Reality Fatigue

From The New Yorker (again…not cool, I realize…):

Finally, as Obama said, “there remains the question of detainees at Guantánamo who cannot be prosecuted yet who pose a clear danger to the American people. And I have to be honest here—this is the toughest single issue that we will face.” This group, “who cannot be prosecuted for past crimes, in some cases because evidence may be tainted,” might be held in preventive detention, perhaps forever. It’s a sobering thought, that Obama could consider approving this kind of long-term detention, and it remains to be seen how much evidence would be required to justify such an extraordinary step and how many cases it would involve…In any case, it’s hard to imagine any President agreeing to release people who, as Obama put it, “in effect, remain at war with the United States.”

Doesn’t need to be said again, but still:

Yes, it is hard to imagine any President releasing prisoners who are at war with the United States. But why do we care about the United States if the rule of law is applied randomly or to complement political moods? What exactly is worth protecting (besides all of our stuff) in a nation with no legal or theoretical skeleton?
I’ll answer my own question: The sun rising/setting over the Grand Canyon, the towering majesty of the Redwood; Pollack’s manic manifestations of the modern human psyche, Coltrane’s quest for musical union with the Divine; the taut prose of Raymond Carver, and the excitement of televised professional football. Let’s not forget the quiet, God-like smile that curves the corners of your firstborn, wrapped in swaddling clothes as she is, cradled in warmth and light.


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