Posted by: al66888 | June 7, 2007

Another example of our government, working for the ‘other’ guy

Once again it’s time to start ripping on both parties of the Senate.  The Senate judiciary committee approved a bill that would grant foreign terrorist suspects Habeas Corpus.   This means that any terrorist, captured by the military, now has the right to fight his detention in the federal court.  It’s another ‘my head is about to explode’ moment. 

Why you should be angered at the Republicans:

  1. Well, Sen Arlen Specter (R-PA) is a co-sponsor of the bill
  2. Only 3 Republicans attended the markup (I guess they’re too busy trying to open our borders)

This, by far, has to be my favorite quote to the story which can be read here:

“This bill goes to the very core of who we are as Americans,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). “I will make sure there is a vote on this one way or another.”

So according to Senator Leahy, the core of who we are as Americans is the handing over of our Constitutional rights to foreign suspects who are being held under suspect of attempting to commit acts of terrorism against the United States. I somehow fail to recall those sentiments in the Pledge of Allegiance, Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution.

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Responses

  1. Most of those interned at Gitmo were not apprehended on the battlefield, not apprehended by American forces, and not even apprehended in Afghanistan. Many are not accused of complicity in action against the USA. The largest number were foreigners arrested in Pakistan, under pressure from the US to deliver terrorists. While genuine terrorism suspects need to be treated with grave seriousness, it is our nation’s unfortunate history that in times of trouble we go crazy with arrests, and rob decent people of their lives on the flimsiest of evidence.
    It’s not in the Pledge, true – it’s bigger than that: all men (not just citizens) are endowed by their Creator (not just the USA) with certain inalienable rights … among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  2. Sure, we would all like to see the correct men captured and tried, and those incorrectly captured released, but there is another kind of ‘unfortunate history’ at work.

    1. Of course these men were not captured on the battlefield. They refuse to wear uniforms and fight on the battlefield. It was one of the main reasons for the Geneva Convention, to prevent innocent people from being killed by distinguishing soldiers by a uniform. They are actually illegal combatants.

    2. I really don’t know how many ‘decent’ people are being penned up in Gitmo. I do find it odd that everyone will give the benefit of the doubt to a suspected terrorist before they’ll give that same benefit to our military.

    3. All men are created equal….. and those men are given the freedom of choice. They chose to associate themselves with known terror groups and regimes. Some of these men that in Gitmo are known al Qaeda and Taliban operatives. By extending Habeas Corpus rights, you do not just attempt to help those who are wrongly imprisoned, but you give the protection of the law to those who tried to crumble the basis of that law.

  3. It is always a difficult balance, I am sure. But, regarding your thoughts,
    1. We don’t really know if they’re illegal combatants or not. What facts we have suggest the accuracy of arrest to be very low: perhaps less than half are suspected of being “combatants.” See Who’s At Guantanamo for an aging but intriguing analysis of available data.
    2. I would not give the benefit of the doubt to a suspected terrorist before giving that benefit to our military.
    3. “you do not just attempt to help those … wrongly imprisoned”. Of course! For you do not know who they are! And that is the nature of all habeas corpus law – and justice itself – utter equality of treatment. Some have evil associates, some do not – fairness to all, punishment where deserved, is the only way a society keeps itself from gradually becoming more like those who persecute it.
    America can be stern without abandoning being good.

  4. The purpose of a trial is to determine whether someone is actually guilty of a crime. Habeas Corpus mandates that a person cannot be arrested and held indefinitely unless charged with a crime. Without habeas corpus, our government can arrest anyone without charging them with doing anything wrong and without demonstrating any evidence that they did anything wrong. Whether it’s an American citizen or someone in Mozambique, no government should be legally permitted to abduct anyone indefinitely without any evidence and without even informing the person or his/her family about the abduction, let alone why. Isn’t that what terrorists do?

  5. I think you are misunderstanding, or more likely, I’m not conveying my thoughts properly. So let me spell it out clearly

    I’m all for finding out who’s there and who deserves to be there. I’m all for trying these guys.

    What I am arguing is habeas corpus to our federal court system. These people should not be given the same rights as an American citizen. This should be either a military court or something of that nature. You know what will happen- they grant them habeas corpus, try them in court, and the ACLU will defend them all.


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