Regarding his Sept. 17 Point of View piece “What makes America exceptional”: Assad Meymandi frequently imparts great wisdom, but he often tells stories that show his inability to honestly critique the country he loves.
As an example of American exceptionalism, he cited the trial of Fort Hood psychiatrist Nidal Hasan, a man who likely committed his horrific crimes as a result of post-traumatic stress syndrome and other mental illness. Hasan was permitted to represent himself for the purpose of gaining the death sentence he unjustly received. Vengeance won the day, and another human being will now be subjected to years of solitary confinement (torture) and eventually a needle of poison injected to kill him. No nationalistic source of pride comes from this.
Meymandi also mentions the “supremacy of the rule of law” as an example of U.S. virtue. I wish Dr. Meymandi would consider joining N.C. Stop Torture Now and taking a drive to the Johnston County Airport to protest where the CIA maintains aircraft used for extraordinary rendition. Pilots-of-fortune fly kidnap victims to secret prisons where they are held without due process, tortured (in violation of international law and human decency) and often released when it is discovered they were just innocent victims of “American exceptionalism.”
Patrick O’Neill, Garner