Monday, April 22, 2013

Due Process, the Boston bomber and the Will to Live


I consider my politics left of center.  I have been so all my adult life. What my leftist like-minded allies seldom do is protest against the massive violence that has become the very constant face of Middle East nation states.  Our nation must defend against the complexities of that threat.  This is not simple trench warfare. This is not one army fighting the males of another army over turf.  We are, yes, a different nation since 9/11 and now even more so since the Boston bombing too.  We are different and it matters not what our national policies were in past decades within the Middle East and elsewhere that have brought us to this point – and I do think there have been egregious errors in policy that have done so.  What matters, now, since the past cannot be undone is to accept the hand we were dealt, change policy when possible but defend our lives and homeland at any cost.  

There is STILL, I believe, even with all the mistakes this aggressive power has made through decades, something called America that is worth defending.

The early 19th century philosopher Schopenhauer believed the strongest instinct of man was “the will to live.”  The possibility exits now that massive damage could be inflicted yet again by the acquisition of the most threatening weaponry IF they are appropriated overseas which could hurt perhaps even generationally cripple our nation.  We are NOT talking about simple armed conflict we are talking destructive forces beyond comprehension and all the cost, damage and death that would encompass.  Do you think anyone would care about the bomber's Miranda rights if those who share his political beliefs were to have access to the unthinkable?  I aver most would not.  

The civil libertarian lawyer, writer and brilliant commentator Glenn Greenwald and others like him are fierce defenders without exception of the Fourth and Fifth Amendment Constitutional due process.  I share that basic political thought with them but NOT at all costs.  I will NOT advocate for those who have no Constitutional due process, who would torture and terrorize on a whim and whose concept of free speech is relegated only to the “appropriate” religious texts.  Let the Greenwald’s of our country try to advocate as they do here but in the most violent part of the Middle East and see how quickly their Miranda rights are read to them.  They, of course, would not be.  

The stakes are too high now for me to care about the Boston bomber's Miranda rights if dangers of other bombings loom in the distance.  Let our law enforcement do what it must, preserve due process when it CAN and suspend it only when necessary.  I will live with it -- emphasis on LIVE!