"I'm not naive about my country. My country is definitely not always right; my country has at times been terribly wrong. But I know this about Americans: We don't set out to kill innocent people. We don't cheer when innocent people die.
The people who did this to us are monsters; the people who cheered them have hate-sickened minds. One reason they can cheer is that they know we would never do to them what their heroes did to us, even though we could, a thousand times worse. They know that when we hunt down the monsters, we will try hard not to harm the innocent. Those are the handcuffs we willingly wear, because for all our flaws, we are a decent people." – Dave Barry, September 13, 2001.
That excerpt from a Dave Barry column just following the September 11 attacks is something I have quoted often throughout the years and today it seems more relevant than ever.
When Barry wrote of the “handcuffs we willingly wear” it was two days after the September 11 attacks. He was talking about how our country would respond to the horrific murder of three thousand innocent American men, women and children – that even in war we would do whatever we could to spare the innocent. He was responding to those wickedly cheering the 9/11 attacks saying America deserved them.
The “handcuffs” being discussed today go far beyond those discussed by Barry seven years ago. Many critics of the former administration believe the “handcuffs” we must wear when trying to prevent future “man-made disasters” include a ban on the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” particularly waterboarding. Many on the left are telling us that we have not been a decent people. We are being told that those tasked with keeping us safe for the past eight years acted immorally and now they must pay a price.
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