Page 1 of 1

Being American

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:08 am
by Kerry Tobin
Please take a few moments to stop and remember what it means to be an American. It seems a lot of people are forgetting the ideas and beliefs that so many before us have fought, and died for. Also note that what was done in Boston was horrific and I truly hope those responsible are punished to the fullest extent of the law!

We now have a US Senator asking who wouldn't use torture to save lives in reference to the Boston suspect. Not only is torture un-American it's prohibited under international law and a violation of basic human rights. How is an American citizen, or even an enemy combattant, any more of a threat than an enemy military leader who is clearly protected under the Geneva Convention?

We now have multiple US Senators and Representatives that are suggesting the Boston suspect should be declared an "Enemy Combatant". Believe it or not, the suspect is an American Citizen and the US Constitution still applies. That silly little piece of paper is designed to protect all Americans and ensure that even the worst of us have certain basic rights and protections from our government. Have we become so willing to turn a blind eye and ignore the basic premise that acts as the foundation of our government just because it's inconvenient? Where do we draw the line? Do we reach the point that we can be declared an "enemy combatant" simply for not answer a federal officer's question?

The suspect in the Boston bombings has not been read his Miranda rights. You'll note that I said suspect, please remember that in this country he is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Even assuming he was involved, which also needs to be proven in court, we have no idea if he was forced, if he knew what was in the backpacks, etc. The Miranda rights protect someone from violating his or her Fifth Amendment rights (back to that inconvenient US Constitution again). We used to believe that EVERYONE had the right to representation by an attorney, even when it was inconvenient.

I want those responsible to talk as much as anyone else. I want to know why this crime was committed. I want to know if others were involved and how it reached this point so it can be prevented in the future. However, I will NOT give up on the idea of what it is to be an American. Giving up basic protections and ignoring human rights is a slippery slope. If we're willing to start down that path it's a short trip to being no better than those who would attack us. And if it is our idea of freedom that they are attacking, aren't they already winning?

Re: Being American

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:25 pm
by Floyd Alvin
Before you answer Kerry's post (which I think is interesting that no one has yet) think three different scenarios:

First scenario:

You have a suspect that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt has information of the next 9/11 attack. Would you approve of torture to extract the information that would save those people who will die unless you do?

Second scenario:

You have a suspect that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt has information that will save the life of your kidnapped wife and kids (or husband and kids). Would you approve of torture to extract the information that would save your wife/husband and kids unless you do?

Third scenario:

You have a suspect that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt has information that will save YOUR life for a pending terrorist attack. Would you approve of torture to extract the information that would save your life unless you do?

There are your three scenarios. But let's throw in a one other factor just to make it more interesting. No one would ever know if you did use torture.

As far as I am concerned, there is only one HONEST answer to all three scenarios. There can not possibly be different answers.

And I think most HONEST people know what the answer is.

Re: Being American

Posted: Wed May 01, 2013 6:44 pm
by Tom B
Kerry every single thing you just wrote should also apply to me and others when it comes to my 2nd amendment rights. This is exactly what I meant when I said you chose to follow what appeals to you. Why is this persons constitutional right more important than mind. I think you wrote this article to early cause once this thing is completely investigated I think your comments are going to be mute.
Yes he is a citizen but I have a feeling this citizen didn’t act alone and had terrorist help which just might make him a terrorist.
Lets say I moved to Iran for a couple years leaned terrorist plots and how to kill innocent people I even become a Muslim.
Then come back and carried out these killings would you still think I should be tried as a US citizen maybe but I’m still a terrorist. An enemy combatant Treason to the highest degree.
Alvin Excellent comment.

Re: Being American

Posted: Thu May 02, 2013 6:05 am
by Kerry Tobin
Tom B,

Once again, not a single thing I suggested prevents you from buying a gun. Well, unless there is a legal reason you can't. Therefor, there is no infringement on any 2nd ammendment right. You have the right to keep and bear arms, no question about it.

I find it interesting that so many of the same people that support requiring new restrictions on voting are so against the same idea when it comes to buying a gun. Seems to me BOTH rights are EQUALLY important...

Re: Being American

Posted: Thu May 02, 2013 6:13 am
by Kerry Tobin
Strange that our courts were able to deal with things like treason adequately for hundreds of years but suddenly after 9/11 people no longer think they can do so... I don't remember seeing an asterisk or fine print when I studied the constitution. It doesn't matter how heinous the crime, American citizens have certain rights and I'm fearful of the day we forget that.

A study I saw yesterday said 40% of Americans support the idea of giving up some rights in the fight against terrorists. Based on that, I'd say we've pretty much already lost.

Re: Being American

Posted: Fri May 03, 2013 5:23 pm
by Tom B
Gee Kerry was there Muslim extremist in 1776 and if so had they infiltrated the country as they have now.
Let me ask you this are you more willing to give up some of your rights in order to protect the country or should we just go on about our business as though nothing’s going to happen. And what rights are we talking about the right to not be scanned before boarding a plane.
This is life in the USA Kerry sorry to say it but because of this group this is where we’re at.

Re: Being American

Posted: Fri May 03, 2013 7:24 pm
by XYZ1
Was Timonthy Mcveigh a terrorist? He was given his rights because he's a US citizen. And he caused a lot more damage. So, just because this kid is a Muslim he should be treated differently? That doesn't sound like America to me.

Re: Being American

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 8:50 am
by Kerry Tobin
Wow, it's amazing how quickly we forget our history.

Salem, Massachusetts - 1692-1693 - The "witches" were a threat to our children and our way of life. They needed to be round up, treated differently, and hung in order to protect ourselves.

United States - 1942 - The Japanese were a threat to our civilization, country, and our way of life. 110,000 of them were rounded up and placed in "War Relocation Camps" 62% of them were American Citizens, which didn't matter, they needed to be treated differently...

United States - 1947-1957 - The Communists were a threat to our civilization, country, and our way of life. The McCarran Internal Security Act was passed and modified a number of laws to to restrict civil liberties in the name of security. President Truman declared the act a "mockery of the Bill of Rights" and a "long step toward totalitarianism" because it represented a government restriction on the freedom of opinion. Truman vetoed the act but was overturned by Congress.

Then there's these...

1886 - An unknown person or persons detonated a bomb at Haymarket square in Chicago during a labor rally.

1910 - LA Times building was bombed with dynamite killing 21 workers. It's believed the bomb was placed due to the paper's opposition to unionization of it's employees.

1915 - A German professor exploded a bomb in the reception room of the US Senate.

1916 - Preparedness Day Bombing kills 10 people and injures 40 in San Francisco.

1917 - Bomb explodes in a Milwaukee police station killing 9.

This list goes on, and on, and on, and on... ... ted_States

Some people need to realize that the general Muslim population has as much in common with the "Muslim Extremists" as most Christians do the Westboro Baptist Church.

So, once again, why do we need to change and give up our freedoms? And if you think all we're giving up is being scanned at an airport you're not paying attention. The US Government has been caught universally spying on American's phone calls, not using warrants, etc. They've had to grant immunity to telecoms to keep them being sued, etc. And there are new bills being considered, which give them broad access to great deals of internet communication.

And let's not forget about the National Security Letters received by many organizations. These letters contain a gag order, preventing the recipient of the letter from disclosing that the letter was ever issued. Initially, these organizations weren't even allowed to discuss the letters with their attorneys. Google has gotten permission to release a range as part of their Transparency Report. They received between 0-999 of these letters every year since 2009. Oh, no court approval is required to issue one of these fancy letters, just a signature from the Director of the FBI (or a senior FBI designee).

Those that follow technology can likely tell you about a large number of things our government is doing that trample rights provided by the constitution, and often without the need of a warrant, or any over site...