Thursday, March 08, 2012

Security, Justice and Liberty

I thought that I would never see an Attorney General worse than Alberto Gonzalez, but I think we have come to that point in Eric Holder. Certainly he is far more intelligent than Alberto, but of course the same could be said of many house cats, so that isn’t necessarily high praise. Holder is certainly no more principled than Bertie. I’m going to comment on his odious speech at Northwestern in several posts, breaking it up into different aspects of what he had to say, almost all of which was un-American.

He started with a lengthy screed about defense of “America’s founding – and enduring – promises of security, justice and liberty.” Notice that he put security first, and don’t think for one minute that that is insignificant. Think about our Pledge of Allegiance,

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I think he would like to rewrite that to read “with security, liberty and justice for all.” I like it better the way that it is. The idea that “security” is one of the “founding promises” of this nation is utterly repugnant to me. The last words of the Declaration of Independence are a ringing, “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” Putting one’s life on the line to create a new nation based on freedom and justice does not place security as a “founding promise” of that nation.

He goes on to quote John Kennedy about “defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger,” waxes eloquent about the threat of terrorism that clouds his every waking hour and promises that the effort to “keep the American people safe – has been, and will remain, this Administration’s top priority.”

Later, we’ll find out that doing so includes violating laws and trashing the constitution because, as implied in his statements earlier, security has priority over liberty and justice. But there is nothing in the President’s oath about keeping Americans safe, and there is a very specific statement about his duty to “protect and defend the constitution.”

In fact, the only duty spelled out in his oath of office is to “preserve, protect and defend the constitution.” The president also has a number of duties which are spelled out in the constitution, but “keeping the American people safe” is not one of them, nor can any of his enumerated duties be interpreted to mean that.

There’s nothing wrong with “keeping the American people safe,” of course, but the founding fathers thought there was something more important than safety, and so do those who go in harm’s way to defend this nation. When we place our own safety above what our men and women are fighting and dying to defend, then there is something horribly wrong. When soldiers die to defend civil liberties, and we abandon civil liberties in the name of safety, then this nation has lost its way and chickenhawks in suits who think they deserve to lead this nation are not fit to talk about its “founding promises.”

No comments:

Post a Comment