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More Misuse of Power

Regular readers of mine know that I am very concerned about the government trampling our rights.  I don't buy the anti-terrorism argument for widespread infringements on our liberties.

I also think that the US needs to be a beacon for ethics and human rights throughout the world.  This doesn't mean that we have to be soft on our enemies.  I think that we can lead with peace, human rights, and ethics, and then come down hard when us or our allies are attacked or aggressively threatened.  Something like "speak softly and carry a big stick."  An old-time Republican said that (although he also ran for President as a third-party candidate).

Today's Globe has a story about how the US imprisoned an Afghani warlord in Guantanamo because he wouldn't cooperate with us, after being a supporter of our Afghani invasion.  I am not saying that this warlord is a good guy.  He sounded corrupt and was removed by the Afghani government.  But, why imprison him in Guantanamo?  Why not just try him in Afghanistan?

Guantanamo was defended as being for enemy combatants who were so dangerous that they couldn't enjoy the Geneva Conventions.  Instead, it is just a bad place for us to put people we don't like.  This type of abuse of power makes it impossible for us to build an international coalition to get ourselves out of this mess in Afghanistan and Iraq.  This type of activity fuels the insurgency, and it's hard not to blame them.  We are bullies.

I'd love to vote for the first candidate in this election who convinces me that they will lead with peace, human rights, and ethics.  It seems to run against the tide of the electoral momentum, but I think that the right message, coupled with a commitment to running an efficient government and strong security, would be a winner.


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