Friday, February 27, 2009
Class One - February 23: History Repeats Itself - Civil Liberty Violations
Slate Magazine had an interesting article a couple of years ago, The Bill of Wrongs, The 10 Most Outrageous Civil Liberties Violations of 2006. I doubt it will surprise you to know that Guantanamo Bay makes the list.
At the BBC News site, there's a video clip of an interview with a former guard about conditions at Guantanamo. The young man, Chris Arendt, has some pretty shocking things to say about the treatment of detainees. The Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas provides the text of his testimony at the Winter Soldier Hearings in 2008.
When we discussed the internments during WWII, I asked if anyone thought the actions of the government were justifiable. No one responded initially, but as we talked more, one of you made the excellent point that whilst not "justifiable," it was understandable. That fear makes us do and accept things which normally we would find abhorrent to our system of beliefs.
Someone else opined that such things could not happen in present times, that we have moved forward and respect and protect civil liberties. What do YOU think?
The American Civil Liberties Union is an interesting site to visit if you're wondering what's going on these days. Their banner reads "Because Freedom Can't Protect Itself."