The Sad State of Civil Liberties - Why Nations Fail — whynationsfail.com — Readability
This blog deserves more than a Tweet. I have held this fear of a decline in out civil liberties for some time, and this article reinforces that fear. Should we have attempted to capture Bin Laden and tried him? I realize the immense practical difficulties that this would have presented. Could he have received anything approaching a fair trial? Was he not guilty by his own boastful admission? So OBL, I'm not quite so troubled by. But I am troubled deeply by those that we keep in Guantanamo. Most are no doubt guilty of some serious crimes, but to allow them to languish there indefinitely is consistent with the actions of real tyrants. Also, let's face it, the American public has shown a high degree of cowardice about having the prisoners held in the U.S. mainland, not to mention holding trials here. Shame on us!
In my Tweet about India posted just a short while ago, I see the effects of an insufficient state, one without enough money or will, and with too much corruption, to create as good a place to live as this country should enjoy. So here's a case of state weakness, but the other end of the matter is excessive state authority. Lord Acton wasn't kidding, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This might be thought a cliche by now, but we ignore this at our peril. Too bad we don't have more principled civil libertarians, as these folks should come from both the right and the left. But too many self-styled political 'conservatives' are really authoritarians. I'm okay with conserving, and I recognize legitimate and rational authority, but too many take this too far.
Civil liberties have been ignored as an issue in this election, which probably is an indication of how poorly the Obama administration has done on this count. Karl Rove, even from the sidelines, would have been raising the fear alarms to high decibels as he did in the Bush administration if he had anything to work with there. Not good that they're not raising a ruckus!