March 2009 Archives

Seeing Beyond the Dark Side

091207-sub-court-house-1776.jpgAs we have all learned that the last administration achieved a “paper coup,” there has been much focus on John Yoo and his unconstitutional OLC memos. Reading a passage about Yoo in Jane Meyer's The Dark Side reiterated how important it is, when addressing issues of public policy and the foundations of our republic, to temper lessons learned from personal experience with objective, reasoned argument from other quarters. Mayer tells us:

Quite directly, Yoo’s family owed its freedom and prosperity to Harry Truman’s controversial decision to wage the Korean War without obtaining congressional authorization. Had Truman not used military force, without Congress’s permission, Yoo reflected on occasion, he would not have attended Harvard Law School and Yale Law School, nor, like so many other immigrants to America, had the fortune to have escaped Communism (Mayer, 65).
This experience would give Yoo a truly unique viewpoint. One can understand why he would want to ensure that Americans’ freedoms couldn’t be curtailed by a threat like Al Quaeda. But the possibility of his applying his own experience to legal opinions that affected every American by razing all that makes the U.S. the U.S. is terrifying. Quirks of history and fate are just those.

I know what it’s like to advocate for issues based on my own experience with extreme sexism and homophobia, the mistreatment of animals/amoral science, and environmental disregard, for example. But working for the public good involves maturing into an understanding that your experience does not represent everyone’s, and the purpose of government is to serve all of us, with our unique backgrounds and perspectives. Of course our experience defines how we operate in the world, but we should always strive to see just beyond it, to understand how our own points of view are limited.

One of the reasons for the balance of powers is to ensure that individual or small group experiences don’t get to define reality for all of us. That the Bush/Cheney cabal attempted to remake the world in its own image to such a degree is the crux of its dangerous radicalism.

Six Hours A Week Is:

A coping strategy, advocacy outlet, and form of protection. My life has been nearly destroyed by the unconstitutional practices of politically/socially-motivated private intelligence contractors and the corruption and cronyism that allow them. Apparently because I speak out in ways that prioritize the little guy and human and environmental health above gargantuan profit margins, and believe that facts are as important as PR spin, I was someone who had to be completely discredited. In 2007, after a few months of a surreal and relentless invasion of privacy and dignity, I started to spend six hours each week researching, communicating about, and advocating legal and ethical responses to assaults on our shared democratic and republican ideals. For most of that time I was writing from the perspective of someone whose life was manipulated into a constant state of terror and emergency. In 2010, many of the array of entrapment attempts seem to have failed and it seems no longer possible to get away with such excessive, obvious harassment and overt interference. As we take more practical steps to address what has been allowed to happen to my family, we do expect to see some more harassment and intimidation. But I should be able to chronicle it from a more measured perspective, rather than that of someone in constant fear. Part of me would like to go back and delete earlier posts, because even I find them hard to relate to in some ways. But this blog has been one of our only forms of protection as everyone in any official capacity ignored the truth and tried to spin and frame us into the troublemakers and perpetrators of one form or another. So I leave it up as a form of protection, a record of what has occurred, and (with luck) the account of our way back to credibility and some form of legitimate justice. All content on this site is property of Kyeann Sayer. All rights reserved.