Velma Sanders (My Grandmother) b.1917
I can remember running and playing with friends in the country. Growing up in a small town (Goodlow, Texas; population 312) neighbors and family were plenty, and dirt roads were vast. Sometimes I can remember climbing down in the creek bed, and following it all the way out by my Aunt Emma’s house (1912- 2002), after which the journey home would began, and there was always a tough decision to make. We could go straight home or we could go home…but with detours. Now this individual decision was made with deep thought and consultations with the guys, which eventually lead to mischief, causing something memorable to happen and we would then go home.
On one occasion, I was with my cousin, and we planned to do the usual, but Aunt Emma instructed us differently. I will never forget it; Aunt Emma was from the “old-school” and she was about 5’0 (if she was an inch), and always wore an apron. She made it perfectly clear, that if we were to go away from the house that we wouldn’t stop by Uncle Jay’s her brother (1908-2000). See, Uncle Jay and Aunt Carrie (Married 1935) were great cooks from the good old days! Typically, when us kids would stop by there, we would fill up on fresh cake and a big glass of milk, which consequently would ruin us for dinner. Well, my cousin and I set out, and as we were headed back, we decided (after much deliberation) to just pay a little visit to Uncle Jay and Aunt Carrie. Sure enough, we ate to our hearts content, and then walked back to Aunt Emma’s. On the way home, I told him to make sure that he didn’t mention the whole “dropping by Uncle Jay’s” and he stated with a grin, “You know I won’t say nothing!”. Now, little did we know, Trey had left an article of clothing there at Uncle Jay’s, and Aunt Carrie thought it would be responsible to call Aunt Emma, and let her know! Aunt Carrie told Aunt Emma, “ not to scold Trey for losing the article of clothing, that it was safe with her.”
This reminds me of the current status in which the Bush Administration and their lawyers are in. Being aware of torture as a means of interrogation used by governments to attain information from Prisoners, the US signed an agreement with the United Nations stating that we would not engage in torture; after consulting with their lawyers, the Bush Administration used a technique called Water boarding ( which was used during WWII on our soldiers, and a technique we deemed as torture at that time) and, according to Condaleeza Rice, if the President approved…it wasn’t breaking the Law (just like Nixon). When asked by the American Public, we were told the truth…but not the whole truth.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, at the center of the frenzy are four detailed legal analyses, “The memos, written by Justice Department lawyers in 2002 and 2005 and recently declassified and released, read as you would expect them to. The individuals writing them were reflecting their own interpretation of the law, their own policy views, and quite possibly the policy preferences of their bosses.”
This problem is a clear representation of what happens when one branch of government, tries to act without proper checks and balances. Clearly, this method of interrogation was not to be decided upon by just lawyers who were advising the president, or interpreting the law (which is the job of the Supreme Court). As a result, being that the Executive Branch took it upon their selves to act independently, our reputation was tarnished both at home and abroad. The question which is now being asked by many, is if the lawyers who gave this advice to the administration, will be prosecuted; or will anyone else from the Bush Administration pay some sort of price if they are found to have broken the law.
Well, to answer that question, I should finish my story from earlier. ..
As we walked into the 6 room house, the questions began, and we played it cool. We told her everything that we did, save the whole Uncle Jay thing. As I began to walk out, Aunt Emma grabbed me, and said a simple phrase (after giving me a good pop)…,”I’m going to call Velma (my grandmother b.1917) and tell her what you did.” Now I knew Granny (as I called her) did not want me going over to Uncle Jay’s, and at this point, I was simply scared to walk home.
When I stepped onto the porch, my Grandmother met me there, and she didn’t just talk to me. She whooped my behind, and told me that “grown folk” make rules for good reasons. And if I decided to break those rules, I’d have to “Pay the Piper”, just as I did by taking the spanking.
The UN made rules, we broke them knowingly (especially sine we hired lawyers to help us go around the agreement) and those responsible must pay the consequences.
As stated by a great American General:
“A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”
~ Dwight D Eisenhower