Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Ivory Tower Set's First Shopping List

The attorney Bruce Fein writes in today’s Washington Times online that he hopes that the presumptive Speaker of the House for the 110th Congress, Nancy Pelosi (D – People’s Republic of San Francisco), will “. . .spearhead an effort to repeal the Military Commissions Act of 2006.” The Military Commissions Act ("MCA") essentially undoes the damage to our ability to defend ourselves, cause by the Supreme Court in its absurd and stupid Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision. (No. 05-184, 548 U.S. ____, ___ S.Ct. ___ (June 29, 2006).

The Hamdan decision, tried, among other things, to extend the provisions of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions to al Qaeda and Taliban detainees –overturning generally understood interpretations of international law that have always held that that the Geneva conventions do not cover terrorists, who are not signatories to the conventions, or otherwise lawful combatants. The 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court essentially bought into the NGO/international lawyer lobby line of argument that sought to privilege non-state actors such as terrorists and “liberation movements” – and put them on the same level as nation states.
The MCA, among other things, ". . .establishes procedures governing the use of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the United States for violations of the laws of war and other offenses triable by military commission." (10 U.S.C. § 948b). We are not talking about nice people here.

Mr. Fein blandly tells us that the “Constitution celebrates freedom and due process as the norm” and that Congress, in adopting the Military Commissions Act, did not engage in “any demonstration that applying customary legal rules to suspected international terrorists to safeguard against executive error or injustices. . .would threaten national security or the safety of America.”

Beg pardon sir, but the Congress is not required to engage in such a “demonstration” because the “customary” legal rules you are talking about do not apply to unlawful combatants. The Left is essentially denying that there is any such category -- that persons captured in arms against the United States or other countries are ipso facto prisoners of war. Well, there might be exceptions – I suppose the Left would have a fit if we captured right-wing terrorists and gave them the due process the Lefties are demanding for their precious Islamic nutjob terrorists.
I wonder, in any case, if the result would be what Mr. Fein supposes ? If, say, Mr. Abdul Terrorist, wearing no uniform, not a member of any identifiable organization -- is captured near a road in Iraq, setting up a mortar that would kill 20 US Marines, what happens then ? If Mr. Terrorist becomes entitled to the full benefit of Mr. Fein's "rule of law," and can hire American lawyers to file habeas petitions and generally run rings around the military or whoever has the misfortune of dealing with his case -- I wonder if Mr. Terrorist would survive to enjoy his rights ? Seems lots easier all round if he resists capture. That, in turn, will generate its own negative feedback, which will endanger still more US personnel.

Mr. Fein’s shopping list is not complete. In addition to the Military Commissions Act – he wants Mrs. Pelosi and her Leftist friends to start “. . .using the power of the purse to terminate the National Security Agency’s warrantless spying program.” But this is not all:

Mrs. Pelosi should also urge revision of the state secrets privilege. It denies justice to victims of constitutional violations if proof of their claims would require disclosure of classified information, for example a conspiracy to torture hatched between United States and foreign intelligence officials.

Oh, now there's a convenient straw man: "a conspiracy to torture," but we can think of some other examples can't we ? What about, say, a situation where the Feds arrest persons working for a foreign power, oh, maybe Russia or China -- and they are tried based on information from our spies in these countries. Guess what information has to come out in open court ? Without the states privilege (which was not invented by the Bush administration and dates to a Supreme Court case from 1875), we can either kill our own agents, reveal our own secrets, or let the defendant go free. Why bother having secrets anyway ?
The shopping list goes on. Mr. Fein wants “prohibitions on US government kidnappings, detentions or interrogations abroad.. . .” also a “media exception to criminal prosecutions for disclosing national defense information under the Espionage Act of 1917.” Mr. Fein tells us that “Mrs. Pelosi’s chance for a shining place in freedom’s history is at hand.” If she enacts this agenda, her statue will come with a dunce cap.

Fortunately, there is not a prayer of any of this happening, and if the Donkeys are this stupid (oh, we can only hope) to make their stand on the basis of civil rights for scumbag spies and foreign terrorists…both the filibuster and the veto pen are waiting.

Why don’t we just let Osama and Hamas sue in American courts ? Just go ahead and prostitute the Constitution, and American citizenship and make our rights apply to everybody, everywhere. The Left thinks there is no difference whatever between American citizens and the meanest peasant in Pakistan. As for secrets, clearly, to all Right Thinking people, especially at big universities or Leftie kaffee klatches, Rule of Law trumps trivalities such as national defense or foreign intelligence.
I wonder how many of us are going to be killed so that the precious terrorists can have their civil rights ? I suppose losing a city or three is a small price to pay so that scumbags at Guantanamo can have the “rule of law” rather than the gallows they deserve.

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