With the capture of the second suspect in Boston this may seem ill-timed, but I would argue the opposite. We need to start standing up for “our freedoms:” you know, the “freedoms they hate” according to the man whose administration then started to throw them away? Obama really hasn’t been that much better when it comes to this: an understatement at best, some would say. What do I say? Eh, a mixed bag, but not all that better. But when it comes to the suspect: and he still is a “suspect,” how we treat any suspect says a lot more about us than the suspect: and how much we really believe in “freedom.”
It’s been so long. Do we know how to do it anymore? Were we ever “one” with Lady Liberty, or did we just imagine it? Now it seems like we’re separated, or divorced.
If we were ever “with” her at all… is Liberty like riding a bike: you just get back on? Or more like riding a bike while being waterboarded: impossible? Like the drunk who beats his wife, then runs off to the whore down the street who promises quick satisfaction for a hefty price, we have run off on Lady Liberty so many times before… like during the Civil War when Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, or during the Roosevelt administration, WWII, when Japanese and German citizens lost due process, and their freedom. Ironically, instead of learning our lesson, too often we have used these unfortunate historical moments as excuses to run off again: be even more abusive.
We have disrespected our freedoms for so long, if I were our freedoms I would have packed the bags, slammed the door and had my ACLU lawyer sue the hell out of a country sometimes more accurately spelled “AmeriKa.”
And, yes: for whatever reason, Barack Obama seems too damn much on-board with a lot of that.
No matter what happens with the Boston suspect I wonder if our sense of “justice” in this country is so set on revenge, hate and getting the accused to say whatever we want, that Lady Liberty may be gone for good. I would leave too: for far too often we’re too content to stay in an Oz-ian Haunted Forest and just ignore the ghosts of those we have murdered in an impossible quest to “end all terrorism.” And hide those who try to warn us about the direction we’re headed, like Bradley Manning. Apparently the wheels of justice are now run by flying monkeys: set to grind into the ground anyone who dares point out the truth, not those who giggle with glee as they slaughter innocents for fun… or because soldiers, who were kids just a few years ago, have been sent by politicians into some living hell for tour, after tour, after… so any sense of decency has long since been destroyed.
Let me make myself clear: when it comes to Dzhokar Tsarnaev, suspect #2, I don’t want Dzhokar, or his case, splashed all over the news. I don’t think, no matter how hard a life he had, or how supposedly “good” his reasons were, any of that should decide the case. This really has nothing to do with him.
It has to do with us and who we are as a nation.
I think we have an opportunity here to show the world we actually believe what we claim to believe. We have an opportunity to prove we can be who we claim to be.
Still, I wonder, though. Why would Lady Liberty give us another chance?
We really don’t deserve it.
I would say maybe she thinks there’s something to this claim of exceptionalism, to America being blessed; but even considering that seems to head us in the wrong direction: like invading a country who didn’t attack us.
We need to get this right this time. It is, oh, so important. When we claim to believe in freedom, moral, ethics, and behave otherwise, we create more villains by being villains. I have no doubt how we have been behaving since at least 9/11 has helped to create people like who we think Dzhokar Tsarnaev is.
But… that justifies nothing anyone like Dzhokar Tsarnaev does, or did.
As tempting as it may be to drag him out in the streets and put a bullet in his head: we’re supposed to be better than that. We don’t lead suspects into an arena and behead them… yet. We don’t take a quickly convicted suspect and blow their brains out after the trial… yet.
In the voices of those who support Gitmo, and other atrocities, those who wish to ship this suspect off wherever, I hear those eager to make America become even more like the Taliban, like the Khmer Rouge, like the Romans who fed those who displeased them to wild beasts.
Ironically now it’s some who claim to be Christians who want us to keep going down this dark path.
Our actions, and our refusal to live up to what we claim to be has, once again, come home to roost: and helped to blow apart the innocent in Boston. Much like we have blown apart many innocents seeking the guilty with our drones.
If not… once again we will fertilize the bloody field that grows such horrific acts. Doing anything but give him a fair trial is like planting landmines for us to step on in the future.
We are on the world stage.
We are being watched.
We have to get this one right.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
All Rights Reserved