On September 11, 2001, nearly three thousand Americans tragically lost their lives at the hands of terrorists. Those terrorists carried out a heinous attack on our way of life, our sense of safety and our freedom. Our fellow citizens were forever immortalized not just as victims, but as heroes. Every year, on the anniversary of this dark day, we solemnly say — or nod in agreement when someone else says — “Never Forget.” On social media, we solemnly retweet and “like” posts bearing the hashtagged phrase. And every year, we are liars.
Following one of our nation’s most memorable moments in history, newly elected President Obama swiftly enacted several executive orders. One of the orders called for the closure of America’s intensely debated terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay. While many fear this and feel that a prison such as Gitmo is necessary for fighting terrorism, the practices used there are in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution and the rights guaranteed to the accused. When defending our nation it becomes easy to neglect the rights of those involved in terrorist activity, but is this fair for a country which was founded on principles of liberty, justice, and equality?
“Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.” Vice President-Elect Joe Biden said these words only several weeks ago and it seems, at least in part, that his prophecy has come true. The recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India are really a test for not only President-Elect Obama, but for the world. The manner in which all parties involved choose to respond to these attacks may well determine the course of the War on Terror.