Putting on the brakes
This news nearly had me dancing around my living room this morning.
The Supreme Court ruling on Guantanamo puts the brakes on what has been a sharp expansion of executive powers and raises fresh questions about other aspects of President Bush's war-on-terror policy.
If there's one thing post-9/11 expansion of executive powers needs, it's brakes. Though not an alarmist nor conspiracy theorist by a long shot, I have been getting increasingly nervous about the power the president has accumulated in the past five years. I'm half expecting him to ask for term-limit circumvention so he can run again in 2008 and then declare himself Emperor.
Okay, not really, but this decision really has me breathing a sigh of relief. And the fact that it's about Guantanamo, which is something our nation should be deeply ashamed of, makes it all the better. I've said it before and I'll say it again: we can't claim to be the good guys unless we act like it. Fighting terrorism is not an excuse for abuse of power, it's not an excuse for taking away people's rights to due process, and it's not an excuse to torture (and no, the fact that these prisoners aren't American citizens does not make it okay. Do we need another reminder of how Jesus defined neighbor? It had nothing to do with citizenship of any given country, that's for sure.)
Remember when Patrick Henry said "Give me liberty or give me death"? It scares me to see how 230 years later we seem so willing to trade liberty for safety. Actually, we haven't even traded it for safety, we've traded it for the illusion of safety. This ruling gives me some hope that maybe we're not too far down that path. Let's take some of that liberty back and be the country we were founded to be.