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What Else But Madness

By       Message Hal O'Leary     Permalink
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  By Hal O'Leary

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My America has gone mad. We have the murder of 20 innocent children, then a virtual child himself at 15, admittedly addicted to violent video games, murders his family, the NRA , (with almost half of the public in agreement, wanting to arm every citizen for protection from the murder of each other, and now, many of the formerly sensitive and sensible half of our society are demanding the right to don uniforms with their male counterparts, pick up automatic weapons and drones to exercise their constitutional right to murder men, women and children around the world. And, all this in my name. What other than madness could explain such behavior since each are acts of murder in every sense of the word.

The very obvious fact that Hollywood finds the dominance of violence so profitable in their industry, suggests that our society is becoming addicted to murder. The very obvious fact that our own government can, not only with immunity, but with public approval, murder, not only suspected foreign enemies and agents but its own citizens without indictment or trial, suggests that violence has become the accepted means of resolving disputes, and a way of life. The very obvious fact that the better half of our society, which has, heretofore, managed to maintain a respectable sanity, seems desirous of the opportunity to, not only condone, but to commit murder in their own right, suggests   that a nation-wide review of the very principles and morality, upon which this country was founded, is needed to restore sanity.

Now, lest you call me out on the constant use of the word "murder",   please hear me out.  The following is a justifiable description of murder and its consequences as found in Wikipedia.

  " Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another person, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide (such as manslaughter). As the loss of a human being inflicts enormous grief upon the individuals close to the victim, and the commission of a murder is highly detrimental to the good order within society, most societies both present and in antiquity have considered it a most serious crime worthy of the harshest of punishment. In most countries, a person convicted of murder is typically given a long prison sentence, possibly a life sentence where permitted, and in some countries, the death penalty may be imposed for such an act -- though this practice is becoming less common. [1] In most countries, there is no statute of limitations for murder (no time limit for prosecuting someone for murder).   A person who commits murder is called a murderer.

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In this regard, I imagine you would agree that the first two examples cited adequately fit this description of murder. There was malice aforethought which constitutes the following states of mind:

1. Intent to kill

2. Intent to inflict grievous bodily harm short of death.

3. Reckless indifference to an unjustifiably high risk to human life.

4. Intent to commit a dangerous felony.

These two crimes in particular represent reprehensible infringements on the rights of another.

And, grievous though they be, I contend that the murders carried out by our military by far exceed the noxious consequences of   even those heinous acts. Entire families are murdered indiscriminately. Here, you may righteously scream that our brave soldiers are defending our freedom and therefore the killing of the enemy cannot be construed as murder. It Is what is termed "Unlawful", which distinguishes murder from killings that are done within the boundaries of law, such as execution, self-defense or the killing of enemy soldiers during a war, which in this case, grants immunity to the military. It all sounds so legal and above board.

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BUT, what if the so-called war was in itself illegal? What if the freedoms our brave soldiers are supposedly defending are in graver danger of being eroded here at home than they are from enemies we have created abroad? We have suspended habeas corpus and privacy   rights. American citizens can now be assassinated by order of the President, or detained indefinitely without even a hearing. Does that not effectively kill "defense of freedom" as our ostensible reason initiating war? Initially Afghanistan was bombed and invaded, so we were told, because the Taliban refused to hand over Bin Laden, the supposed mastermind behind 9/11.   Actually, the Taliban did offer to surrender him to a neutral country upon presentation of evidence that he was indeed responsible. This evidence was never presented. Does this not make the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan illegal, particularly since most all of the supposed hijackers were from Saudi   Arabia?

Does the bombing and invasion of Iraq for supposed possession of WMD which were never found make  that entire operation illegal? Neither Afghanistan or Iraq represented any threat whatever to the United States. We have justified both of these atrocities under the dubious label of the "War On Terror" which is as ridiculously designed and deceitful as the War On Drugs.

My friends, we must understand that all of these inexcusable offenses are not just violations of our own laws and treaties, but they are international crimes against humanity.  In that respect, the killing that results must be considered murder. While it is acknowledged that an exclusion to murder is "The killing of enemy combatants by lawful combatants," it carries with it the addendum, "In accordance with lawful orders in war." The Military Code requires obedience only to lawful orders. Therefore, if the instigation of the action is itself illegal, the orders and their execution must also be considered illegal and a capital crime. In both cases, since the attacks by us were premeditated and preemptive with no evidence of even a threat, the attack on Afghanistan having been planned prior to 9/11, there can be no plea of self-defense. Of course, there is always the possibility of a plea of insanity, perhaps with reason.

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Hal O'Leary is an 88 year old veteran of WWII who, having spent his life in theatre, and as a Secular Humanist, believes that it is only through the arts that we are afforded an occasional glimpse into the otherwise incomprehensible. As an 'atheist (more...)

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