Friday, June 03, 2005

King Crimson -- Frame by Frame

This is the letter I sent to President Bush yesterday.

"I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me." Matthew 25:45

"A society should not be judged on how it treats its outstanding citizens but by how it treats its criminals..." --Fyodor Dostoyevsky

When it was about Iraq and Saddam Hussein, Amnesty International was a trusted objective organization whose reports were cited by you and your administration in documenting war crimes. Now their reports are "absurd." Your administration has spent the past few days trying to trash Amnesty rather than deal honestly with the concerns raised by the organization.

In Matthew 25, 33-46, Jesus explains that whatever we do to the least among us we do to him or for him. "Away with you, you cursed ones," he says to those who did not visit the sick or those imprisoned, who did not feed the hungry or clothe the naked. Whatever we do to the least among us, we do to him.

Perhaps you are confused by Jesus' teaching. He is not saying that whatever you do to the least AMERICAN you do to him. He means everyone. Including those in Guantanamo and your other prisons that have been locked up for years with no way to appeal their detention.

You believe that America has a special role in history, right? Shouldn’t this special role entail a particularly fair and honest and compassionate treatment of the least among us? Shouldn't those accused of crimes by the greatest country in history be treated better by us than they would be other countries? Shouldn't we strive for the highest standards possible and be open about these standards rather than lie at every opportunity, or attack Amnesty International for telling the truth?

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