Friday, September 24, 2004

We Didn't Object Until They Came For Us,

From WWII era:
First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by then there was no one left to speak up for me.”

--Lutheran minister and German war veteran Martin Niemoller

Here from a op-ed for the CSM on the Cat Stevens bruhaha.

I have argued vigorously before on these pages and in other international media that our responsibility to stand up as citizens in a time of war and crisis takes precedence over enjoying the civil rights afforded us by the sacrifices of those who have given their lives so we can live free. But when the type of global citizenship displayed by Mr. Islam, which goes to the very heart of what humanity is about, is struck down by artificial and arbitrary implementation of US antiterrorism statutes, it's time to reexamine those laws, and to reexamine the license to practice of those who are charged with protecting our civil liberties.

Yusuf Islam is a beacon of light and hope in a sea of fear, chaos, and uncertainty that was extinguished this week out of fear and paranoia that seemingly have no end. If Mr. Ashcroft is willing to take Yusuf Islam off that plane, then next time he'd better be willing to take me off as well.

It is time to take back America's civil rights from those who would abuse it for their own narrow political agendas. [emphasis added]

Translation: It was okay with me that they imprisoned someone indefinitely without charges and without legal counsel while they had no evidence against, until I realized they would be willing to do it to someone like me.

Every time I start to think I've reached the limits of cynicism in my opinion of people, I am surprised - because something happens to take that opinion to a new low.

2 Comments:

At September 24, 2004 at 1:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This one is truly worrisome. Ok, Stevens is a pathetic creep who supported the fatwa against Salman Rusdie but does that merit him being tossed out of the country as a terrorist supporter? IMO hell no.

We have neo-nazis and radical militia members spouting crap that would make even Manson cringe. Yet they don't get touched.

So far though people are overlooking Steven's Palmer(as in Palmer Red Raids) style expulsion because of his idiocy with Khomeni's fatwa. They need to get beyond this

Because this is setting a precedent people! Our reincarnated Cromwellian Roundhead at the DOJ now as the authority to exile people whom the Bush admin doesn't like by fiat.

Guess what this means if Bushy gets another 4 years, can we spell expulsions for high profile Bush critics? Look the charges can trumped up at will and with the PATRIOT act it gives the executive branch carte blanche in dealing with the opposition.

You see the PATRIOT act was designed not combat terrorism(it hasn't nabbed a single terrorist yet) IMO but as a 1st step to a police state. Ever notice how the PATRIOT act was already written up and waiting in the wings so fast after 9-11. Makes you wonder.

 
At September 25, 2004 at 12:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of what Lilly Tomlin once said, "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up". No shit.

 

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