Thursday, June 29, 2006

All Are Entitled



Today’s Supreme Court decision reaffirms the American ideal that all are entitled to the basic guarantees of our justice system. This is a triumph for the rule of law. Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, Democrat.

No wonder that fellow is smiling. He is Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni who was Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard and is accused of conspiring against U.S. citizens from 1996 through 2001. He is not a good man, but he was likely a good source of information about his boss.

Madame Pelosi goes on to say that today’s decision is a rebuke of the Bush Administration’s detainee policies and a reminder of our responsibility to protect both the American people and our Constitutional rights. Now she is equating terrorists with American citizens.

The decision written by LIBERAL Justice John Paul Stevens said the proposed military war crimes trials for Hamdan and about 450 other terrorists held at Gitmo were illegal under U.S. law and international Geneva conventions.

Justice Kennedy who voted with the majority wrote in his separate opinion that concentration of power (in the executive branch) puts personal liberty in peril of arbitrary action by officials, an incursion the Constitution's three-part system is designed to avoid.

So we have five Supreme Court justices granting the protections of US law to those who have made war against our country and citizens using terror tactics. If one of the 9/11 terrorists had somehow survived the plane crash these judges would be prepared to grant him bail, and liberal lawyers (remember Ramsey Clark) would be lining up to defend his rights.

And in a moment of supreme irony, Justice Kennedy usurps the Constitutional authority of the executive branch under the pretense of protecting separation of powers. You have to wonder if these guys even understand what they are saying.

In a judicial preview on National Review Online a few days ago Andy McCarthy wrote that if this happens, the Supreme Court will have dictated that we now have a treaty with al Qaeda — which no President, no Senate, and no vote of the American people would ever countenance. The Constitution consigns treaty-making to the political branches, not the courts, but a conclusion that Geneva protects Hamdan (and, by extension, his fellow savages) would ominously mean that the courts, under the conveniently malleable guise of "customary international law" can rewrite treaties to mean whatever they like them to mean. It is likely that such a theory will not rest on a claim that terrorists qualify as honorable prisoners of war under the conventions. It is too obvious that this is not the case.

It is clear that a majority of the Supreme Court believes that it has the power to dictate war making policy to the President, run roughshod over the Constitution’s separation of powers, and endanger the country. We need one more Supreme (goodbye Ginsberg or Stevens) in order to avoid more such travesties of justice.


As for Madame Pelosi, all Americans are entitled to a federal legislature free of imbeciles.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Ray Rose said...

OH boy! I can't wait to read how your liberal contributors feel about having the legal protections of US citizens extended to those who want to destroy the USA and it's citizens. I'm sure there will be a few that are willing to contribute to terrorist defense fund. Of course, if terrorists have access to our legal system, then they are entitled to public defenders, right? So we will all have to contribute.

So here is the message the Supreme Court just sent to our soldiers:

Capture an enemy and he'll get a lawyer and his day in the court system you pay for with your blood, sweat, tears, and maybe life. But if you get captured, the enemy will make as big a spectacle out of your torture and death as possible.

I've got it, maybe the Supreme Court just declared a 'Take No Prisoners policy'.

3:41 PM  
Blogger gary daily said...

This Fourth of July Nancy Pelosi will quote the scripture of the United State Constitution and the Declaration of Independence; someone will submit an angry letter to a small suburban newspaper about the billions being pounded into a hole in the sand that is Iraq; and a serious few who have long agonized about the death and self-destruction meted upon this country by lies. arrogance and incompetence, will stage twenty-four hour “Troops Home Fast” fasts across the country.

These acts of citizenship are protected, most would argue encouraged, by the Bill of Rights.

Why is it so easy to predict that these actions will send so many conservatives over the wall of reason and into the weed strewn fields of hyperbola, character assassination, and vitriolic contempt?

After all, Republicans control all three branches of the federal government. (Seven of the nine Supreme Court Justices are Republican appointees. Bill is uneasy. He wants nine out of nine.) The Democrats are in disarray. Redistricting and voting shenanigans tip the whole structure of representative democracy to the right.

And of course there is the money. And Republicans are the acknowledged masters of money (despite what the accountants keep telling us about Iraq and Katrina). Warren Buffett may speak and act against what he calls the “dynasty of wealth,” but your run of the mill millionaires, your outsourcing corporations and your oily, pill pushing lobbyists all make certain their moola finds its way into the dynasty that is the RNC.

So I ask again, why are the veins standing out on Ann Coulter’s bared neck? Why does Limbaugh flash his teeth and send out daily signals about left wing distress and doom stalking the land? Why does the fevered brain and tireless tongue of O’Reilly extrude an endless stream of contempt through the Tube of Fox night after night?

So now they bring on the new bogey man, Salim Ahmed Hamdan. But he’s in custody. And he’s the chauffeur! Not the evil TV star Osama! You remember Osama, right? The guy we let get away right after 9-11.

Venom sounds pour out of the green hills of Palos Verde, out of W’s dusty hideout in west Texas, from Cheney’s Jackson Haliburton Hole redoubt. They all hit the same notes. They all are sounding ever more shrill. Painfully shrill.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to agree with Gary. It was predictable that the wingnuts would go crazy over this one. Thank god we still have people in the government who still believe in that the executive does have unlimited powers. It's almost perverse that we have an executive and his right wing echo chamber bascially saying since we're really the good guys, we can use bad guy policies. Military tribunals are reminiscent of third world dictatorships, where there are no rules. It is precisely the fact that we have live by laws, not the commandments of a king, that makes this country so great. A good example is Zacharias Moussaoui, who didn't kill anybody, but the government was able to convict him and put him in jail for the rest of his life! We lose our moral standing in the world when we act like this. Ray Rose typifies the response on the right....the bad guys do it to us, so we should do it to them. This is short-sighted, and hate to say it, almost child-like. We are nation of rules and laws, and that is what has made us so successful.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it's interesting that the the wingnuts wrap themselves in the flag at every opportunity and shriek about how proud they are of our freedoms, and yet they cheer loudly at every opportunity that comes up to erode those same freedoms. They rejoice in sending kids to die "for our freedom" in an unnecessary war, and then they sell out at home without blinking.

Why is this? Do they really buy the "I'm the President, trust me" story? Don't they understand the very balanced way our government was set up? Don't they see what has happened in other countries? Why are they so complacent about something which is so important?

ANSWERS PLEASE.

Tex

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just hate the democrats! Egads! Great post Bill!
Rose

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess Bill and friends think that abrogating the Geneva Convention is for losers. Kind of like US soldiers, who now will not be subject to torture in future wars if the President has his way. Way to support the troops wingnuts!

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the U.S. Constitution is for U.S. citizens, not the world in general. Why would one think this decision was a good one? It's like us forcing our laws on the rest of the world, isn't it? And isn't that some of what has the liberals cranky -- us trying to force our ways on other countries?

It's like they want it both ways and it doesn't make sense to me.

At least we are successful...that's something you don't hear from the lefties, I quote:

"...and that is what has made us so successful."

Dori

7:55 PM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

Ray: "I can't wait to read how your liberal contributors feel about having the legal protections of US citizens extended to those who want to destroy the USA and it's citizens."

Here's how they react ---

Gary: "Venom sounds pour out of the green hills of Palos Verdes, out of W’s dusty hideout in west Texas, from Cheney’s Jackson Haliburton Hole redoubt."

Anony 1: "A good example is Zacharias Moussaoui, who didn't kill anybody, but the government was able to convict him and put him in jail for the rest of his life! We lose our moral standing in the world when we act like this."

Tex: The wingnuts wrap themselves in the flag at every opportunity and shriek about how proud they are of our freedoms, and yet they cheer loudly at every opportunity that comes up to erode those same freedoms.

Anony 2: I guess Bill and friends think that abrogating the Geneva Convention is for losers.
------

It is quite amazing how little some people understand about our rule of law. But Dori has it right: "It seems to me that the U.S. Constitution is for U.S. citizens, not the world in general."

Terrorists who are not American citizens have NO rights granted by our Constitution, nor do they have Geneva Convention rights. They are explicitly excluded since they are not uniformed soldiers of a nation that has signed the convention. This fact is not even debated by our courts or our congress.

Amrericans lose not one shred of liberty by our treatment of the terrorists at club gitmo or by tracking money used to finance terror or by recording phone conversations between foreign terrorists and their friends in the US. (ANSWER to Tex)

My greatest fear is that it will take another horrific attack on American soil to wake up the lefties to the fact that these people want to kill us, you and me, our kids and grandparents. These killers have no mercy on innocent non-combatants, rather we are targetted. Wake up you guys before it is too late.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill said "Amrericans lose not one shred of liberty by our treatment of the terrorists at club gitmo". That is simply wrong. When we mistreat people, however evil they are, we become like them. We may not lose our liberty, but we lose our dignity and our moral standing in the world. This hurts America, and more specifically, it will hurt US soldiers in future wars who will bear the brunt of our miscalculations.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Anon,

Said: "When we mistreat people, however evil they are, we become like them. We may not lose our liberty, but we lose our dignity and our moral standing in the world. This hurts America, and more specifically, it will hurt US soldiers in future wars who will bear the brunt of our miscalculations."

So, let me see, they capture our solders and then cut off our solders heads, and we capture them on the battlefield and we let them have special priviliges that we don't even offer our own prisioners in any of our US prisions.

I get it, take them to dinner and they will no longer cut off our solders heads?

Does anyone understand the word naive?

They kill their own civilians, fight in civilian clothes, and blow up mosques.

Tell me why shooting spies, yes they fit the definition of spies, would not be fitting?

Treating US citizens of GITMO should be under the protection of our laws, but prisioners from the battlefield or spies of other countries that have not signed the Geneva Convention should not be. Especially when the left and them use the word tourture for "playing rap music, and loud music." Don't they see how it cheapens the real meaning of the word tourtue?

FAR.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FAR,
Agree with you that the terrorists are evil and don't care about human life. However, this is not just about terrorists. This is about how America will be perceived generations from now in future wars. If we are ever going to convince the rest of the world that we have good intentions, we have to show that our system of laws works, that it's fair, and that those who do misdeeds are punished. This whole issue is not about torture (you're missing the point as usual), this is about legal procedure and the rule of law.

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He who fights with monsters should see to it that he does not become a monster himself. And when you stare long into an abyss, the abyss also stares into you." Nietzsche

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was said in one way or another, "when good men do nothing all matter of evil persists." Good does not become what it disciplines. What the perception is of the U.S.A. in future wars is not the issue right now. We cannot, as history has shown, really convince evil of our good intentions. The old parental saying comes to mind, "this hurts me more than it hurts you."

I don't mean to sound simplistic, combating evil is not easy, but it is simple. Just do it. It's not up to us to show evil anything other than the sharp end of the stick, so to speak.

I don't fear that we will become like our evil enemies, I fear that we will become complacent, weak and naive to the true ways of evil in this world. Say what you will, bottomline, the United States of America IS a light in a dark world. Note that I don't say anything about the U.S.A. being perfect...but we do care and always have and unless we leave our first love of God, liberty and freedom for all, we will always be a light in this present world.

One does not lose dignity or moral standing when one stands against evil. These are lost when one stands for nothing--when what we believe is sidelined because of fear of some kind or so-called political correctness.

I believe you either stand up and fight for what you believe or you become worse than your enemy.

Dori
HAPPY 4th OF JULY! I THANK OUR U.S.A. MILITARY FOR DEFENDING MY (OUR) FREEDOM.

11:01 AM  

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