Dear Aunt Sophie,
At last, some sanity in the Supreme Court. I’d been
wondering whether the country would have to wait for me to be elected and start
appointing judges before it would come to its senses and grant constitutional
rights to the poor devils in Guantánamo. This decision has made me very proud
and it’s made my wife proud, too.
Why do Americans think that only they have rights? It’s such
an arrogant attitude. It’s about time we acknowledged that our country is only
one of many on this endangered planet.
Oh sure, I know what you’re thinking – these prisoners have
never set foot on American soil, they aren’t American citizens, yada, yada, yada.
What difference does that make in the twenty-first century? That’s just casuistry.
Nitpicking. They are citizens of the world just like us. They should have the
same rights under the same laws.
Everyone has the right to be told the nature of the charges
against him or her and to be advised of his or her right to counsel. None of
this was offered to these people, all of whom just happen to be Moslems, I
might add, which smacks of religious discrimination although the decision
didn’t deal with that.
We’re supposedly trying to spread democracy around the world
but can we really expect others to embrace our form of government when we can’t
even demonstrate that under our system everyone is entitled to equal justice? Anyway,
how can we not give “terrorists” their rights? They’re people, too. Besides, since
the word terrorist doesn’t appear in the Constitution they’re obviously meant
to enjoy the same rights we have.
I’m actually looking forward to giving Bin Laden his day in
court. The whole world will be watching to see how we treat him. It will be a marvelous
opportunity to demonstrate the greatness of our system.
Serious people understand these concepts, but how can I explain
them to the average Joe when all he cares about is his guns and his church?
Just Call Me Mr.
You are absolutely right. This country already monopolizes
the world’s resources. How can it justify monopolizing rights as well?
Rights are meant to be spread around even if it means
sharing them with people who would never return the favor. Who knows, maybe a
live demonstration of what makes our legal system great would inspire the lion to
lie down with the lamb. It’s worth a try.
And who better to use as exhibit A than Osama Bin Laden? Imagine
how it would go down.
Even as your wife was coming up with new ways to express her
love of country, MSNBC would be outbidding Court TV for exclusive rights to the
trial. Out of respect for Mr. Bin Laden’s position as a religious leader,
however, his perp walk would take place off camera.
At his arraignment he would be charged with 3,000 counts of
murder, 17,000 counts of attempted murder, 20,000 counts of conspiracy to
commit murder, conspiracy to steal multiple aircraft, conspiracy to obtain
false documents, conspiracy to encourage aggressive flying and aggravated
deployment of body odor as a weapon of mass destruction. He would then make a
single statement to the court to the effect that he spits on our constitution
and does not consider himself bound by our laws. His attorney, Ramsey Clark,
would argue successfully that since his fingerprints and DNA were not found at
the crime scene the murder and attempted murder charges must be dropped.
The conspiracies would be impossible to prove because his
alleged co-conspirators would succeed in convincing a jury of their peers that the
mere mention of waterboarding caused them to lie to their interrogators at
Guantánamo. Acting as their own attorneys, they would call Senator John McCain
as a hostile expert witness to testify that torture or the threat thereof does
not yield useful information. All charges against them would be dropped and
they would proceed to civil court to seek compensation for Post Traumatic
Without their testimony, the conspiracy charges against Mr. Bin
Laden would also fall apart, leaving only the aggravated body odor to deal
with. There, the prosecution would be on solid ground since every jury
undoubtedly contains at least one person with multiple chemical sensitivities.
Convicted on that charge, Mr. Bin Laden would face six years in solitary and
fifteen years of post-release sensitivity training.
Come to think of it, that’s probably the hook you should use
to convince the good old boys in Pennsylvania.
While they may not grasp subtle legal arguments they surely know he’d never
survive sensitivity training.
Good luck and God bless.