Letter from a future US President

In Editorial on December 5, 2011 at 12:26 pm

[A few days ago, the US Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011.  Provisions within that act diminish human liberties by providing for indefinite detentions of non-citizens (or citizens under a “sworn waiver”) by the US military.  Iowa’s senators split their votes  Senator Harkin (D) voted “nay” with Senator Grassley (Wells Fargo) voting “yea”.  The bill (SB 1867) passed, raising concerns by human rights organizations.  During WWII, in response to the deaths of the five Sullivan brothers from Iowa, their mother received a letter of condolence quoting a letter from Abraham Lincoln to a mother who had lost her sons in the Civil War.  Below, is a likely rendition of a future letter to another grieving mother.  President Barack Obama has “promised” to veto the act if it reaches his desk.  Please email the president requesting he do so…so no mother in the future receives a letter like the one below.  PD]


RE:  Your son, Edward (“Eddie”) Smith – Deceased

Dear Mrs. Smith,

I am in receipt of your recent letter detailing your distress resulting from Eddie’s recent death while in military custody.

In your letter, you stated your primary concerns were (are) that Eddie was deprived of protections under the United States Constitution; when he was arrested and placed in indefinite military custody under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011.

As your president, I hold deep affection and abiding love for the Constitution’s quaint notions that life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness are individual, not corporate, rights.  At the same time, I am also compelled to point out that the authors of that document were not fighting a global war on terror.

In your letter, forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Director of the National Security Agency, you pointed out that Eddie was a citizen of the United States of America and that the above-captioned act was never intended to result in the incarceration of American citizens.

I have discussed your concerns with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, and the Director of National Intelligence.  Their offices have confirmed that the Secretary of Defense properly submitted a written certification (required under Section 1032 of the National Defense Authorization Act) that a waiver of citizen protections under the Act (as well as protections for lawful resident aliens) was in the national security interests of the United States.

Consequently, Eddie was properly detained by military authorities and flown to [redacted] for debriefing using enhanced interrogation techniques.

Unfortunately, Eddie died during his questioning and we deeply regret any inconvenience his death may have caused you.  However, I assure you that members of the private security team completing his interrogation did so under the highest standards of professional conduct.

As the Director of National Intelligence pointed out, and I am sure (!) you will agree, “When you’re fighting a war on terror, or making an omelet, you have to break a few eggs.”

I agree with the Director and will add that only a terrorist sympathizer could see it any other way.  But such platitudes will not do anything to bring Eddie back or to make our country’s businesses more secure against sympathizers with those who hate us for our consumer goods.

I pray you are not a terrorist sympathizer and I hope your less than patriotic assertions are due to your grief obscuring your gratitude.

Consequently, at this time, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that Eddie’s cremated remains were generously returned to you at no expense to you.   Eddie’s remains were returned from [redacted] on a private jet owned by General Dynamics, with fuel paid for by Raytheon. (“Like” both fine companies on Facebook!)

The government of the United States does not view the death of an American citizen without a measure of sadness.  Consequently, we somewhat understand your grief at the loss of your only son.

While there is nothing those of us in government, or our corporate sponsors, can do to bring Eddie back, we feel obligated to assist you at your time of sadness.

Enclosed is a pre-loaded Bank of America (Proud sponsor of “Firebase Smith”) VISA gift card in the amount of two hundred and fifty dollars ($250).  The Director of Homeland Security (DHS) has also generously risen to help you at this difficult time.  We also know that Eddie would have wanted you to buy yourself something nice.

DHS and its corporate partner, Wal-Mart, wish to extend a most generous offer of doubling (Yes, doubling!) any balance on your gift card, making its potential worth five hundred dollars (subject to restrictions – see page 47 of “Exclusions and Limitations”).

Our friends at Wal-Mart have assured my office that their associates will endeavor to provide you, and every Wal-Mart guest, with the best shopping experience possible.

And, while enjoying your Wal-Mart shopping trip, using your Bank of America VISA Card, I remind you…

If you see something, say something.

In deepest sympathy,


Your President


enc:            1 – VISA debit card #123456789123456

2 – National Security Letter dated 4-1-2013


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