Sunday, March 6, 2011

The United States of Hypocrisy

A conservative friend, in a recent e-mail, deplored certain politicians of his own persuasion who preach "family values" but practice them only at home, while keeping a tootsie on the side in a hot pillow joint.

Hypocrisy indeed is rife in our public affairs and is not limited to sexual peccadillos, hetero- or homo-.

Can anything be more hypocritical than the words of the Nobel Laureate in the White House and his Secretary of State, demanding that other countries improve their "record" on human rights?

This government's treatment of a young citizen, Bradley Manning, is not merely criminal.  It is not merely inhumane.  It is not merely contrary to the Geneva Conventions.  It is not merely torture.  It is beneath contempt.  It is barbaric.  It demeans every United States citizen who does not cry out against it.

Barack Obama knows this is happening.  If he did not explicitly authorize it, his silence gives tacit consent.

Hillary Clinton knows this is happening.  Yet she dared to give a speech about human rights and remain silent when a 73-year-old man was physically abused by federal thugs for silently protesting her hypocrisy by standing and turning his back to her.

When both of them were contending for the Democratic party's presidential nomination, they decried the Bush administration's use of torture on so-called "enemy combatants" who were in fact political prisoners.  Yet they allow the torture of an innocent citizen soldier-- innocent under the law because he has yet to be tried on any charge -- under the vile and transparent subterfuge that his captors are protecting him from self-harm.  When Manning himself sarcastically pointed out this hypocrisy, the military authorities simply heaped more cruelties on him.

United States Senators and Congressmen on both sides of the aisle know this is happening.  Their silence on the matter is deafening; they're too busy tilting at windmills like the Deficit Bogeyman to fret over the loss of human rights here at home.

This is a sick country.  Neither political party has produced anyone remotely resembling the sort of leader who can make it well again -- financially, morally, politically or ethically.

If such a someone were to emerge from the background, he'd get my vote even if he had half a dozen tootsies on the side.

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