We are in trouble and all we do is ask, “Why doesn’t someone speak up?” Seemingly impossible attacks on the very principles of our country pass through both houses of Congress. Our representatives in Washington appear to have just flicked their thumbs at the findings of the third Geneva Convention. Collective punishment for individual acts, corporal punishment, imprisonment without daylight, and all forms of torture and cruelty are forbidden (Convention III, Art. 87).
The ancient and great Writ of Habeas Corpus tested by The Patriot Act is now under attack. Open the door to trying an enemy combatant without discovery and your back door may be opened next. Of course, someone should speak up, but no one will.
Our leaders, Republican and Democratic, are so concerned about taking the position of control in November that their charge to protect and defend the Constitution has taken a second seat to the hunger for power. We felt confident as Senator John McCain took on the administration on the issue of torture. He huffed and puffed, but for the sake of party unity and November elections, would not blow the White House down. For the same reasons, Democrats dare not sail into the gale for fear of being called soft on terror and thus losing the potential throne of dominance.
One thing is certain. One of these parties will win in November and have supremacy. ?No one will speak up. Domination and power will become the primary concern in Washington. Our civil liberties will be secondary to authoritarian muscle. And we will pull the sheets over our eyes when we hear the knock on the back door.
Carlos B. Icaza