One of Sarah Palin’s big applause lines in her 2008 Republican Convention speech was this:
Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America . . . [Obama’s] worried that someone won’t read them their rights!
This is a gross distortion of the issues that have swirled around the way that we have detained and interrogated terror suspects since the “War on Terror” began, and makes one wonder if Palin would drip with such contempt for judicial due process and torture were she to become president.
Reading international terror suspects a Miranda-like list of rights akin to what American citizens receive on arrest by a police officer, is not at issue.
But whether we are going to be a nation of laws, and of independent judicial processes—and whether or not we TORTURE people in our custody, are at issue.
Palin’s speech dripped with authoritarian cynicism in this regard.
It should be read as a warning about what a Palin presidency, should she ever ascend to that height, might mean:
- the further erosion of independent judicial due process
- the torture of foreigners held in our custody