Americans Only

Today the NY Post and John McCain, and I’m sure a host of conservative bloggers, talk show hosts, and politicians are all crying foul over the recent Supreme Court ruling that detainees at Guantanamo Bay have rights under law.  It’s amazing to me the utter hypocrisy in their criticism.  Are we to believe that human rights are only applicable to American citizens?  That we, and we alone, are somehow the only ones worthy of the right to a fair trial, justice, and the rule of law?  And if so, then what makes us, a nation of every race, creed, and religion, somehow worthier than the rest of the world?  Have we so quickly forgotten the American principles, reiterated in our Pledge to the flag, that every student recites and memorizes by the time she is six?  It ends with “and freedom and justice for ALL.”   There was no asterisk, as far as I am aware, that says “ALL denotes all Americans only.”

What I am saying is that these ideals of justice, if we believe that humans are indeed endowed with certain “unalienable rights,” are rights endowed to ALL men, women, and children, regardless of their country of origin.  The fact that many of these detainees are not American citizens should not change the fact, if we believe in the founding principles of our country, that all men are considered equal in the eyes of our Creator (or, if you prefer, in the eyes of humanity).  By rejecting that these men have rights, we are rejecting the Founding Fathers and what they stood for.  I applaud the Supreme Court decision, and I say to McCain and the others: shame on you.