Friday, May 22, 2009

No Change

In undergrad I took "math for English majors," AKA: Logic. In that class we learned about fallacies and poor logical reasoning. Sadly, I have a feeling that this speech will be used as an example of very bad logic in classrooms for years to come:

In other words, the Obama Administration will let people who have been held in Guantanamo for years without trial go, so long as you can prove that they were innocent in the first place. For others that you can find guilty, they will be transferred to other facilities that (hopefully) are within US judicial and geographical borders. But, for those people that you cannot prove are guilty, they will remain in "prolonged detention."

The Obama Administration will "not avoid a legitimate legal framework," because they will create their own legal framework. And that framework will be in the context of a "legal regime."

This is scary. It simultaneously dismantles habeas corpus and the most basic tenet of the United States judicial system that we were all taught, "innocent until proven guilty," which means the burden of proof is not on the defendant - something particularly important when that defendant has no access to legal counsel.

But for me, this is especially scary because, as Rachel Maddow says, it is a beautiful speech full of platitudes about democracy and held in a venue that not only represents democracy, but holds the documents upon which American democracy is founded.

But, beautiful elocution means nothing if the content of the speech is despicable.

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be nice.


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