush administration's policies for detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Some legal experts and defense lawyers said the judge's order, issued on Oct. 15 without public disclosure, underscored the gap between military commission procedures and traditional American rules that the accused has a right to a public trial and to confront the witnesses against him.
Defense lawyers say the order would hamper their ability to build an adequate defense because they cannot ask their client or anyone else about prosecution witnesses, making it difficult to test the veracity of testimony....Most witnesses in Mr. Khadr's case are expected to be military personnel who took part in a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan when an American special forces soldier, Sgt. First Class Christopher James Speer, 28, was fatally wounded. Mr. Khadr, who was 15 at the time, was badly injured."
We have been holding this man in a prison for over 5 years. The issue of his killing "one of our soldiers" during a time when we were trying to kill him and others is to me no different then our wars against Germany and Japan when their soldiers wore uniforms and tried to kill our soldiers.
The "premise" that we were at the time that this "crime" took place "the defined good guys" and anyone opposing us the "defined bad guys" escapes me.
And please PLEASE, do not say anything about 9/11.
I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of the Communist Party. I would hope that if I am ever arrested for anything including the type of event at issue that I will have the right to face my accuser as well as all witnesses.
When for even one moment you can mention our administration in the same breath with Venezuela, Afghanistan, or Russia, you can expect that we are in "deep stuff" and I expect that the stuff is not ice cream.
Bring back Edward R Murrow and have him produce, narrate, and air a television documentary about this "situation" for prime time on the CBS Television Network.
If our government can read my mail, email, listen to my phone calls, and do other stuff that I am unaware of AND try this man in this way, how long will it take for them to do it to you and me?
Bring back reasonableness.
Bring back fairness.
Bring back the Constitution. I know that it out there somewhere and perhaps the next President can find it.