Dear President Obama;
I find the continued use of some of the Bush administration policies to be of concern. The “military commissions” and “state secrecy ” policies are poorly constructed and of some questionable legality. The thought that former President Bush and his administration will not be held to account for their actions is unacceptable.
However, I find the suggestion that “prolonged” or “preventative” detention may be used, in any case whatsoever, to be most appalling. This is clearly in violation of our Constitution and the several treaties and conventions we hold with other nations. We are fools to assume that such a change in our laws would not eventually be used against the very citizens of this country. Once such a basic precept is abandoned in the one instance, we may rest assured it will be abandoned in all.
The former administration by-passed and/or broke many of the laws of the United States; I am shocked to hear you suggest we continue down that path.
I will further offer for your consideration the concern that such reckless abridgment of justice will, in fact, be used as evidence by the recruiters of terrorism that the United States is not a nation of laws, is indeed a “rogue nation”, and that the suggested policy of preventative detention will actually make us less safe.
This brings me to my final point: your job is not to “keep us safe”. You swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, not to keep us safe. We have a vast supply of weaponry, nuclear and otherwise, a huge number of military personnel, countless informative services, and endless protective policies in place for that job. To abandon our laws in a misguided attempt to “keep us safe” merely makes us look unhinged. What would be the point of safety in a land of tyranny? And can one even BE safe in such a place?
What makes America great is not its safety – even the founders did not make such a rash promise – but its liberty and justice. That is what you swore to protect and uphold and that is what I, for one, expect you to do. Tearing off one little piece after another of the Constitution in response to lawless fear-mongers like Mr. Cheney will leave us in a land unrecognizable, and unworthy of its roots.
letter to the president
Dear President Obama;