During World War II many of our troops who were being held as prisoners of war were tortured by the Japanese.  I understand that one of the things that kept our troops’ morale up during these ordeals was the strong belief that, if the situation would have been reversed, we would not torture them.  Why ?  Because we were better than that!  And that is one of the bases of American Exceptionalism.  But are we that way today?  Many terrorists around the world argue that, although we profess to be more pure, we are not.  And they invariably cite to our “state secret” laws that prevent people who claim they were tortured by our CIA or its agents from pursuing law suits in our courts against our federal government.

What is the actual situation?  Few of us know – or even think about it – because it is out of the news. Wrongly so, in my opinion, because this strongly affects who we are.  And if we are torturing people for any reason whatsoever, We the People should be aware of it.  Of course, reasonable people can differ as to what constitutes torture, and the circumstances in which it can be used.  But regardless of how that discussion is resolved, that still does not address the State Secrets Act.  To further bring this issue into focus, Erwin Chemerinsky, Esq., the dean of the Law School at the University of California, Berkeley, has set forth his findings in a book entitled Closing the Courthouse Door: How Your Constitutional Rights Became Unenforceable.  And his message is disturbing.  He writes convincingly that our government is torturing people in our names to “protect” our national interests, but without being forced to show in court that state secrets would actually have to be revealed if a trial were to go forward.  In other words, since our Liberties are the soul of our great country, our soul is under attack by our very own government!  How do you think that would make our troops from Japanese prison camps feel?

Quote for the week:  I finally figured out what I wanted to be when I was older.  And the answer is: Younger.

Note: No edition was circulated last week because our housepainters cut the wires bringing the internet into our house.  Ah, technology. . . .

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

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