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View Diary: George Orwell and Howard Zinn on Two Distinctly Different Concepts: Patriotism and Nationalism (78 comments)

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  •  Yes, Along With James Madison (4+ / 0-)

    didn't he write most of the Bill of Rights?

    I know you did, but if others had not, here's a comment I made recently about the value of the Bill of Rights.

    When I Lived in London

    ... in the mid-1990s during my first grad school, the movie In the Name of the Father was released.  As you know, the film is based on a true 1974 bombing incident in Guilford, which is 25-30 miles South of London.  It resulted in the conviction of four Irish Republican Army "suspected terrorists" - the so-called Guilford Four, who each spent fifteen years in prison. Upon appeal, it was later found out that they had been falsely convicted, with confessions extracted through torture and other techniques.  

    I tell you this story because the movie's release spurred a vigorous debate in British newspapers, most of them being national papers in a relatively small country.  I distinctly recall that one columnist (it may have been in the Observer) pointed out that the four men would not have been convicted had Britain had a written constitution and a Bill of Rights.  

    I studied international relations for almost a decade in four universities and can give you other examples where citizens of other countries point to the United States Constitution - an imperfect yet workable document - as an example of something to aspire to at least when it comes to protecting the rights of individuals.  In the current debate here on Daily Kos about NSA surveillance methods, some "My-Party-Right-or-Wrong" Democrats are forgetting that fact.

    Which is a damn shame, in my opinion.

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