Someday we, as a people, are going to have to stand up for truth and justice and stop being mislead by lies, distortion, ambiguity, rumor, innuendo, gossip and flawed rationalization and thinking. Usually, the truth will come out and usually we already know the truth. We need to accept it and face it, even if it shows our own flawed thinking, our mistakes and perhaps our criminal behavior. We must take a stand much like Judge Arthur M. Schack of Brooklyn, New York is doing in regards to foreclosures. It seems to me that he’s saying to banks who foreclose mortgages, “Come in this court with your facts straight and your arguments based in civil law, or else.”
Take the problem of investigating whether America used torture in the interrogation of alleged terrorist. There is already evidence in the documents, specifically a CIA Inspector General report, that have made the light of day that we, America, used torture and that no useful intelligence was gained from doing it. There is also clear U.S. law against it; law established by our own government and international treaties. There is no ambiguity about that. But, Vice President Cheney attempts to fog up the issue. He says, and I paraphrase, “If we allow past administrations to be investigated and prosecuted for their actions, nobody would run for the office.” That’s nonsense.
The truth is that having the ability and lawful responsibility to investigate and prosecute past unlawful behavior is exactly what we should do. No president or vice president should hold the highest office in our country with the belief that they can circumvent, distort or out-right flaunt the law of this country and get away with it. And, if they do flaunt the law, they will be held responsible for their actions. That’s justice. That’s United States law. Either we are a joke, or we are a serious country of laws. There is no ambiguity in our Constitution about that.
We know for a fact that President Bush signed the anti-torture law that Senator McCain, and others, sponsored. We also know that President Bush added his little “signing statement” to the bill when he signed it that essentially said, “…we don’t have to follow this law in regards to terrorist…,” paraphrased. I hope, and more than that – pray, that the special prosecutor will get to the bottom of the torture issue; who did it knowing it was illegal, who authorized it and was responsible for knowing it was illegal or not and who in the Justice Department, White House or any other Government Department justified the use of torture with distorted legal arguments. That should encompass just about everyone who was involved in America’s use of torture.
But, our search for truth and justice shouldn’t stop there. Every time we see some lie, distortion or misrepresentation, we should take a stand; a line in the sand that we won’t accept it. Take a simple email that I received yesterday from a family member. An email that is passed around the internet that distorts the truth, such as this one:
WHY IS IT...
IF YOU CROSS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YEARS HARD LABOR.
IF YOU CROSS THE US BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET A DRIVERS LICENSE, SOCIAL SECURITY CARD AND FREE HEALTHCARE
WHO’S BRIGHT IDEA WAS THAT?!!!
This is nonsense, too. Illegal aliens don’t get Social Security Cards, they don’t get free health care, except in emergencies, and they don’t get a driver’s license. The intent of the email is only to spread ignorance and lies, to cause an uproar and dissention and to cause anti-government resentment. That’s the only reason for the email. If you’re one of those people who pass this nonsense around to your friends and family, don’t you think it’s time that you be honest with your friends and family? Don’t you think it’s time that you investigated these claims yourself and if you find them dishonest or lying or misrepresentations that you send an email back to the person who sent it to you pointing that out? Why do you accept these claims without pointing out that it is nonsense to those who sent it to you? Why do you pass them on?
I would like to know. Is it that you want to “fit in” with your group of friends? Are you afraid to question nonsense in your circle of relatives and friends? Are you a “gossip?” Are you proud of being a “false witness?” Is it that you think it is a “joke” or “funny” to be against your government? Why do you accept the ramblings and ranting of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Rielly without questioning their logic, ideals and conclusions? Is it “entertaining?” Is that all you need? If you or someone you know is without health care and you can see as easily as I do that the insurance companies are taking you for a ride, putting your money in their pockets and your, your family or friends health or financial situation at risk, why would you stand against health care reform? In 233 years this country has followed a Constitution that assures liberty and a pursuit of happiness for its citizens so what would make you believe that it will not do that in health care reform? Have you read the Constitution? Do you really know what “socialism” means or are you just “mouthing” what you heard? Did you know that the health care reform bills in Congress are in no way “socialism?” Are you a racist? Is that your reason for “tea parties” or “town hall” uncivil behavior? And, if you’re a Senator or Representative who distorts the facts, why would you do that? Is it for your own gain in the next election? Is that all your constituents mean to you? People who you can mislead so you can have a job? Why would you lie to them like South Carolina’s Republican Senator DeMint did in his recent town hall meeting or blatantly lie like Sarah Palin’s “death panels?” And, if you are their constituent, why would you accept such nonsense?
And, if you’re a news network, newspaper, a reporter or columnist, why would you want to lie or distort facts? Isn’t it your job to bring the light of day to ambiguity, hidden agendas and corruption in our communities? Why would you want to continue a “controversy” simply to increase your ratings or readership? Are you honest? Are you a good source of truth or just a commercial, bottom-line company? Is exposing lies and deceit important to you, or do you say and do anything no matter how outrageous or nefarious for money? Are you a good reporter or not? Why does the so-called “fair and balanced” news have to include lies and deceit? How are lies, innuendo, rumor, misrepresentation and deceit “fair and balanced?” They sound like lies to me.
The time has come for America to be honest with itself. We need to put the spinners and liars and those who distort and misrepresent truth and justice out of business. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean “Freedom to lie.” We need to reject lies and distortion that comes to our attention. I don’t know any other way for America to get through our many troubles except with truth and justice and the strength to face down lies and injustice.
If you don’t know what’s true, then find out. Don’t send me anymore half-baked ideas or out-right lies, gossip, innuendo, rumor or something you heard Limbaugh say. If you know the lies, then stop repeating them. It isn’t funny.
I can guarantee you that if you are honest and truthful and make every effort to be that and you are just in your decisions, I will honor you. I will read what you write and listen to what you say. I will repeat what you say or write and I will pay you for it if that’s your business.