article, published by The Independent on July 30, 2009
Report a ‘Security Risk’ ... the implications are
Publishing the details of what
our military personnel and/or the CIA might
have done to
former terror detainee Binyam Mohamed does not create a
security risk for the UK or the US. What creates a
security risk is the fact that those who are ultimately responsible for his abuse are not
being prosecuted for their crimes.
To put it another way, it is the fact that our government has
suspended the Constitution in order to protect
criminals who work for us that puts us all in danger... because it lets
people everywhere know that America is not what they might
have imagined us to be or what we have in the past told them
or even what we tell our own children we are or what we tell
ourselves we are.
we know that some people in America are above the law — that We the People are not the sovereign
entities that we thought we were — but we are instead the subjects of
some ruling class elite who have declared themselves to be
sovereign over us and over our Constitution.
The President has no authority to suspend the Constitution and
the rule of law, and yet that is what he's done, just like
the last administration and other administrations before
it. This administration has
demonstrated in various ways that it considers it a bit too inconvenient and
impractical to honor, preserve, protect, defend and live by the Constitution. They
have determined that we have no right to know what our leaders
and our soldiers do in our name; that we have no
right to defend our honor and our integrity for fear that it might
upset certain members of the ruling class if we were to do so.
The President has determined that some criminals are
too big and too important to be prosecuted for their
crimes. Other Americans, of course, remain subject to prosecution for
misdemeanors much less vile than those our leaders and their
agents commit on a regular basis.
In fact our jails are full... and very few of those
incarcerated have committed crimes anywhere near as egregious
as our leaders do on a regular basis in our name.
The uncomfortable truth is... that it is the failure to
acknowledge and publish the truth that puts our
soldiers at risk. The world at large already has
enough information to imagine what kinds of crimes we might
have committed in the Binyam Mohamed case. By not
seeking justice on behalf of those we have tortured,
murdered, and otherwise abused, our government is telling the world that
we as a people are unwilling to admit
to, or take responsibility for, our crimes or the crimes of our
implication is that we are willing to ignore the criminal acts
of our leaders and our soldiers, which in some sense makes all of us accessories to their crimes after
For others to see Americans as criminals is what puts us and
our allies at risk.
And if we as citizens do not strive to protect our
honor and our Constitution, then what will we become... and how will we ever be able to argue convincingly that we
are not exactly as others see us?