The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Western Tribune Column January 28, 2009

Restoring a historic home does not happen overnight.

Fortunately there are dedicated individuals in Bessemer who understand the importance of preserving these sometimes simple, sometimes grand, structures. Slowly, historic Bessemer is being restored.

Restoring the liberties, rights and protections granted by our Constitution will also take some time.

Fortunately our new president understands our Constitution and international law as it relates to human rights and has taken some initial, important steps toward that goal. He has issued several executive orders that set a new path toward an America we can be more proud of.
His orders include shutting down the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and putting an end to torture as a means of extracting information from detainees.

The orders are not that simple, however. He understands that some of those being held may be dangerous, some may need to be returned to other countries, and some may need to be held in detention here in the United States. There are evaluations to be made and new policies to be developed, and for this reason he has established an Interagency Task Force to handle the details. It may take up to a year to complete the task. But the world immediately recognizes the change and a little respect is regained for America.

Opponents cry that we don’t need these terror suspects on U. S. soil, but what they really seem to be saying is they don’t trust the federal detention system. If our prisons are not secure enough to hold the worst of these would be terrorists, then should we trust them to hold the murderers and rapists that are held there now? If the prisons need upgrading, let’s fix them now, to protect from both the terrorists and the murderers.

As for torture, it’s odd to me that the same people who claim to value the very essence of life seem to believe that it’s OK to perform inhumane acts on living humans. Even more surprising is that they still hold those beliefs even when shown that torture does not work.

A civilized society, just as it would not put humans to death as a form of punishment, also would not torture.

And with less inhumane treatment of individuals, the world is made a better place.

No comments: