Wednesday, October 11, 2006

On Being American

I read this morning the following posted by a police officer. It is part of her response to an article about the unlawful imprisonment and treatment of Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen, and I found it very moving.

To retort that this raw power is necessary to "protect Americans" is to assume that there is nothing in being a citizen of this nation for any of us beyond the mere fact of being alive. My own judgment is that this is not what the signers of the Declaration of Independence had in mind when they pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to the task of creating the United States of America and it horrifies me that those who have taken oaths to defend the Constitution view their fellow citizens as having no greater aspirations as Americans than craven physical safety.

If they are right and I am wrong then being American is little more than being situated in a certain place on the globe with no claim to moral authority beyond what can be enforced through bullets and bombs. Then we are little more than a street gang with assertions of control over our turf. Then we are truly lost.

Diana Powe

I cannot add to that. She says if better than I can.

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