Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Basic Tenants of Freedom

Think about the basic freedoms which supposedly make our country great: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion. The right to peaceably assemble, freedom from unlawful search and seizure, and the right to privacy are all guaranteed in our constitution.

The right to a fair and speedy trial, freedom from false arrest and the freedom from a trial for an infamous crime without indictment by grand jury, and the right to a trial by jury and the right to face your accuser are all pillars of the freedom we hold so dear. Freedom from double jeopardy and freedom from excessive bails as well as cruel and unusual punishment are ensured by our constitution.

The right to bear arms has come under question over the past 50 years, as people question whether this is a freedom that serves or prohibits democracy, but it remains part of our constitution. And finally the rights of all citizens to be protected by these rights and freedoms are ensured by the constitution.

Now let’s think about which of these rights Bush has violated so far. We’ve read recently about his violation of the freedom of speech, for Cindy Sheehan and others who disagree with Bush’s perspectives. Those same people have lost the right to peaceably assemble, in Texas near the ranch of George Bush, when they were arrested for their peaceful demonstration.

More and more we have seen the media being influenced by the Bush administration, especially regarding stories on Iraq and Hamas. Freedom from unlawful search and seizure and the right to privacy have been thrown out by the Patriot Act, which is about security but is not about patriotism, not about adherence to the ideals that this country is founded upon.

Certainly I consider Saddam Hussein to be a tyrant, and I’m glad that he’s not in power any more. But would his actions not be exactly the infamous crime the constitution speaks of? But there has been no indictment from a grand jury, and whether his is really being given a fair trial is certainly a question mark. The jury is not a jury of his peers, or it would be representative of the various racial groups which are part of the citizenry of Iraq, and representative of fair proportions; that isn’t the case, as the US selected a favorable jury.

The Bush administration has circumvented many of these rights by calling this an Iraqi trial, but we are in control of every aspect of the proceeding. This also has allowed Bush to provide Hussein with a trial where he does not face his accuser, who is basically Bush himself.

And finally, issues such as the rights of homosexuals to marry and share spousal rights between their partners is, in my opinion, a violation of the right for every person to be protected by these freedoms.

Bush said in the State of the Union last night that the world is becoming a better place because we are spreading freedom to the four corners of the globe. But it appears to me that Bush has abandoned freedom, or at least the main pillars of freedom that we, as a people, have always believed in and respected. He may be spreading democracy, but he is squashing freedom in the last true vestige of freedom, the United States. With his record, I question his right to stand in front of that flag!

Posted by Scottage at 1:37 AM / | |