I believe the Supreme Court made a very good decision last week in the case of Boumediene v. Bush. McCain calls the decision to extend the writ of habeas corpus to detainees at Guantanamo “one of the worst decisions in history.” Perhaps he would rank it along the lines of the Court’s support of slavery prior to the Civil War, or even worse, considering his hyperbolic characterization of the dangers the U.S. currently faces. By simply drawing McCain’s words to their logical conclusion, he would treat black people like farm animals before he would treat America’s suspected enemies like humans.
The Senator’s cognitive retardation is highlighted by his own experiences as a prisoner of war. He would do well to remember his own past situation, and then imagine that he had been captured by a foreign army while in his own country, and then transported to a prison in another country, without notice to his family or friends, without rights to counsel or a presentation of evidence, without his home country having the knowledge or ability to even put political pressure on his captors, and without any end to his situation in sight.
Sometimes mistakenly-anointed “experts” who share McCain’s reasoning deficiency argue that the controversial detainments in Guantanamo are perfectly legal and acceptable, because the prison there is a state-of-the-art facility, and that the prisoners are treated well, and allowed a more than reasonable level of comfort. This is no different than the argument that slavery is acceptable, so long as the slaves are treated well, and allowed a reasonable level of comfort.
“My friends, there are some bad people down there. There are some bad people,” McCain tells us of the detainees at Guantanamo. How does he know this? There has been no evidence presented that would tell him this. McCain “reasons,” against every argument history offers humankind, that because they have been arrested, the prisoners must be guilty. The American people cannot allow this mentality to lead our policies against terrorism. This is precisely the allowance the German people gave to Hitler after the Reichstag fire, and it enabled him to detain and kill prisoners without cause.
As for the morally empty argument of precedence in this case, I will only point out that every moment of human history like this one, in which a powerful group decided it safest to detain certain people it considers “dangerous,” has in reflection become a source of embarrassment to the perpetrating nation, whether it be Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, or the United States. Just because a mistake has been made before without serious legal ramifications (i.e., encampment of Japanese Americans during WWII), does not mean that mistake should be made again. There is nothing wrong with opposing a precedent, especially when that precedent is clearly unjust.
While they may draw attention, I don’t expect these assertions to draw much argument, as it is difficult to even begin an argument against the truth. When one decides to argue against truth and reason, one cannot win; falsehood wilts, or imposes itself by force, but truth stands with God, on its own clarity and goodness.