Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 1 Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   15 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

In Tea Party Address, Palin Stokes the Anti-Rights Fire

      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   Supported 2  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H2 2/8/10

Author 6
Become a Fan
  (20 fans)
- Advertisement -
On February 6th, Sarah Palin gave the keynote address at a tea party convention in Nashville.

As expected, I disagreed with just about everything Palin said. However, there was one part of her speech in particular that really got my blood boiling: She propagated the lie that the would-be Christmas airline bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, stopped talking after he was read his Miranda rights. The right wing likes to use that talking point to further their belief that terrorism suspects deserve no rights.

The Washington Post described that portion of her speech as follows:

"Serving up fiery rhetoric with a broad smile, she attacked the administration's policies on the economy and on national security, assailing in particular the decision to read Miranda rights to the man accused of attempting to bomb a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day.

'Treating this like a mere law enforcement matter places our country at great risk because that's not how radical Islamic extremists are looking at this,' Palin said to thunderous applause. 'They know we're at war, and to win that war we need a commander in chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern.'"

It is alarming to hear this nonsense being repeated and then devoured so enthusiastically by Palin's audience, primarily because it simply is not true.

In fact, law enforcement officials have gained a great deal of intelligence from Abdulmutallab, proving that a rights-based approach can actually be much more effective than the previous administration's preferred pro-torture/anti-rights methodology.

After all, experts agree that torture does not work. It does not produce reliable intelligence, because the victim is likely to say whatever he thinks his torturer wants to hear, in order to make the pain stop. Palin's former running mate John McCain made that very point when he told the story of how, when asked under torture in Vietnam to provide his captors with the names of the members of his flight squadron, he instead rattled off the names of the Green Bay Packers' offensive line, "knowing that providing them false information was sufficient to suspend the abuse."

And, because torture is illegal, and because information obtained under torture is not reliable, it is not admissible in court, opening up another can of worms: If the only proof you have against a defendant was obtained under torture, you have no basis for conviction. But what if the defendant is deemed too dangerous to release?

- Advertisement -

As Georgetown Law Professor David Cole wrote in a 2005 article for the Los Angeles Times:

"[B]y electing early on to violate the universal prohibition on torture and cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment, the [Bush] administration has not only inflicted unconscionable harm on detainees from Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo, and done incalculable damage to the U.S. image abroad, it has painted itself into a corner. It is becoming increasingly unacceptable to hold so-called enemy combatants indefinitely without trial. But we have shielded the vast majority of them from being tried for the wrongs they may well have committed."
But all these facts are apparently not enough to stop Palin and her rabid fans from calling for more of the same. So, for this reason and many more, if Palin does decide to run for the presidency in 2012 as her fans are hoping, Democrats and others must work very, very hard to keep her from winning. Regardless of President Obama's shortcomings and unkept promises, we cannot afford another neocon in the White House any time soon. There's still far too much healing to be done.
- Advertisement -


Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -
Google Content Matches:

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

No Excuse for Racial Profiling

No, Dan, America is Not a Christian Nation

Tea Party Talking Points, Translated

The Myth of the Christian Right

They Still Cling to Guns and Religion

Racism Then and Now


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
10 people are discussing this page, with 15 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

It seems to me that the media gives far more atten... by HarveyY on Monday, Feb 8, 2010 at 11:48:24 AM
synchronicity. All of the major media that is owne... by Michael Shaw on Monday, Feb 8, 2010 at 2:58:43 PM
There is no need to resist Palin. Left to her own ... by B York on Monday, Feb 8, 2010 at 12:02:41 PM
are statistically 90 million strong, consisting of... by Michael Shaw on Monday, Feb 8, 2010 at 3:13:23 PM
And the US Constitution does not only apply to US ... by Freddie Venezia on Monday, Feb 8, 2010 at 1:01:20 PM
I have tried and tried to figure out what it is th... by Walter Barton on Monday, Feb 8, 2010 at 2:17:56 PM
Palin engaged in pre-martial sex resulting in preg... by Stanimal on Monday, Feb 8, 2010 at 4:54:28 PM
Stanimal, if you want to attack Palin because of t... by Recce1 on Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 1:49:57 AM
The comments made appear to be a ploy to attack th... by Walter Barton on Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 9:42:59 AM
Stanimal, if you want to attack Palin because of t... by Recce1 on Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 1:50:31 AM
Stanimal, if you want to attack Palin because of t... by Recce1 on Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 1:51:01 AM
as we know, facts have never been an issue for the... by Michael Shaw on Monday, Feb 8, 2010 at 2:42:00 PM
It would be wonderful if everyone in the country w... by Doc "Old Codger" McCoy on Monday, Feb 8, 2010 at 8:29:54 PM
Sedition and seccession both are triable offenses.... by Hillbilly on Tuesday, Feb 9, 2010 at 5:32:59 AM
since the Wilson administration back around WWI. I... by John Sanchez Jr. on Tuesday, Feb 9, 2010 at 8:46:38 AM