Military tribunals set bad example

Imagine being on your dream vacation to a foreign country. Now imagine the horror of being in the “wrong place at the wrong time” and you’ve been charged with being a terrorist. To make matters worse, although the country you are visiting prides itself on fair “public” prosecutions and the concept of “innocent until proven guilty,” you will be tried behind closed doors by a military tribunal. Sound scary? Yes. Fair? No. Morally correct? No. Legal? Most definitely not (unless you already live under martial law, which by some accounts we already do).

However, in the United States, in the name of revenge and self defense we seem to be quite willing to say “Hey, these foreigners don’t deserve the same rights that we have, especially after what they’ve done to us” (even though our country was founded by and consists of foreigners).

The rock group Buffalo Springfield once had a hit song called “For What It’s Worth,” containing the quotes “We’d better stop, Hey! What’s that sound … everybody look, what’s going down” and “it starts when you’re always afraid, then you step out of line and the men come and take you away.” I think those lyrics are quite appropriate in this day and age, when it seems that the press is quite willing to espouse government propaganda designed to continue eroding our hard-earnedrights. These rights are not granted by the government. They were reserved by the people. Remember that.

In my humble opinion, we should “do unto others …” By this I mean that if our citizens want to be treated with common courtesy and respect when visiting other countries, and do not want to be faced with the proposition of being prosecuted behind closed doors by military tribunals, perhaps we should set the example.


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