Friday, October 6, 2006

The corpse of habeus corpus?

Entercenter said that he is ashamed to be American because Congress elliminated the habeus corpus right of non-citizen 'enemy combatants' and because non-combatants can now be tortured. He said that he believes this is unconstitutional and a shredding of the rule of law. You can read what he wrote right here. I am wondering what you all think on this topic. I also have a related post on this, titled 'tortured about torture.' I wrote my opinion on his blog, and I would love input on this subject! (note: a year ago I thought the opposite to how I think now on this very subject)
As far as this bill goes...I do not believe that non-citizens captured outside this country have a constitutional habeus corpus right to begin with. Whether they should have a habeus corpus right at all is a different matter entirely. On the one hand, I obviously believe in justice for all. On the other hand, they are using our freedoms against us, and I do not see the same constitutional shredding you do. I do not believe torture is justified in the way that the US has tortured. Namely, I do not believe that torture outside the super strict guidelines Dershowitz set up is justified. But I also don't think torture is per se unjustified in all instances. Not when it can lead to saving a life or many lives. It also has been employed in all American wars in the history of this country. I guess I view things differently. We are at war. When at war, you cannot afford to have full trials of enemy combatants who are caught. I cannot make it any simpler. Yes, it makes me sick that this is what is required, but war is hell. How are we going to win this war by being nice?And frankly, I don't see this as the dissolution of all civil liberties for Americans. If I did, then I would rather die than give up the civil liberties. But I simply do not see this as anything more than what goes along with being at war. The problem is that are at war with ISLAMOFASCISM. It is a very real thing. We are not at war against 'terror.' By being afraid to call the war what it is, Bush has done great harm to this country and confused its citizens. We are not at war with Islam, which is a religion with many peaceful adherants. We are at war with those who INTERPRET Islam in a warring, and those who wish to elliminate our way of life. By refusing to acknowledge the true threat we face, Bush looks like a buffoon when he says he is a 'wartime president.' War with WHAT? We cannot be at war against a TACTIC. But we can win against Islamofascism, just as we won the Cold War against Communism.
This issue is being swept under the rug due to the Mark Foley stupidity, but it is one of the major issues of our times. What do you think?


felix said...

RedTulips, I agree with you. The difference between those who think we cannot suspend habeas corpus and those who think we can is not really a legal issue. It has to do with a person's overall outlook as to whether we are really in a war. If you don't think this conflict is a war, then normal police and legal procedures should apply. We agree that this is wartime.

Jason said...

Well, I certaily find the whole issue itself more important than foley.

Thomas Forsyth said...

I can understand that at times a temporary suspension of Habeas Corpus may be necessary for a limited time and udner limited conditions, like when Lincoln suspended habeas corpus to arrest Confederate troops. I do regard Lincoln as a benevolent tyrant for doing so, as the use of such power shoudl have a consequence on the legacy no matter who righteously it is used.

To me, Congress authorized Bush carte blanche authority, which has been a cowardly tendency since the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, and this is the first time I will use Lyndon Johnson and benevolent in the same sentence. Bush falls somewhere in between these two figures.

I do not find this authorization an end of the nation, but I do not like the excess of authority given. A better bill would grant a temporary suspension of habeas corpus not to exceed a certain amount of days before a suspect is tried or released with legitimate evidence, and wrongful seizures will be punished, as well as granting this authority a clear sunset clause (of course I favor a sunset clause on almost all Congressional bills, since nothing is more permanent than a temporary government solution). Habeas Corpus is a tradition dating back to the Magn Carta, and anything done to counter that tradition should only be done with the utmost of caution and care.