Phew! What a relief.
All these years since 9/11, I was under the mistaken impression that we were engaged in a war with al-Qaeda and its many offshoots, imitators, wannabes, and pretenders. But we have all now been happily disabused of such a stupid notion.
First, it was the Democrats who declared there is no “War on Terror” by banishing the very term from official documents and correspondence. Fine with me. Out of sight, out of mind, I say. There’s plenty of room here in this whole in the sand I’ve dug to stick my head. More the merrier.
And now the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has made it official. Those legal residents of the United States who plan mass murder against innocent American civilians cannot be held by the military as “enemy combatants.” Instead, they are entitled to receive all the help to beat the rap the anti-American left can give them in the form of glory seeking attorneys, a ready made PR machine in the mass media who will make sure he is seen as just some dope who got duped by Osama, and legions of civil liberties absolutists who believe the Constitution of the United States is actually a suicide pact in disguise:
The federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled yesterday that the president may not declare civilians in this country to be â€œenemy combatantsâ€ and have the military hold them indefinitely. The ruling was a stinging rejection of one of the Bush administrationâ€™s central assertions about the scope of executive authority to combat terrorism.
The ruling came in the case of Ali al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar now in military custody in Charleston, S.C., who is the only person on the American mainland known to be held as an enemy combatant. The court said the administration may charge Mr. Marri with a crime, deport him or hold him as a material witness in connection with a grand jury investigation.
â€œBut military detention of al-Marri must cease,â€ Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote for the majority of a divided three-judge panel.
The court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, said a fundamental principle is at stake: military detention of someone who had lawfully entered the United States and established connections here, it said, violates the Constitution.
â€œTo sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians,â€ Judge Motz wrote, â€œeven if the president calls them â€˜enemy combatants,â€™ would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution â€” and the country.â€
Alright already. I’m an authoritarian-loving, goose stepping, anti-constitutional Bushbot. But that still won’t answer the question the court refused to deal with: Are we at war or not?
If we are not at war, impeach the President, I say. He has grossly overstepped his authority and should be hauled before the Senate and put on trial. Same goes for Cheney and the whole gang at DOJ who have concocted this “War on Terror” thing for purposes of wielding enormous power over the rest of us and putting liberals, homosexuals, atheists, and anti-war demonstrators in concentration camps, declaring them “enemy combatants,” and confiscating their copies of The Noam Chomsky Reader.
Or, if we are at war, we better get deadly serious about making sure that terrorists – whether they be legal residents or not – can’t use the Constitution as a shield to help them escape justice. The very nature of their crimes means that most of the evidence against them has come via highly sensitive intelligence and other “national technical means” like eavesdropping or other forms of communications intercepts. And don’t you know that al-Qaeda and their allies (not to mention our own left wingers) would just love to have those secrets revealed in open court? The military and the government, on the other hand, would probably take a much dimmer view of telling al-Qaeda exactly how we keep an eye on them.
It doesn’t matter now. The Fourt Circuit has ruled we are not at war and that we can all get back to the business of ignoring the threats against us. Until we get hit again, of course. Then we get to go through the same baloney we’ve been experiencing for the last 6 years.