Profile In Courage Awards - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-22-2006, 11:40 AM   #1
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 24,984
Local Time: 01:36 PM
Profile In Courage Awards

This award is given every year in honor of President Kennedy's book Profiles In Courage. "In 1954-55 a freshman U.S. Senator from Massachusetts wrote a book profiling eight of his historical Senatorial colleagues, such men as John Quincy Adams, Sam Houston, and Robert A. Taft. Instead of focusing on their storied careers, John F. Kennedy chose to illustrate their acts of integrity, when they stood alone against tremendous political and social pressure for what they felt was right . " (amazon.com)

This year's recipients of the awards are Alberto Mora and John Murtha. The awards are non-partisan and have been awarded to both Republicans and Democrats.

In search of political courage

By John Shattuck | May 22, 2006

It takes a lot of courage these days for a government official to stand up for the rule of law.

On Dec. 17, 2002, Alberto Mora received information from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service that prisoners at the Guantanamo Naval Base were being abusively interrogated. Mora, a loyal conservative, had been appointed by President Bush in 2001 to serve as general counsel of the Navy. Since the Navy had no responsibility for Guantanamo interrogations, Mora could have referred the report to others in the Pentagon, or simply decided to ignore it. Instead, he chose to investigate. What he discovered was deeply disturbing.

As he wrote in a recently declassified memo to the Navy's inspector general, Mora learned that his boss, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, had authorized interrogation techniques that ''could rise to the level of torture." Mora told the Pentagon's general counsel, William Haynes, that Rumsfeld's memorandum ''could have severe ramifications unless the policy was quickly reversed." He warned that the interrogation policy was ''unlawful" and that its consequences could be ''incalculably harmful to US foreign, military, and legal policies."

When nothing happened, Mora set out to change the policy. He knew he had to find allies in the Pentagon, and he began to recruit them by openly debating the Rumsfeld memorandum with other officials. A small bureaucratic victory came when the Department of Defense created a ''Working Group" to develop new recommendations. But this process was overwhelmed by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, which weighed in with its own memo expanding the original Rumsfeld policy.

Mora challenged the Justice Department. He charged that the policy allowed ''cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees," and expressed deep disagreement with its ''extreme and virtually unlimited theory of the extent of the President's authority." Mora confronted the author of the memo, Office of Legal Counsel Deputy Director John Yoo, asking him ''whether the president could order the application of torture." Mora wrote in his memo to the inspector general: ''Yoo responded, 'Yes.' "

Mora was shocked. He worked hard to get the Pentagon to shelve what he called this ''deeply flawed" policy that now had been hijacked by the Justice Department. For nearly a year Mora thought he had succeeded in persuading his superiors to block the policy, because the Rumsfeld and Legal Counsel memoranda were never finalized.

Then in April 2004 the Abu Ghraib prison scandal broke. Mora learned the bitter truth -- the torture policy he and others inside the Pentagon had fought so courageously to stop had secretly been kept in place all along, and the horrors they had warned against had come to pass.

Mora did not prevail in his bureaucratic battle, but his defense of the law and the Constitution demonstrated great political courage. That's why the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation today will recognize Alberto Mora with its Profile in Courage Award, together with John Murtha, a senior member of Congress and Vietnam combat veteran who made a difficult decision of conscience last year when he reversed his support for the Iraq war and sparked a national debate by calling for the withdrawal of US troops from the conflict.

''To be courageous requires no exceptional qualifications," wrote then-Senator John F. Kennedy in his 1957 Pulitzer-Prize winning book, ''Profiles in Courage." ''It is an opportunity sooner or later presented to us all."

We need leaders today who dare to defend the rule of law and the role of debate in our government against those who would suppress or circumvent them.

At a time when the proscription against torture has been undermined, when a secret domestic spying program has been carried out in apparent violation of federal law, when the president has claimed the authority to disregard hundreds of other statutes passed by Congress, and when the country has been taken to war under an erroneous pretext, we should follow the example of those who stand up for democracy. That's the message of Alberto Mora and John Murtha.

John Shattuck, CEO of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, is the author of ''Freedom on Fire: Human Rights Wars and America's Response."
__________________

__________________
MrsSpringsteen is offline  
Old 05-22-2006, 12:12 PM   #2
Refugee
 
4U2Play's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,791
Local Time: 11:36 AM
Interesting, thanks for posting that, MrsSpringsteen.

One small note: "Profiles In Courage" was probably ghost written by Kennedy's speechwriter, Teddy Sorensen, as a way of establishing JFK's intellectual heft in preparation for his 1960 campaign.

I agree with the Mora choice, but less so with Murtha. Murtha's position (redeployment of US troops to Kuwait) is already in the works by US military commanders. Plans to withdraw US troops from Iraq and station them in Kuwait and elsewhere in the Gulf will probably commence early next year, depending on the situation on the ground.

Murtha simply stated what everyone at the Pentagon already expects to happen, though on a longer timetable (Murtha wanted the redeployment to begin immediately last November, an impossible demand). This doesn't seem very "courageous" to me.

Jumping ship when things go wrong is politically expedient, so perhaps he should have won the "Profiles In Politics" award instead.
__________________

__________________
4U2Play is offline  
Old 05-22-2006, 04:43 PM   #3
Blue Crack Addict
 
deep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: A far distance down.
Posts: 28,501
Local Time: 10:36 AM
I was looking at a link earlier about the book
and this group

the awards are for people who dare to speak

truth to power


these are true American Patriots.
__________________
deep is offline  
Old 05-22-2006, 04:49 PM   #4
Blue Crack Addict
 
deep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: A far distance down.
Posts: 28,501
Local Time: 10:36 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by 4U2Play
Interesting, thanks for posting that, MrsSpringsteen.



Murtha simply stated what everyone at the Pentagon already expects to happen, though on a longer timetable (Murtha wanted the redeployment to begin immediately last November, an impossible demand). This doesn't seem very "courageous" to me.

Jumping ship when things go wrong is politically expedient, so perhaps he should have won the "Profiles In Politics" award instead.


not true

he had the "Courage" to say "what I once supported, I now no longer support."

He also did this before the Presidents poll numbers dropped.
__________________
deep is offline  
Old 05-22-2006, 05:03 PM   #5
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: The American Resistance
Posts: 4,754
Local Time: 12:36 PM
How about the editors and news managers at the small handful of U.S. papers, journals and television stations that chose to show the Danish cartoons. That took courage. Sadly.
__________________
INDY500 is offline  
Old 05-22-2006, 08:02 PM   #6
Refugee
 
4U2Play's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,791
Local Time: 11:36 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by deep
I was looking at a link earlier about the book
and this group
the awards are for people who dare to speak
truth to power
these are true American Patriots.

"Truth to power"? What does that mean?

Murtha is part of that "power", don't forget. Murtha voted for the war in the first place and spent the first couple of years supporting its aftermath 100%.

The occupation went awry, so then he "changed his mind" and demanded the immediate withdrawal of all US troops, to be completed within six months (from last November), a propostion he knew was unfeasible and not possible at that time (due to the upcoming Iraqi elections in December 2005). Do you remember how fast he backtracked on the Sunday morning talk shows when Matthews and Meet The Press and the rest of the talking heads pointed that out to him?

Bush's popularity ratings were only slightly better last November than they are now (upper 30% then, low-to-mid 30% now.. within the margin of error), so Murtha was hardly "daring" in going against the president at that time, especially as a Democrat.

http://www.pollingreport.com/BushJob.htm

How is Murtha more "daring" than all the other Democrats who voted for the war in the first place, but then turned against it when things got messy?

Barbara Lee was far more daring and courageous when she was the only politician in the entire US Congress, out of 518, who voted against the war in the first place, when Bush's poll numbers were at record highs. Why didn't she win the Profiles In Courage award instead of Murtha?
__________________

__________________
4U2Play is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com