Dear Mr. President
Dear Mr. President:
I have to say that as an American and a Christian pastor I am deeply disappointed in your administration’s decisions to continue so many of the notorious Bush era policies. The latest of these are the shocking policy of “preventive detention” and the DOJ’s attempt to circumvent the Supreme Court’s decision in Boumediene v. Bush, basically shifting all that was evil in Guantanamo to Bagram.
In regard to preventive detention, you said last May that you would “work with Congress” to make sure this was done “legally.” But we know from the experience of the last eight years that the Courts, not Congress nor legal memos, are the final arbiters of what is constitutional. In regard to Guantanamo, transferring detainees and the whole system to another site thousands of miles away is hardly “closing Guantanamo” and all it represents.
I used to be a proud American. I used to think my country was different, that though attacked, we would rise above the level of those who attacked us because of our commitment to liberty, the Constitution, and the rule of law. Instead, we have sunk lower, much lower than our enemies, as they hoped we would, and so we have justly earned their hatred. For these are the policies of the very dictatorships we have condemned in the past, not of a republic that values justice and fairness. I shudder to think what our Founders would say, they who were so committed to rising above the tactics of their enemy, even when the odds were so viciously stacked against them. I ask you to consider them and the example they set, even in the direst of circumstances.
Only a year ago you spoke of “rejecting a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus.” I plead with you, please remember this promise.
Like so many of my fellow Americans, I had hope in your campaign commitment to “change.” But I confess, the only change I see so far is the name plate on the Oval Office door. I hope the years ahead will prove me wrong.
Rev. S.J. Munson
Long Island, NY