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6/12/2007
WAR? WHAT WAR?

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 “enemy combatants” and have the military hold them indefinitely. The ruling was a stinging rejection of one of the Bush administration’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.

“But military detention of al-Marri must cease,” 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.

“To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians,” Judge Motz wrote, “even if the president calls them ‘enemy combatants,’ would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution — and the country.”

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.

By: Rick Moran at 9:02 am
19 Responses to “WAR? WHAT WAR?”
  1. 1
    Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator Trackbacked With:
    10:05 am 

    Court Rebuffs Bush On Enemy Combatants…

    A divided federal appeals court ruled that the Bush administration cannot legally detain a U.S. resi…

  2. 2
    ed Said:
    10:11 am 

    Whether we are at war or not depends on the definition of war. If war means one nation declaring hostilities on another nation with the intention of conquering that nation, then we are not at war. If war means an effort using all means possible to defeat an ideology and it’s ideologues that have damaged our nation and continue to threaten the safety and well being of our nation, then we are at war.

    It would appear that the only logical conclusion from examining the facts is that the second definition is in play and we are it that type of war. We can argue about the conduct of this war, but only a fool or a politician (redundant?) could not see that this is a real war America is involved in.

  3. 3
    jpe Said:
    10:14 am 

    Even if we are at war, Congress makes rules regarding capture. The President has to follow those laws that Congress has made pursuant to their Constitutional authority.

    It would seem you favor bald conservative activism, by which one judges decisions solely on the results, rather than on the law itself.

  4. 4
    Drongo Said:
    10:58 am 

    “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.”

    If I may briefly quote from a Man for All Seasons;
    ————————————————————
    Roper : Now you give the Devil benefit of law!

    More : Yes, what would you do? Cut a road through the law to get after the Devil?

    R : Yes. I’d cut down every law in England to do that.

    M : And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?

    This country is planted with laws from coast to coast Man’s laws, not God’s, and if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the wind that would blow then?

    R : Yes.

    M : I give the Devil benefit of law for my own safety’s sake.
    ——————————————————-

    The constitution, and indeed the law, is a shield for everyone, devil or saint.

  5. 5
    Sirius Familiaris Said:
    11:32 am 

    Rick,

    Shortly after the attacks, I listened to a local MPR program that featured an interview with a former U.S. attorney. He discussed the merits and drawbacks of conferring constitutional rights on foreigners in the United States who may be accused of committing or planning to commit acts of war against the United States. I called in and asked what benefit could be derived from trying to fight this war in American courts. Being an attorney, he cited case law that grants certain protections to foreigners and implied that accused terrorists would not be able to use our own laws against us. An unvconvincing response at best, but I got the impression he wasn’t overly concerned about the specter of global islamic terrorism in spite of what happened just a few months before this program aired.

    In any case, when the talking heads began entertaining the notion of affording terrorists the kind protections normally reserved for American citizens, I thought it was completely insane. Either we were at war or we weren’t, but the idea of incarcerating people and giving them all the benefits of due process for warring against our country suggests that some jurists – such as those who rendered this decision – think the Constitution exists in a vacuum. The notion is so suicidally myopic as to defy belief that these kind of incompetent clowns can occupy seats in the federal judiciary.

    Granting constitutional rights to foregn terrorists, abject failure in securing American borders and a attempts to stabilize Iraq in a half-hearted, half-assed way all indicate that no one in the federal government is realy serious about defending the country against the threat of global islamic terrorism. I swear to God, it’ll take an attack 100X as bad as September 11 to end the juvenile antics that pass for governing these days.

  6. 6
    Fritz Said:
    11:59 am 

    This was a Bush Derangement Syndrome ruling. The 11th Circuit Court gave more power to President Clinton to send little Elian back to Cuba than this Court recognized in President Bush to capture and detain terrorists. Part of AQ’s playbook is to use legal protections as a weapon against us. If we are so stupid to tell the enemy that they can avoid GITMO if captured, why not just convert to Islam and be done with it.

  7. 7
    shaun Said:
    1:32 pm 

    A masterful job of obfuscation.

    The court did not say that legal residents who plan mass murder cannot be held as enemy combatants. It said that people cannot be held indefinitely without being charged, let alone tried.

    Don’t you find it a teensy bit ironic that for all of its breast beating about pushing back against those nasty Islamofascists, the Bush administration has yet to complete a single trial of an enemy combatant in the five-plus years since 9/11?

  8. 8
    gregdn Said:
    3:06 pm 

    The thought that the president can simply identify someone as an enemy combatant and then hold them indefinitely should send a chill down all of our backs.
    This kind of behavior belongs in a banana republic.

  9. 9
    mikeca Said:
    10:09 pm 

    The president claims that he, and he alone, has the power to designate anyone, US citizen or not, anywhere in the world, including right here in the US, an enemy combatant and imprison that person indefinitely without review by anyone. The president claims he never has to show anyone any evidence to back up his claim that a person is an enemy combatant.

    There is nothing to stop the president from naming anyone an enemy combatant. For example, he could name all the member of the opposition party as enemy combatants. Once named an enemy combatant, no one would have any right to question the ruling. If Congress tried to impeach him, he could simple name all member of Congress as enemy combatants. The president is claiming completely unchecked power.

    This is not what our founding fathers fought a war against the English kings to create. This is not the American way.

  10. 10
    mikeca Said:
    2:37 am 

    To extend what I said above, what I think the court was saying here, was that under the constitution and laws past by Congress, the only choices at this point are to charge Ali al-Marri with a crime, start deportation procedures against him, or let him go.

    If we need other options for cases like this, then Congress has to pass a law spelling out what those options are, and that law must pass constitutional muster. The administration has had lots of time to ask for new laws in this area, but they have not asked for anything that I know of. Maybe it is time they did.

  11. 11
    Larry your brother Said:
    8:32 am 

    Thank you, Drongo. I’ve been quoting that scene since 2001. I think this country, since the founding, has taken the attitude that the laws are meant to protect the innocent. Their experience demanded this approach.

    Now, are these bad guys? Of course they are. But there must be a law somewhere that allows us to arrest, try, convict, and incarcerate these people. Aren’t we doing that with Padilla in Miami? And Judge Motz provided legal circumstances under which al-Mari could be held. We can’t keep them in a prison forever.

  12. 12
    The Thunder Run Trackbacked With:
    11:36 am 

    Web Reconnaissance for 06/13/2007…

    A short recon of whatÂ’s out there that might draw your attention….

  13. 13
    David M Said:
    11:40 am 

    Trackbacked by The Thunder Run – Web Reconnaissance for 06/13/2007
    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

  14. 14
    Kn@ppster Trackbacked With:
    11:41 am 

    Incredibly Stupid Statement of the Day, 0613/07…

    Only Congress has the power to declare war. Not only has Congress not declared war, it has been very careful to specify that it hasn’t declared war. Therefore, the US is …

  15. 15
    Bob Said:
    11:43 am 

    Absent a formal declaration of war this crap will continue. All is needed is to issue a formal declaration of war against the entity known as AQ. Where is it written that war can only be declared against a nation?

    Really, though, if we are really at war it is with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and perhaps Syria. Let’s cut to the chase. They harbor terrorists, terrorists attack us, they are then our enemies. You know…walks like a duck, etc. etc.

    Lastly there really is no Global War on Terror in my view for that implies a unified global effort to fight the war. What we have is battles occurring in various parts of the globe perpetuated by radical Islam. There are many mini-wars being fought.

  16. 16
    Fritz Said:
    11:44 am 

    Mikeca, gregdn,
    I hope your Democrat Presidential candidate stands behind this decision. I would love to watch the Republican candidate conclude that he/she would not have detained the 9/11 highjackers even if the FBI knew about the plot beforehand. You guys have had the luxury for 6 years to bash President Bush without having the responsibility to carry out policy. The public wants to know how they would prevent attacks, not simply how they would respond to one. Soft on terrorism will send real chills down voters backs.

  17. 17
    ErTan Said:
    2:27 pm 

    To put this in perspective: Imagine Hillary Clinton with that power.

  18. 18
    mikeca Said:
    10:55 pm 

    I hope your Democrat Presidential candidate stands behind this decision. I would love to watch the Republican candidate conclude that he/she would not have detained the 9/11 highjackers even if the FBI knew about the plot beforehand. You guys have had the luxury for 6 years to bash President Bush without having the responsibility to carry out policy. The public wants to know how they would prevent attacks, not simply how they would respond to one. Soft on terrorism will send real chills down voters backs.

    Fritz, what on earth are you talking about?

    There are laws on the books already against planning terror attacks. We have arrested a number of terrorists before they were able to carry out their attack. I can remember several such arrests in both the current Bush administration and the Clinton administration. This court ruling does not put any obstacles in the way of any administration arresting terrorists before they make an attack. All this ruling says is they cannot be detained forever without presenting some evidence, but they can certainly be arrested.

  19. 19
    Robert Palmer Said:
    6:08 am 


    I would love to watch the Republican candidate conclude that he/she would not have detained the 9/11 highjackers even if the FBI knew about the plot beforehand.

    Yes, I could see how a decision that does nothing to preclude the government from arresting anyone though was involved in terrorism might cause a candidate to say that.

    Not.

    Is there some weird distortion in the air that keeps common sense decisions (the president does not have absolute power) from making sense to you?

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