Angelia reminds us of Thomas Paine's opinion on the subject.
He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself. ~Thomas Paine
Ok, someone just thought "Hey, that's what Bonasera says in the opening of "The Godfather"!" Yeah, stick with me here, it's not trivia night at your local pub.
America is not a religion or an ethnicity. America is an ideal. And I believe in that ideal. An ideal is not something mankind is capable of achieving, but only working every day toward it. The guiding principles of America are laid out in the Constitution. Following that guidance is a constant balancing act for individuals and for America as a whole.
We talk about the common good. And sometimes it seems that the common good would be best served with a wink and a nod at this document that was signed more than 225 years ago. Especially when emotions are running high.
We are only humans and weak at that. But there are three hundred million of us, give or take. So when emotions run high and some people are weak, there are always going to be some of us to stay calm enough to hold to our ideal.
Now, if this were just me, just Maggie, sitting in a room with the Tsarnaev brothers, I'd be beating one nearly to death and kicking the corpse of the other while I waited for the first to recover so I could beat him again.
But it's not, is it? It's me, an American citizen, upholding a principle. Believing in America more than indulging my desire for vengeance.
And it's not easy until you remember this - if you let go of the Constitution for that moment of vengeance....what did you avenge?
So when people say "No Miranda rights for a terrorist!" I say "Due process for American citizens." (and I get a little snippy and think it's a Miranda *warning*, not a Miranda *right*, but whateva).
And when people point out that Tsarnaev was born somewhere else; hasn't lived here that long; hasn't been a citizen that long. I say "And your point is?????"
And when someone says the word Gitmo in this conversation, I think "Boy! You need to sit down and think hard. Quietly, in a corner, before you speak again. Because clearly you are overwrought."
And on a separate note - to those who say that law enforcement overreacted in shutting down Boston, Cambridge, Watertown, the T, etc. - faaack you!