The Right Coast

July 03, 2004
No War Heroes Allowed
By Gail Heriot

According to WorldNet Daily, the California State Assembly's Democratic leadership refused to allow former Alabama Senator Jeremiah Denton to join a Fourth of July ceremony, citing problems with his political views, especially his views on the separation of church and state.

Denton, as you may recall, spent eight years of his life as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, four of them in solitary confinement. He is most famous for an incident in which he blinked his eyes to spell out t-o-r-t-u-r-e in Morse code while being filmed by a North Vietnamese camera crew. When he stepped off the plane onto American soil in 1973, he said, "We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country in difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our commander-in-chief for this day. God Bless America."

I'll confess that I don't know much about the political views of Jeremiah Denton, other than he is conservative and was elected by a majority of voters in Alabama to represent them in the United States Senate. But he would have to favor eating babies and putting grandmothers through meat grinders before it would be appropriate to exclude him from participation in a Fourth of July celebration. This man has made such extraordinary sacrifices for his country.

Oh well. I suppose it's one more strange tale about the folks that represent us in the California Legislature.