Wednesday, May 09, 2007


NYT Starts New Pointless Campaign

It seems like yesterday, but I'm sure it was a half decade ago, that the NYT had about 40 articles about how horrible it was that a male members only golf club (Augusta National Golf Club) could host a major tournament (the Masters). No one cared but the NYT and a handful of feminists.

I'm predicting a new campaign to which our collective response will be a big yawn--the Times will be pushing for a new law granting to federal courts jurisdiction to hear a habeas corpus writ request from a foreign illegal combatant. I'm sighing at the misguided waste of editorial space but soon, if the Times follows its precedent, I'll, like almost all of America, soon be yawning.

The second editorial on the subject this month starts with an idiotic statement:

Last year, Congressional Democrats allowed the Bush administration to ram through one of the worst laws in the nation’s history — the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

Worst law in the nation's history? Worse than the ones which were declared unconstitutional? (The Military Commissions Act of 2006 passed constitutional review in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and cert. was denied by the Supreme Court). Worse than the Alien and Sedition Acts? Worse than McCain/Feingold? Smoot/Hawley?

Rewriting the act should start with one simple step: restoring to prisoners of the war on terror the fundamental right to challenge their detention in a real court.

Why? The anti-Nazi, conscripted Wehrmacht soldier captured in Tunis in 1943 was a prisoner of war for the duration, with absolutely no ability to get his case reviewed. He at least wore a uniform and followed most of the recognized rules of war. Why should today's un-uniformed, war criminal Jihadi have more rights than someone who followed the rules? Why should we reward those who target on purpose women and children and have a status similar to pirates--that is, we could execute them upon capture with minimal tribunal involvement? What are they doing that would get them greater rights than a real prisoner of war?

The NYT has nothing.

Suspending habeas corpus is an extreme notion on the radical fringes of democratic philosophy.

What? You mean the well recognized constitutional ability to suspend habeas corpus during times of invasion and civil war (U. S. Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 9)? You mean that extreme part of the radical fringe of the Constitution?

Here's their 'tit for tat' argument: As four retired military chief prosecutors — from the Navy, the Marines and the Army — pointed out to Congress, holding prisoners without access to courts merely feeds Al Qaeda’s propaganda machine, increases the risk to the American military and sets a precedent by which other governments could justify detaining American civilians without charges or appeal.

...feeds Al Qaeda's propaganda machine. Yeah, we know the one thing that really gets the average Jihadi's goat (figuratively) is the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. How much more can they hate us?

...increases the risk to the American military. How? They try to kill us every chance they get. They kill and mutilate every soldier they capture, not necessarily in that order. What greater risk? This is idiotic, or worse, Joe Biden-like.

...sets a precedent by which other governments could justify detaining American civilians without charges or appeal. You mean like our Embassy personnel in Tehran or our citizens kidnapped in Lebanon, and in Iraq? If our citizens fight in another country as un-uniformed, illegal combatants and are captured, it's OK with me for the foreign government to detain them. Same thing if we're at war with that foreign country, because all prisoners of war are held for as long as the war continues.

Then there's the big finale: We are sympathetic to [the Democrats'] concerns about finding a way to revive habeas corpus that won’t die in committee or be subject to a presidential veto of a larger bill. But lawmakers sometimes have to stand on principle and trust the voters to understand.

This is one of those times.

It is because the Democrats do trust the voters that they will do nothing to grant to the undeserving this unprecedented 'right.'

Apparently there are 38 pointless, baseless, absolutely ignored screeds on this subject to go.

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But what abount innocent Achmed who was going out for some Chinese when he was picked up in a sweep? Should he be confined for the duration without a hearing regarding his status?

You're in the cooler Achmed until there are no more Chinese take out restaurants.
Achmed does get a hearing regarding his status. Do you know nothing about this subject? Why would innocent Achmed be picked up in a sweep? What sweep? Thanks for the comment.
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