You Say Kidnapping — We Say Lawful Detention

“If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that the end justifies the means, to declare that the government may commit crimes, would bring terrible retribution.” –Justice Louis D. Brandeis

“It is a paradox that the nation that did so much to articulate and codify human rights in its foundation documents has so consistently resisted the effective functioning of an international framework to protect these principles and values. ” –Amnesty International, on the United States

“In the United States today, the Declaration of Independence hangs on schoolroom walls, but foreign policy follows Machiavelli.” –Howard Zinn

“The Law of War”? WHAT fucking law of war? Sounds like an oxymoron from here. War and law are antithetical concepts, don’t you think? True, there are international agreements and treaties in place, such as the Geneva Conventions, that address some aspects of the conduct of war, and the treatment of prisoners of war. But unless I’m hallucinating, I am fairly sure my country has flouted every damned one of them whenever they have proved … inconvenient. Pre-emptive war? Extraordinary rendition? Water boarding? Indefinite detentions? Drone strikes? Carpet-bombing civilian populations? Did I imagine all of that? Sadly enough, I don’t think so.

Maybe it’s always been true that “Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under,” as H. L. Mencken once groused. But why in hell do we keep putting up with that? Do we truly deserve no better? I say hell yes — almost all of us deserve better than this! Those in power have made us feel numb or helpless, convincing too many of us that there is no way to improve anything, so we might as well … just relax and enjoy it. Like the old infuriating ‘joke’ about inevitable rape.

Call me crazy, but none of this unspeakable shit seems to appeal to me. Even if we can’t change the world, (and I still think we could, if enough of us would get off our asses and work together,) I will never let the bastards say I have given my consent to oppression, atrocities and injustice, through my silence and inertia. How about you?


CNN Breaking News‏

CNN Breaking News ( This sender’s domain is in your safe domain list.
Sent: Sun 10/06/13 8:04 AM
The Libyan interim government is calling the U.S. capture of al Qaeda operative Abu Anas al Libi a kidnapping and has requested an explanation from Washington about the raid, Libya’s state news agency reported Sunday.
Pentagon spokesman George Little on Sunday said al Libi was “lawfully detained under the law of war.”
U.S. military forces snatched the 49-year-old Saturday in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. He is wanted for his role in the deadly 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.
Libya emphasized its citizens should be tried in Libya if they are facing charges, Libya’s news agency LANA reported.
Follow complete coverage of breaking news on CNN TV, and CNN Mobile
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About l. l. frederick

I'm pretty ordinary, so I find any number of things in the world interesting, among them: books, music, flowers, food, social justice, politics and (sometimes!) people. As for my writing, I've decided that I can be subtle and tasteful when our only problems are esthetic ones. Or when I'm dead, whichever comes first. In the meantime, read at your own risk.
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7 Responses to You Say Kidnapping — We Say Lawful Detention

  1. ileneonwords says:

    Love Howard Zinn…thanks for quoting him!!!!!

  2. Jeff Nguyen says:

    The Hopi knew long ago “the one who tells the stories rules the world”. For the ruling class all the world’s a stage and we’re just two-bit actors who should be grateful just to have a part and stop our belly aching. Good thoughts here, Linda.

  3. tubularsock says:

    Linda. Great post. I have always “loved” the “LAWS” of war. We can sit around and agree the correct way to kill each other but just can’t agree about peace. The other thing that is just priceless is the concept of having a “truce” on Christmas Day and then resume fighting!
    Ahh. So civilized we are ………

    • But of course we are! And we’ll make sure our enemies receive proper christian burial too. Whether or not they want it. Thanks for reminding me of how very noble we are. – Linda

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