What Would the Obama of the Nobel Speech Say of the Obama of the New Flight Profiling?
I owe it to a press release for the Center for Constitutional Rights for pointing this out to me, but think back to the halcyon days of early December 2009, when President Obama accepted his Nobel Peace Prize with the following admonition:
We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend. (Applause.) And we honor — we honor those ideals by upholding them not when it’s easy, but when it is hard.
He was talking about closing Guantanamo Bay, and CCR brings up Obama’s words in the context of the decision not to repatriate about 40 Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo Bay who are cleared for release. But doesn’t this portion of the Nobel speech have more salience in the context of the new “terror prone nation” no-fly rules, which exhibit all the signs of racial profiling without forthrightly admitting that’s what it is? If you’re from a Muslim country, or a country with a lot of Muslims in it, you’re going to be pulled out of airport security and searched, even though that wouldn’t have caught shoebomber Richard Reid; even though *Bush appointees *Michael Chertoff and Mike Hayden argued against it on “Meet The Press”; and even though Rahm Emanuel told The New York Times’ Peter Baker that Obama “considers his speech in Cairo to the Islamic world in June central to his efforts to combat terrorism.”
What did he say in Cairo?
America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles — principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
Yes, the dignity and the justice of being pulled out of line and strip searched for a bomb hidden in your anus because you share, in the broadest possible sense, the same faith or heritage as a group of murderous criminals.