Edward Platt Flips Off the Censors

Edward Platt's message to the future John McCain

I’ve been watching the old Get Smart on DVD. The above image is from “Island of the Darned”, broadcast in 1966. How did that get through? They were really uptight in those days.

The other thing that really jumps out at me is their antiquated approach to fighting what George Bush calls “the enemies of freedom”. Whenever they capture a KAOS agent, he’s arrested and sent to prison! Is that really how we dealt with spies back in the Cold War? These days, anybody who is even suspected of being a friend of a friend of a “terrist” (another Bushism) is abducted in the middle of the night and shipped off to Guantanamo to rot without habeas corpus or trial.

I long for the days when we treated our enemies with dignity. Now we don’t even treat our own citizens that way. (And those who merely suggest that we should… well, go watch the video in the last post.)

13 Responses to “Edward Platt Flips Off the Censors”

  1. Sceptic Says:

    I normally agree with things you say but this one bugs me. You are lowering yourself to the level of aliens at Area 51 black helicopter conspiracy theorists. No US citizen has ever been “abducted in the middle of the night and shipped off to Guantanamo to rot without habeas corpus or trial”. There is no proof. Without proof or backing for your beliefs you are no better than a fundie.

  2. Brian Says:

    Sceptic,

    Perhaps you are technically correct in pointing out that it hasn’t happened (at least as far as we know). But suppose George Bush heard in one of his many conversations with God that you were engaged in terrorist activities. Thanks to the anal raping he’s done to the Constitution, there are now no legal barriers to stop him from having you arrested, detained, and shut off from any legal representation for as long as you live, all without any proof, and all on his say-so alone. True, its extremely unlikely to happen, but I liked our country so much better when it was guaranteed not to happen.

  3. Ron Britton Says:

    Sceptic:

    The midnight disappearances are a bit of hyperbole, intended to convey that we are slowly becoming a banana republic.

    Here’s an article by the ACLU documenting the top 10 abuses of power by the Bush administration. Here’s what they say about torture, kidnapping, and Detention:

    In the years since 9/11, our government has illegally kidnapped, detained and tortured numerous prisoners. The government continues to claim that it has the power to designate anyone, including Americans as “enemy combatants” without charge. Since 2002, some “enemy combatants,” have been held at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere, in some cases without access by the Red Cross. Investigations into other military detention centers have revealed severe human rights abuses and violations of international law, such as the Geneva Conventions. The government has also engaged in the practice of rendition: secretly kidnapping people and moving them to foreign countries where they are tortured and abused. It has been reported the CIA maintains secret prison camps in Eastern Europe to conduct operations that may also violate international standards. Congress made matters worse by enacting the Military Commissions Act, which strips detainees of their habeas rights, guts the enforceability of the Geneva Conventions’ protections against abuse, and even allows persons to be prosecuted based on evidence beaten out of a witness.

  4. LadyRavana Says:

    I will admit that Ron’s post sounded a bit hyperbolic, but he wasn’t exaggerating by much, really.

    To paraphrase Bill Maher (I’m butchering the quote horribly, here):

    If they do it, they’re the evil ones. If we do it, it’s fighting terrorism.

    I just ask…what has become of us? What happened? Where’s our morality, our conscience? Have we no empathy? Aren’t we supposed to be better than those countries? Are we a nation of monsters?

  5. Modusoperandi Says:

    I long for the days when we treated our enemies with dignity.

    When was this? We’ve always treated some of our enemies with dignity (or attempted to), but there’s more history like this and the Trail of Tears than there is of post-war Germany and Japan or detente with China. The thing about bloody hands is that people tend not to talk about it all that much when it’s their hands.

    Now we don’t even treat our own citizens that way.

    Don’t worry. From what I hear from the Ministry of Truth, we’re well on our way to winning the war against Eastasia. Maybe after we win, they’ll raise the chocolate ration again!

    I just ask…what has become of us? What happened? Where’s our morality, our conscience? Have we no empathy? Aren’t we supposed to be better than those countries? Are we a nation of monsters?

    On one who is overcome by fear, the veneer of civilization is thin indeed.

  6. Ron Britton Says:

    Modus:

    You’re right. America is an ideal to strive for, not an ideal that is. But under the Bush administration, we’ve even stopped striving.

  7. Thomas Says:

    The fact that we have to tack “even Americans” onto the end of an explanation of the federal government’s more recently acquired powers distresses me. We should be appalled when any person is treated inhumanely in our name. The fact that we now emphasize that these things can be done to citizens only underscores the fact that we privilege our rights over those of others.

    The American ideal is not that we hoard liberties for ourselves at the expense of others. It’s that we offer those rights to everyone, whether other nations do or not.

  8. Ron Britton Says:

    Thomas:

    I agree with you, but ten or so years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that non-citizens are not protected by the Constitution. That shows how far this so-called “moderate” court has slid from the ideals of our founders.

  9. Sue Blue Says:

    I don’t know about midnight kidnappings, but I have a neighbor who has somehow, for reasons unknown (and certainly never to be disclosed to anyone concerned) ended up on the “no-fly” list. He knew nothing about his status until he tried to take a trip back to Norway to see the “old country” his ancestors came from. This is a guy who was born and raised in the house he still lives in (third-generation American, grandson of homesteaders – could you get any more red-white-and-blue?), worked at the same job for 35 years until he retired a few years ago, who had never been out of the U.S. in his life. These goons at the airport took him aside, deprived him of his cellphone and laptop and basically treated him like an Al-Qaeda member in disguise. He never got any of his stuff back and lives in fear of what might happen to him. Needless to say, he’s never going to get to go on hs retirement vacation. If this isn’t police-state bullshit, I don’t know what is.

  10. Parrotlover77 Says:

    SB – That is incredibly sad. He can never get his gadgets back?? That’s insanity.

    You know, as much as the reicht wing has a hard-on for the military, you would think they might listen to the lessons of The Greatest Generation after WW2, when we had trials for our enemies, despite the unimaginable pain they inflicted on others.

    Maybe since we’re heading into another depression, the generation that will grow up living through the aftermath and clean-up will become another Greatest Generation… Maybe… I hate how selfish and greedy and fearful most of the nation is.

  11. LadyRavana Says:

    Ron:

    I found this article in LiveJournal. Hope you don’t mind, but I thought I’d pass it along here.

    It’s worth a read.

  12. ericsan Says:

    Don’t worry. From what I hear from the Ministry of Truth, we’re well on our way to winning the war against Eastasia. Maybe after we win, they’ll raise the chocolate ration again!

    Doubleplusgood!

  13. Modusoperandi Says:

    ericsan: I didn’t see you at the Two Minutes Hate. You do know that it’s mandatory for Party members. Today, the Hate was Goldstein, again. Ooo! I hate that guy! Goldstein!