Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Suggestions for Mary Fallin's GOP Convention Speech

In Oklahoma the big news today is that Oklahoma Republican U.S. Representative Mary Fallin will be speaking during primetime one hour before John McCain at the Republican National Convention next week.

Her job is to talk about how the people of Oklahoma responded to the bombing of the A. P. Murrah Federal Building by domestic terrorists.

On February 11, 2003, a month before our unprovoked invasion of Iraq, I delivered a speech on the floor of the Oklahoma State House of Representatives that touched on the very topic that Fallin is supposed to address. Here's an excerpt from that speech:

Our material wealth can be forfeited and regained, but the spiritual wealth of our civil liberties and personal freedoms are not so easily exchanged. We must especially beware that any liberty we suspend for fear of terrorists could easily be forfeited for generations to come. The freedoms we enjoy in our democratic society are worth whatever dangers we will face, whatever risks we must take, and whatever sacrifices we choose to make. America must not retreat from two and a quarter centuries of hard won civil liberties. Never before have we settled for being the land of the safe and the home of the secure. We’ve always had the courage to strive to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Instead of the frightful overreaction we have witnessed since September 11th, our nation would do better if it would respond to terrorism the way the people of Oklahoma responded to the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building. That bomb did not prompt us to surrender our civil rights or to infringe on the rights of others. Unlike our federal government:

We did not suspend the constitution.

We did not send the police out to round-up, lock-up or expel all the foreigners and immigrants in town.

We did not hold suspects indefinitely without access to the courts or to counsel.

We did not tape conversations between suspects and their lawyers.

We did not suspend the laws requiring probable cause for wiretaps or search warrants.

We did not expand the role of the military in domestic law enforcement.

We did not torture suspects to obtain information, nor did we allow surrogates to torture suspects for information.

We did not create a military tribunal to try and execute suspects without applying the Constitution or state and federal laws.

We did not endorse assassination as an alternative to capture.

We did not create a private foundation to issue ID cards to all citizens.

We did not create a network of free-lance spies to report anything that might be considered suspicious.

We did not create a massive computer system to keep tabs on every aspect of our citizen’s daily lives.

And, we did not use the bombing as an excuse to suspend the first, second, and fourth amendments and then attack militias or invade white supremacist compounds to make them disarm.

What we did was to rescue survivors, clean-up the wreckage, rebuild our city and bring the criminals to justice. The bombing of the Murrah Federal Building did not destroy the freedom-loving, risk-taking, self-sacrificing spirit of the people of Oklahoma. Neither should the criminal acts of a few terrorists destroy the freedom-loving, risk-taking, self-sacrificing spirit of our nation.
I won't be holding my breath to see if Mary Fallin uses any of my lines.

1 comment:

Tauratinzwe said...

Too bad the George Bush crowd didn't come from Oklahoma.