Universal Rights = Leftwing Propaganda?
By Dennis Loo (1/19/14)
I have an article waiting in the wings to publish that's on hold because for some reason we can't get the tweets that I want to display in the article to display properly. Only the html code shows up. In the meantime, I can't help but show you the content of one of the latest tweets in a little fight that's going on over GTMO between myself and a group of military folks.
The fracas began after I tweeted a link to the text of my Close Guantanamo Now talk of 1/17/14. My tweet reads: "Why GTMO? Text of Dennis Loo's 1/17/14 talk at Cal Poly Pomona, http://dennisloo.com/Articles/why-guantanamo.html."
In response I've been accused by people who haven't bothered themselves to actually read my talk of being an "Islamist apologist," a "really bad guy," an anti-American, and other such things. Why confuse yourself by finding out what the person you're arguing against and insulting is actually saying by reading an article by him? Life is so much simpler if you avoid that.
So here's the one I have to show you from one of my critics, one Holmes Simons:
"It is fallacy that non-citizens are entitled 2 same Constitutional protections as Citizens>LibPropaganda."
But of course, how silly of me to think that constitutional principles - such as due process, the rule of law, being treated as innocent until proven guilty, being entitled to face your accusers, having a right to challenge your indefinite detention through habeas corpus rights so that those who are holding you have to show at least a modicum of evidence why they have cause to think that you might have committed a crime, not being subjected to torture and other forms of brutality - these rights should ONLY be extended to citizens. American citizenship is a privilege and only Americans should be treated humanely. Non-Americans can get f****d. International laws such as the Geneva Conventions that state that everyone regardless of their nationality should have their rights assured to humane and legal treatment, that's just so much hogwash propagated by the LibPropaganda Machine!
The really bright folks that I'm debating on twitter today know enough that they have to say respectful things about international law, the Geneva Conventions, and habeas corpus, but that recognition apparently doesn't extend into the realm of their actually understanding the principles, the language and its meanings, of international law, the Geneva Conventions, and habeas corpus. The very notion that legal principles should be extended to everyone, not just a select group of people, which is why that Lady Justice is blindfolded in front of US courthouses, and the idea that human rights are only meaningful if they are universal, is too fine a point for these brave brethern of true patriotism. They also don't know that the Geneva Conventions was written to cover every category of person, combatant and non-combatant. When I told one of them that Bush et al created the new category of "unlawful enemy combatant" he said that that can't be.
When I hear people tell me that I'm "distainful (sic) of international law" while at the same time chastizing me for arguing that people who have been held for over ten years and tortured and still not had any charges brought against them have a right to habeas corpus rights, I have to laugh. GTMO detainees are guilty, I'm told, because they wouldn't be imprisoned at GTMO if they weren't. The proof of their guilt? "They're not wearing uniforms." You see, if they were wearing uniforms then they wouldn't be "unlawful enemy combatants." I suppose that is why so many of these really bright minds are wearing uniforms or standing in front of big bright American flags in their twitter pics so that they don't get deported to GTMO by mistake as "unlawful enemy combatants." And I suppose that's the fatal mistake that the hundreds of children who have been killed by drones made: wearing their civilian clothes instead of their military uniforms!
It's not mainly the fault of these folks that they can't think too consistently and don't know their history and facts. When society's leading authorities in politics, economics, major institutions, and media are filling their minds with rubbish day in and day out, these regular (but really patriotic!) people aren't capable of recognizing that their minds are being filled with garbage. They take this rubbish that passes for official discourse as their talking points. They're also, by the way, scared out of their minds, which is really too bad, because it makes it all the harder for them to use their brains when they're so scared.
Not that I am going to make a major point of this to those who are so craven in their outlooks that they think it's alright for non-Americans to be mistreated to the point that detainees will be tortured or will be driven to suicide in despair, but what these folks also don't know is that when you go along with the deprivation of rights to others, that this eventually comes full circle to you. To wit, for example, the National Defense Authorization Act strips American citizens of their citizenship and their rights if they are accused of being a "terrorist." That is all that it takes now: an accusation. And your belief that precious American rights are only to be honored for Americans is thrown out the window.