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Posts Tagged ‘national security’

        It may just be a bit presumptious to say so…but, i think that there are so many people who are dissatisfied with both the Republican and Democratic parties that we are going to see something that i tagged as a DemoPublican.  That is to say, that people’s value systems lie somewhere in the middle of these two parties that have become so out of touch with their constituents.  Alot of conversations that take a political turn tend to reflect the consensus that people are unhappy with the choices.  The reasons for that statement are varied.  Some don’t like the personality, or the past mistakes, or the perceived lack of experience…on and on.  That is not new to this particular election..that is always the case to a certain degree; people pick the person with who they consider will do the country the least amount of harm and promote the most positive changes possible.

         In this particularily historic Presidential election; people have  been trying to come to terms with issues that have plagued our country and tried to find the alignment within the party that they most closely associate themselves with.  That has become harder and harder to do with the economic reality that faces our nation; not to mention, constantly changing boundaries relating to levels of personal privacy as it has been invaded on the pretext of safeguarding our country in matters of national security.  Add into that mish-mash the polarization of voters applying personal religious belief systems towards determining which candidate to vote for.  Many people are conflicted on that issue; which candidate’s actions most closely reflect their own belief systems. 

          There are so many issues that have not even begun to be addressed by the candidates that it is a little worrisome.  Issues that demand addressing include things such as joblessness, homelessness, health care, education reform, addressing issues that impact the banking systems, transportation systems, homeland security, terrorism, how to provide and manage energy costs and concerns, etc.  These are the issues that people care about and base their votes on…not which celebrity gives them a personal endorsement or what music the candidate listens to; come on…get real and deal with the things that matter!

         Underneath those issues, runs a very heated debate about who should have been the Democratic nominee; experience or the lack of is important.  When Florida and Michigan delegate votes were discounted…this changed the course of the competition between Sen. Barack Obama.  There has been a strong battle between supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama.  The split has been protracted and continues today…going into the Democratic National Convention this weekend.  Even some of the speakers have privately expressed unhappiness with the process; such as Bill Clinton, former President of the United States.  He says after the election he will speak his piece; of that, i have no doubt.  Sen. Hillary Clinton…now, I can’t even imagine how much pressure she is under.  She wanted to be in the place that Sen. Barack Obama is now standing; barring that…she, i am sure would have been happy to be his running mate…that did not happen. 

           How difficult it must be to stand up there and promote unity in the party when i am sure….that has to be the last thing she wants to do is encourage support for Mr. Obama.  Add into the drama, all of the “celebrity” endorsements that Sen. Obama is getting and it is turning into a bit of a 3 ring circus.  Today there was a report on a CNN research poll that said since picking Sen. Joe Biden… the run for the Presidency has become tied at 47% between Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama…compared to percentages that showed Sen. Obama in the lead with 51%, just last month.

         Everyone has an opinion on how this will play out.  Some attempts have been made calling for unity in the Democratic party…but, there is great unhappiness still under the surface.  Those that thought Sen. Hillary Clinton should have been the front runner, then fully expected Sen. Barack Obama should give her due consideration for the position of his running mate.  When it became obvious that she was passed over; and, he chose Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate those who felt slighted have pledged to vote for Sen. Obama’s competitor Sen. John McCain. 

           The Republican party has to get out their position on the issues as well.  We dont need to see a few months of showboating by either of the candidates…we need to get down to the nitty gritty and quit wasting everyone’s time on surface nonsense.

          There is much work to do on both the Republican and the Democratic side to convince voters that the person that they choose to cast their vote for is deserving and capable.  In the meantime, DemoPublicans are going to be the deciding factor in this election…God help us all to make the correct choice, without compromising the things that are most important.

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      With the sad death of Dr. Bruce Ivins, 62 years old, a FBI suspect in the anthrax investigation; many people are wondering just who he was.  He was a researcher in the area of infectionous diseases at Fort Detrick, MD for thirty years.  He appeared somewhat mild and dressed somewhat socially awkward.  Some people who knew him say he was a brilliant and dedicated scientist; and find it hard to believe that he could be seriously considered a suspect. 

        He was a son, a father, brother and a husband; his family is surely grieving and confused.  He has been under investigation by the FBI for some time now in regards to the release of anthrax spores back in 2001 through mail that was contaminated.  Dr. Bruce Ivins was not the only suspect; in fact, Steven Hatfill was recently awarded millions because of the damage done to him personally and professionally when his name was released publically, as a suspect earlier in the investigation.

         At least for the last year or so, Dr. Ivins has been under intense investigation.  Reports have surfaced that he was receiving counseling.  Obviously, the whys and what fors are confidential.  But the stress involved in being investigated by the FBI would be overwhelming for most people…but someone who truly was mild and somewhat socially ill at ease and concerned about his public/professional reputation may have just been too much.  He allegedly comitted suicide.  (more…)

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        Guantanamo Bay or Gitmo, as it is often referred to, has been infamous since it was turned into a detention center for suspected terrorists.   Those who have been detained there have been allegedly branded as enemy combatants to the United States.   Now there are questions regarding the standard operating procedures; have they been trashed to get confessions?

           Some people feel that the rights of the detainees have been violated since the Bush administration stated that the Geneva Conventions protection did not have to be provided to the prisoners.  The US Supreme court disagreed with the Bush administration and future prisoners will NOW be afforded those protections.  The question is, what happens to those already in custody?  Those in custody have to prepare some kind of defense if they hope to get released. 

         In the meantime, much concern has been raised about those in legal limbo in the detention center. There are some detainees who could be released if the US could find countries willing to take them.   After all, what country is going to want to take in someone who has been accused of terrorism, whether it was proven or not?   Some detainees have already been released; but, many are still awaiting trial. 

            Questions have been raised about some of the interrogation techniques used to get confessions.  Were the confessions legitimate; or, were they obtained because of abusive or harsh treatment during questioning?  What if a person truly was guilty of the charges…but, the evidence was gotten because of hard interrogation techniques…is that acceptable; after all, some of the crimes alleged are pretty horrific?  Or, as a “civilized nation” are we bound to provide “humane” conditions; do the ends justify the means?

        Lawyers charged with providing legal representation for their clients are alledging that a standard operating procedures manual from the Pentagon had instructions to “destroy or trash” hand written notes or documents from the interrogations; in case the interrogators were called to testify, regarding harsh treatment of those kept in the detention center.  The lawyers claim that not having those handwritten notes makes representing their clients difficult because it is hard to prove that their “client’s confessions” were gotten in an intimidating way or through an abuse of power.

       If evidence has been suppressed by the government…that carries serious legal consequences for anyone in this situation.  While terrorism is a huge concern and we all want those involved in it to be apprehended…we have to examine the limits to the methods that we allow interrogators to use to get that information. 

          Detainees proven to be guilty, without a shadow of doubt, of alleged terrorist activities should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  That is why it is so very important about the way the information is gathered….we wouldn’t want a true terrorist to get away with it legally, because of an illegal method of gathering that evidence.

           Where should the line be drawn between the war on terrorism and humane treatment of suspected criminals?  Or should we have limits at all?  If we don’t have limits…how do we discern the difference between ourselves and those considered to be terrorists?   What about national security; what if releasing some of that information jeparodizes the safety of American citizens?  These are not simple questions, nor are the answers easy to come up with.  What do you think?

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