Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Freedom from Tyranny

The 4th of July!

A day where we should be able to look to our leaders to inspire, and uphold the vision of our founding fathers, who took a stand for freedom and the self-evident truths embodied in their Declaration of Independence.

Today the Flag still waves, the fireworks still awe, and the bands still march.... but most citizens don't look to the White House, Congress, or the Justice Department for principled leadership. By their base actions they have sullied the idealism embodied in that ringing declaration.

We are painfully aware of the unequal treatment under the law doled out by President Bush and his Justice Department, but John Fabian Witt today reminds us of another abandoned precept in, "A Declaration The President Ignores." (WaPo)

That precept is that war ought to be governed by law.

"In late June 1776, as the first detachments of what was to become a sizable British force were landing 90 miles away in New York, Thomas Jefferson and the Continental Congress in Philadelphia drew up charges denouncing King George III to the world. The accusations were to serve as the core of the declaration. The climatic final charges, for which the rest were prologue, indicted the king for war crimes."

Since then the United States has aligned itself with the rules of warfare.... the 1780s treaty with Prussia.... Abraham Lincoln's code for the Union Army.... Franklin Roosevelt's guidance in establishing the Nuremberg tribunal for German war criminals and his aides who wrote the U.N. charter's rules for the use of force.... and the international law regarding combatants, civilians and mercenaries embodied in the Third Geneva Convention's rules on prisoners of war.

Sadly, we've had to bear witness as our present King George has morphed into British King George III. Under the guise of national security, he has drug our nation into the muddy pits of Guantanamo, secret CIA prisons, Abu Ghraib and even "formalized" torture.

As a result, King George has fueled the rise of terrorist recruitment, has isolated us and tarnished our reputation in the eyes of the world.... what the Declaration calls "the Opinions of Mankind."

This day as we celebrate the courage it took to declare our independence in 1776, let's vow to regain that courage and declare our own independence from the tyranny of King George and his minions.

Tell them loud and clear.... "We're taking back our country!"

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