Thursday, January 22, 2009

Executive Orders

I used to read Tom Clancy novels. I considered them popcorn for the brain; kind of a fun treat, but certainly not nutritious. Then came the two-parter, Debt of Honor and Executive Orders. Not content to continually wage imaginary wars with the Soviet Union or the IRA or have Islamic terrorists build a faulty atom bomb in a cave and destroy the Super Bowl (the Super Bowl!!!), he actually killed off all but two members of Congress and President with - wait for it - a jetliner crashing in to the Capitol (this after a brief war with Japan, started by the Japanese, of course). Then, without Congress to actually make laws, the new President manages to get caught up with a bio-attack by Iran (it's Ebola!!!). These multiple fantasies of political destruction and hyper-war were just a bit much for me, so I swore off Clancy just as I swore off popcorn.

Today, Pres. Obama (Lord, I love typing that . . .) signed an Executive Order of which any American should be proud - Guantanamo Bay prison camp will be closed no later than a year from today. All those horrid awful mean filthy terrorists, the majority of whom have been released because they weren't actually terrorists at all, may (or may not) enter the American prison and judicial system, where actual courts of real laws will deal with them.
Today's orders send "an unmistakable signal that our actions in defense of liberty will be as just as our cause," Obama told State Department employees. "We did not ask for the burden that history has asked us to bear, but Americans will bear it. We must bear it."

That about sums it up. You don't claim to wage a war for freedom by curtailing it. You don't uphold the values of the Constitution by deciding, unilaterally, that the Constitution doesn't apply to everyone. You don't defend America by insisting that some of our freedoms just don't work.

You bear the burden. We bear the burden. We pay the price. This is what Kennedy meant. This is what Obama means. These are Executive Orders in which one can be proud.

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