Perhaps it all started when the United States was attacked on 9/11. When the buildings of the World Trade Center collapsed was it the beginning of the end of American morality and decency? In our willingness to be secure have we lost our liberty ?
The world stood as one when the attack on innocent civilians occurred in New York that awful morning. We have seen other attacks on innocents in Bali, in India and at the train station in Madrid.
Now many years later we see a newly created group of barbaric criminals under a different banner than Al Queda, this time they are called ISIS.
You would think that the lessons learned from our indecent reaction to Al Qaeda such as renditions, water boarding, listening in on too many citizens phone calls without a warrant and delayed justice for citizens who were in jail for a long time without a trial, would have been a long lasting lesson, that illegal acts are never justified, no matter what the provocation. But no, evidently not, as we hear the coarse and amazing comments from several of the Republican candidates for President who seem to be quite willing to do unspeakable things to human beings in the name of security.
The words of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and others are enough to conclude that Benjamin Franklin was so right so many years ago. Ben Franklin once said that if you are willing to give up liberty for security you deserve neither.
At the end of World War II, America stood for justice. We along with our allies put on trial for crimes against humanity, those still living who were responsible for the unspeakable crimes that the Nazi regime under Adolf Hitler had committed.
The world was shocked and disgusted by the pictures of the Holocaust. Testimony was taken from the victims. The Nazi’s who sat in the dock in the various trials were given justice. America along with the British set the gold standard in setting rule sets to punish those who are guilty of war crimes.
The fact is that two wrongs do not make it right. If a person commits a crime that does not make it okay to commit a crime for revenge, or retribution or for the potential information that you might get from torturing someone. As those intelligence officers would tell you from World War II, you don’t get good intel from torture.
This past week we have heard comments about renewing water boarding, we have heard comments about making non-Christians refugees put a message on their shirts announcing to the world that they are Muslims or that it would be okay to have a database with only those names of those who practice the Islamic faith on the list. Our war is not against Islam but rather against the criminals who do criminal acts against the rules of the civilized world. These comments from a few candidates who would seek to treat human beings in an inhumane manner are embarrassing and these candidates should be roundly rejected at the polls as being un- American. It is a shame that the Republican Party has not repudiated these shameful statements for political gain.
The question remains what is happening to the United States?