Monday, September 11, 2006

In Memoriam

Sometimes, even someone who loves to opine as much as I do can't find the right words. I watched on TV as the Twin Towers fell on a gloriously sunny day five years ago. I fretted about my husband's cousin, who works at the Pentagon, and I got goosebumps along with the rest of the world when I realized what had happened in the sky above a desolate field in rural Pennsylvania. There simply aren't words to express the grief, the anger, the shock of that terrible day. And I was lucky enough not to lose a close one or to experience first-hand any of the devastation.

I read in the paper last week that President Bush is asking Congress to pass legislation which would provide that terror suspects can be tried based on secret evidence -- evidence that the defendant and his counsel would be prohibited from seeing. I was going to write an indignant post, lamenting that we could even think of behaving in such a manner, citing the Constitution and the principles of justice and due process entrenched in our government structure. I was going to point to all the repressive regimes -- ironically, like Sadam Hussein's -- that tried people for their lives in secret courts with secret evidence. I vacillated, wondering if it would be tacky to do so on the eve of the anniversary of 9/11.

As I thought about it, I realized, however, that in our heartache and confusion and bitterness, in our quest to find some kind of justice, to seek some kind of resolution (however illusory), we dishonor the memory of those who died when we abandon our core values. Clinging to our ideals, our notions of justice and fair play, treating the scum of the world better than they treat us, and yes, observing the spirit and letter of our Constitution and Bill of Rights -- these are right and just ways to honor the memories of those innocent souls who were lost on that day.

Remember. Mourn. And fight to make sure those 3,000 lives were not sacrificed in vain.


the hanged man said...

As always, an excellent post, Carol. There is no reason for the US to abandon our ideals or to begin utilizing "secret" trials and "secret" evidence. This is the sort of deplorable behavior we used to criticize the Soviets for.

As with most things, someone else expressed my thoughts better that I:

"I don't think Osama bin Laden sent those planes in to attack us because he hated our freedom. I think he did it because of our support for Israel, and our ties with the Saudi family and all our military bases in Saudi Arabia. You know why I think that? Because that's what he fucking said! Are we a nation of 6-year-olds? Answer, yes."
Take care, john

the hanged man said...

Oy. Sorry. I meant to mention that the quote in my previous posting comes from David Cross.

Bridget said...

Go Carol! You hit it right on the head.

Mea said...

Right On!!!!!!

Without our rights/freedoms/liberties we are nothing. Just a big, dumb nation full of gullible boneheads.

Unknown said...

Thanks Carol for writing exactly what I would have if I had had the words myself.

Cortster said...

Thanks, Carol.

It causes me no end of irritation with anyone who would even consider "secret" trials, secret evidence -- violating the very Constitution that allegedly our service people are defending.

This kind of behavior makes US the terrorist and the worst part of all is that I just KNOW it would end up being used on American citizens when all someone has to say is that a citizen is a "suspected" terrorist. If we even start on this path, the US as we know it is O.V.E.R.

Not only does the US come off as a nation of 6 year-olds, we also appear to be frightened, immature bullies.

These are hard enough times to live in but you sure did give me some encouragement that there *are* thinking adults out there, that there is hope.

Anonymous said...

I have lately been bemoaning the fact to anyone who will listen that in days gone by, had we heard a story such as this one concerning FratBoy's wanting to try people based on evidence they can't hear, we'd respond, no, that can't be, we don't do that.
And we'd be right.

I am truly devastated that that is no longer true.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Carol. As the years pass, I wonder what sort of society we are trying to protect, is it becoming something we would abhor in another country?

Jude, obscure & sorrowful

Anonymous said...

Yes, we suffered 2 disasters five years ago today -- the terrorists attacked us and the thugs who run our government went completely bat-shit crazy. If we're lucky the voters in November will have some shred of sanity left, the GOP will be prevented from stealing the midterm elections, and at least one of the houses of Congress will revert to Democratic control.

Carol said...

That's my husband right above me. Ain't he the greatest?

mindy said...

Well said. (actually, well said to all of you above, too.)