Sunday, November 6, 2011

One of the Ghosts

It occurs to me that when I talk about the voices in my head, it may make me sound a little unbalanced. Crazy, no? Well, sanity is highly overrated.

Please understand that I have encountered many stories in my 61 years of curiosity induced reading, and remember them. (Details -- I have a fine research library for them). I am busy remembering people I believe should not be forgotten ----- those are the voices in my head. I worry that when I am gone (and forgotten) that they will be, too, at last. The urgency of getting some of their stories down on paper grows when I think on that.

Like Mata Hari. I just read a bio on her. She was a woman of loose morals (for her day) convicted of spying on flimsy evidence as a scapegoat for French military failure. Then she was shot.

She was also a Dutch national. A cousin of sorts.

I read her story, the last half of which was about her arrest, incarceration and interrogation, and trial, and I think about how we hold people indefinitely on the suspicion that they are terrorists. I understand the paranoia behind that; I also understand that the government claims to have proof that each one is a dangerous person. But their rights are gone. And if only one of them is innocent, a Mata Hari incarcerated for who they are rather than what they did or did not do, then American justice is a joke for all of us.

History shows us many things. The worst lesson is this: the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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