Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.


- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Real Patriotism: First, obey the law

I guess this is the face of real American patriotism... the determination to remain true to the law, the Geneva Convention, and our own ideology in the face of Neocon lawlessness.

This is the story of a man who enlisted in good faith but has now deserted the Army; for fear that he will be forced to take a role in torturing captives, which he sees (rightfully) as a war crime.

From the Toronto Star:

Jemley argues that as one of only a small number of Arabic linguists with top security clearance, he could be forced to violate international law by participating in the interrogations of terrorism suspects. It was something he hadn't considered when he enlisted in 2005 and was handpicked to undergo two years of intense training due to his adeptness with languages.

Only last February did he discover that his government had sanctioned new rules on how terrorism suspects could be interrogated. He believes it's torture and when he realized he might be asked to be a part of it, he fled.

"It's a soldier's obligation to say `no' if their commander is doing things that are criminally complicit," Jemley, now 42, said in a recent interview in Toronto. "I think everyone is agreeing now that torture is really what has been going on ... I have every reason to believe that from my small pool that I belong to, with my credentials, that I'd be ordered to do such things."

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