House Republicans made the right choice today when they helped hold the line on Bush’s veto of the bill intended to ban waterboarding.
Democrats are resting on the wrong principle here in trying to protect the rights of terrorists. They are convinced they are on the side of protecting everyone in an effort to do the right thing.
Or, they are simply trying to use this issue as a means to gain public sympathy in hopes of seating a Democrat in the Oval Office again. And to keep their own seats in Congress.
At the same time, we have a very real issue to continue to monitor when it comes to the rights of innocent Americans. And it’s not just an issue of whether we are torturing anyone, although I still contend waterboarding is not torture any more than any other psychological technique to gain vital tactical information from real terrorists.
However, we have to ensure that we are really dealing with terrorists and not just taking anyone that looks like they’re from the Middle East and assume they know something or hate Americans and lock them up indefintely.
Here’s what I think the real problem is. I think deep down inside, Democrats (or more accurately, Liberals) believe that if you don’t abridge the freedoms of anybody, you won’t accidentally abridge the freedoms of innocent citizens. This is the same logic used by the left to oppose the death penalty and punishments for other major felonies: you never know for sure if you really got the right perpetrator.
Indeed, this is not a concern to scoff at, but the problem with the left is that, frankly, they have that old bill-pay mentality. That’s when someone wants the same level of ease, efficiency, and reliability with minimal effort that is achieved with bill pay. I love bill pay. I hardly have to think about my bills at all anymore. I used to have to work hard to make sure I got bills paid timely. Now, the bank just handles it all with little or no effort on my part.
We can’t have this kind of approach to life when it comes to critical things like making sure we get the right bad guys and aren’t stuffing innocents in jail forever. The answer is not to just give up on doing what needs to be done to get necessary information out of terrorists, or provide appropriate punishment to those that commit serious crimes. We have already given up too much at home with our children or in the schools… nobody punishes or criticizes anymore for fear of offending, and besides, it’s too much work. An undisciplined society, and unprotected society will eventually either collapse from the sheer weight of the criminal and terrorist element, or will crumble from lack of maintaining collective discipline and order. Everyone will eventually really do whatever they want to, and nobody will bother stopping them. That is anarchy and chaos.
Running a society, government, family, etc. is hard, hard, work. We have to learn to live with the fact that we’ll never be able to just kick back and let everything run itself, like bill pay. Ensuring the rights of our citizens will take passing the right laws to ensure those rights (which for the most part, we already have) and vigilance. I am substantially more concerned about the realities of situations like that depicted in the movie 12 Angry Men (where members of a jury were ready to convict just to avoid a protracted effort to reach the truth) than I am with waterboarding a known terrorist in order to get critical intel. Congress cannot fix that. Only you and I and the rest of the People can ensure we all do what’s right together. Let’s watch each other’s back, shall we?
About the Author
Mr. Smith is the Publisher of The Conservative Reader. He is Partner/Owner of Ambrosia Web Technology as well as a Systems Architect for Wells Fargo. Art hold a degree in Computer Science from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and is a political blogger at the Des Moines Register. Art's views are purely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wells Fargo.
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