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Open Letter to President Obama (part 3) - Unbeliever's Land
...The continuing chronicles...
Open Letter to President Obama (part 3)
Dear President Obama:

Try to imagine how us liberals (aka, your supposed "base") feel when we read THIS:

The Department of Justice has persuaded the Supreme Court to take a look at Ashcroft v. Al-Kidd, in which it argues that former attorney general John Ashcroft cannot be sued for the mistreatment of an American citizen held by use of a material witness warrant under false premises.  [...]

The case involves Lavni Kidd, a star football player at the University of Idaho who converted to Islam and changed his name to Abdullah al-Kidd. He was seized as he boarded a flight to pursue religious education in Saudi Arabia in 2003. Justice Department officials claimed that he was needed as a material witness [...]

The claim appears now to have been a shabby pretext for arresting Kidd, whose offense apparently consisted of converting to Islam and espousing views critical of the Bush Administration and its plans to invade Iraq under false pretenses.

Over a period of 16 days, Kidd was moved to three separate detention facilities in three different states. He was treated brutally, according to procedures that the Justice Department approved for use on terrorism suspects. He was subjected to a withering interrogation by FBI agents who demanded to know why he had converted to Islam. He was stripped naked, subjected to body cavity searches, shackled hand and foot, and incarcerated with violent convicts. To secure Kidd’s detention as a material witness, the Justice Department made a series of false statements to the magistrate who issued a warrant — claiming that he had purchased a one-way, first-class ticket to Saudi Arabia, when in fact the Justice Department knew he had purchased a return economy class ticket, for instance. It also withheld such information as the fact that Kidd was a U.S. citizen who had cooperated with authorities. The record strongly suggests actual malice and bigotry.

As Chris Floyd points out:

[...] Obama is tireless in his protection of tyranny. He seeks to defend it from any and all challenges, small or great. It would be the easiest thing in the world to simply step back and let this case be heard in court, let it be argued on its own merits and decided accordingly. It would not require some harsh denunciation of his predecessors, since he finds such things so distasteful. It would not require him to support his predecessors. It would not require the White House to do anything at all except to let justice takes its course.

But we know that our brave progressive paladin never takes the easy way. No, he will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with George Bush and John Ashcroft, he will stand up boldly, yea proudly, for jailing young students for voicing dissent, for rigging up false charges based on deliberate lies, for stripping innocent people and subjecting them to body cavity searches -- and for ensuring that no minion of the state who so abuses innocent citizens need ever face the slightest disturbance in his cushy, comfortable life. So he has fought it convince the Supreme Court to hear his earnest pleas for throwing out al-Kidd's case and protecting all those who abuse and pervert the power of the state.

You play a dangerous game, Mr President.

You gamble that those of us who care about things like this, will have to vote for your side ANYWAY, because the alternative is so much worse.

And dammit, you're RIGHT.  Thanks to our fucked-up voting system, the best we can ever hope for is the lesser of two evils.

But be careful.  The harder you make it for us to make a moral distinction between your side and the Republicans, the greater the "enthusiasm gap" grows.

If *I* am starting to have trouble telling the parties apart, then you're in more trouble than you realize...

Current Emotional State: cynical cynical

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