From an article by R. Jeffrey Smith in the Washington Post, August 9, 2006: The Bush administration has drafted amendments to a war crimes law that would eliminate the risk of prosecution for political appointees, CIA officers and former military personnel for humiliating or degrading war prisoners, according to U.S. officials and a copy of the amendments …
“People have gotten worried, thinking that it’s quite likely they might be under a microscope,” said a U.S. official. Foreigners are using accusations of unlawful U.S. behavior as a way to rein in American power, the official said, and the amendments are partly meant to fend this off.
They should be under a microscope! Power secured at the expense of human dignity is a corrupting, degrading power. Our nation’s greatness (what greatness there is) is its legacy of putting right before might, of showing the world another way, a way of respect for the rule of law and of respect for human rights, for the rights of all human beings.
When self-preservation and self-aggrandizement and consolidation of power become our top priorities, we are not great at all, but a poor and miserable nation, with nothing of value to offer the rest of the world. The welfare of humanity as a whole demands that we be scrutinized and that our power be reined in.
It is our duty as citizens of this nation to take the lead, to be aware of what our government is doing, and to let our leaders know in no uncertain terms what sort of greatness we want!