Friday, September 15, 2006

Shame on you, President Bush.

The Bush administration's assertion that they should be able to convict and punish a person based on information that the defendant is not allowed to hear and, therefore, cannot defend himself against, is outrageous. To insist that the government should be able to convict defendants based on confessions induced by torture or testimony from witnesses who were tortured is equally absurd. That a President of the United States is proposing such actions is beyond words.

There are certainly many bad people in this world who deserve to live the rest of their lives in a cell or to be executed, but the government cannot punish someone just because the government thinks they deserve to be punished. We give our government vast powers, but we require them to exercise them within laws to help insure that these powers are not abused. This not only protects us from abuse by government officials, but it also from ourselves. While outrageous acts might move us to outrageous reactions, our laws remind us we have agreed on ideas and ideals that are more important than the emotional reactions of the moment.

Convicting people of unnamed crimes or based on coerced testimony sounds like something out of the old USSR or a third world dictatorship, not the United States of America.

Shame on you, President Bush.

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