rights of terrorists

Beth Shelly reports today,

“Early this morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” there was a discussion about our freedoms and who they are set aside for, particularly the 14th Amendment, which defines citizenship and keeps our civil and political rights from being abridged or denied.

The Nation’s Chris Hayes . was speaking on the rights of suspected terrorists, particularly the issues of indefinite detention and whether should they be “Mirandized” or not. He stressed the point that the U.S. Constitution’s protection of legal rights not only applies to legal citizens, but, unpopular as that is today, it also applies to terrorist suspects, much as it does to illegal immigrants who are arrested on American soils.

But in the Bush administration, in the name of public safety, those legal rights were curtailed for certain terrorist suspects. A Feb. 9 editorial in the Wall Street Journal titled “Cheney’s Revenge” asserts that despite efforts little has been done by the Obama administration to move away ` from that stance. The editorial cites the President’s desired closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities and his administration’s backing down of trying 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other enemy combatants in civilian court.

In response, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough said, “I know Bush did it, but that doesn’t make it right,” adding it is something we are still “muddling through.” Meanwhile,  Mort Zukerman of U.S. New & World Report counters, saying the Supreme Court allows for different rules to apply than what exist for U.S. citizens.
Forty years ago it was civil rights. Today it is the rights of terrorist suspects.

An ongoing  process, to be sure, on how to apply our legal protections. But it began more than 230 years ago with our first president and changed significantly with , the election of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.

Understanding the “muddling” and shifting public opinion that occurs over time, it is the basic concept of democracy and freedom that we celebrate with Presidents’ Day. Hope you all get a chance to sit back and reflect on it this weekend.”

Well , it won’t take a weekend to reflect on this. First, the 14th Amendment, “Citizenship Rights.”

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Was the Christmas day bomber born or naturalized in the U.S.?  Was KSM?  No.  They’re not citizens of the U.S.  Where do the Nation’s Chris Hayes and reporter Beth Shelly come up with the notion that 14th Am. protections were intended to apply to non-citizens?  Certainly not in the text of the Constitution so amended.

The government’s legal authority to deal with non-citizen terrorists comes in the body of the Constitution under Article 1, Section 8, “Powers of Congress.”

“The Congress shall have Power ….
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To declare War … and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To …. repel Invasions;
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

Article 1, Section 9, “Limits on Congress” also applies.

“The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”

Fruit of Kaboom and KSM are invading members of a multi-state Islamic religious sect who have declared war on the United States.  The 14th Amendment body of law protects individual citizen rights against the government.  It doesn’t protect members of invading armies who are in a fight to destroy the government.  Yet the left would have us buy into this absurdity in order to create a public political forum for attacking conservative politicians.  They would subvert the Constitution–that protects them too–to score political points in the modern media-charged democratic process.    

Enjoy your weekend.

The Roots Of American Order

Origin of the Bill of Rights and the Common LawOrigin of the Bill of Rights and the Common LawOrigin of the Bill of Rights and the Common Law

Russell Kirk, “The Roots Of American Order,” pp. 187-189.

No question that the “enumeration of civil liberties in the Constitution” has “endangered” many civil rights belonging to many un-anticipated parties not specified in the Constitution.  Hence the ever-accelerating expansion of civil rights litigation.

And no question that “political power decree of positive laws without reference to general consent has led to the evasion, defiance, and diminished respect” for statutory law resulting in the “substitution of force for justice,” –another trend in law and enforcement that continues to accelerate.

These trends do not lead to more or better justice, equity or fairness.  They substitute the rule of men for the rule of law by shrinking the domain of liberty in human action, and eliminating opportunities for moral choices.  While it’s all done in the name of the “public good,” ironically, people who act without making a moral choice cannot be good.  Coercion and force nullify morality.  Morality requires free choice.  Without a moral choice, people cannot choose the good over the bad or evil.  The best they can do is obey–the moral stature of a “good doggy.”
Good Dog
Perhaps the left tolerates Islamic submission so well because they’re both systems of obedience.

Each day the news is full of reports of what people liberated from their moral responsibility have done to other people, to the world and to themselves.  People who do not experience morality are disconnected from justice or concern for mankind.  All the totalitarian systems – Marxism, Islam, Fascism, Socialism, Communism, Progressivism, Gaia, and their numerous combinations and derivatives – take us toward amorality in the name of their concepts of the public good.  All of them are self-defeating as they collaterally damage innocents and non-believers.  All of them institutionalize corruption.

Freedom, voluntary choice, limited government, judicial equity, all of these traditions preserve moral choice and enforce moral responsibility.  There will always be bad men and women.  Inflexible totalitarian systems do not contain self-correction mechanisms.  They insulate bad people and bad policies from their negative consequences.

Liberty is messy, but it’s still better than everything else because it allows us to evolve.  The left only want evolution they can control.  The right recognizes the fact that individuals know best how to direct their own evolution.

A 5th Am. problem

“[T]he failure to answer “no” to any question on this declaration shall serve as a disclosure that material assistance to an organization identified on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List has been provided by myself or my organization.” [Read more…]