Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture.
Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?
"God help us if the only thing we get out of this is a commission modeled on 9/11," Turley commented. "That was a commission that was really made for Washington -- a commission composed of political appointees of both parties that ran interference for those parties -- a commission that insisted at the beginning it would not impose blame on individuals. So it's the ideal Washington commission -- a commission that would investigate without any reprecussions."
Turley: 'God help us' if torture only gets a '9/11 commission'
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Wednesday April 22, 2009
The recent release of Bush administration torture memos has given rise to calls for prosecution of the Justice Department lawyers who wrote those memos. However, law professor Jonathan Turley believes that this may represent a deliberate attempt to draw attention away from George Bush, Dick Cheney, and the other high Bush administration officials who ordered the torture.
MSNBC Contributor Jonathan Turley on the Rachel Maddow Show: 'Strange alliance' between Bush and alleged 9/11 mastermind
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, often described as the mastermind of 9/11, and four other prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay told a military judge on Monday that they wish to plead guilty to all charges.
Law professor Jonathan Turley sees this confession as a "strange alliance" between Mohammed and George W. Bush, where both men get what they want -- martyrdom in Mohammed's case and vindication in Bush's -- and President-elect Barack Obama is stuck in the middle with a dilemma on his hands.