Tuesday, June 17, 2008


.....And Now For Something Completely Different.....

After having placed B Hussein Obama in precise company with both Democrats and Republicans who long for a neo-feudal society of starving peasants, rendered immobile by government policies robbing them of the ability to own private vehicles, and even get approval to use public carriers, I now find myself in the very uncomfortable position of having to offer a limited kudos to the unsavory gentleman.

For months now--indeed years, neocon pundits have been talking about the need to treat captured al queda savages as we would enemy soldiers in a conventional war. Leaving aside, for the moment, the very flawed rationale for attacking Iraq in the first place, if we were going to do this, well, in both WW's I and II, combatants found out of uniform were considered spies and simply shot. POW camps were strictly for captured uniformed soldiers.

Instead, the Bush Administration, with the approval of the Limbaughs and Hannitys of the neocon media, has rounded up the usual suspects, seemingly irrespective of any proof of guilt, and stashed them in cages in America's little corner of the People's Paradise of Cuba. Forever.

No charges, no due process, no trials, no finite sentences. Forever.

Today, also on the afternoon tv talk shows, B Hussein Obama was quoted as saying, "Why can't we just follow the Constitution?" or words to that effect.

Hooray!

Well, why can't we just follow the Constitution? We'd have to observe due process. We'd have to find proof that each of these individuals actually committed a crime. We'd have to bring him to trial in which his guilt would have to be demonstrated to the satisfaction of a jury.

If the Administration has no proof of individual wrongdoing, why are we holding these individuals? Where does it say in the US Constitution that its tenets apply only to Americans? Is our Republic on such shaky ground that we can't stand to apply these principles of Jurisprudence to all?

Or should we simply shoot them as spies?

Thanks, Senator, for a brief moment of lucidity with respect to the Principles under which we (ought to) live and which (ought to) constrain our sadly misguided federal government.

First you will be given a fair trial, then you will be shot.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

15 comments:

MK said...

The way i see it, if a western soldier was captured by the likes of the Taliban or al-qaeda, they'd get none of the rights or privileges that are afforded to those at Gitmo. So anything less than a bullet in the head is a blessing. I agree that they shouldn't be held forever, unless they are the likes of Khalid Sheik Mohammed or some top terrorist. If the fellow has done nothing and is of no value then send him home.

I do have concerns about giving those who are not Americans and were not caught on American soil rights to the civil courts in America at the expense of the American taxpayer. Particularly to those who hate everything about America and what it stands for. Perhaps a military trial.

Otherwise shoot them on the battlefield when they are caught without uniforms, if they want Jihad, give it to them.

Col. Hogan said...

MK,

I'm very uncomfortable about justifying the abandonment of our legal principles because "they'd be even worse." We're Americans. You're Australians. Our countries developed our legal systems from law born in England, to defend the people against Royal excesses, to protect lives and property and to make just legal decisions.

We can demonstrate the superiority of the West's common law principles to our great advantage in these situations.

The Bush Administration is merely showing that we can be just as irrational as can the islamic savages, except weaker.

Anonymous said...

If they were'nt terrorists when they went in, they most certainly will be if/when they might be released.

Col. Hogan said...

Anon,

Yup. I know I'd be mighty upset.

Kent C said...

Col. Hogan writes:
"Where does it say in the US Constitution that its tenets apply only to Americans?"

I think that would be "We the people of the United States..." :-)

And if we were to apply some other tenets, say, "securing the Blessings of Liberty to [to whom? note:] ourselves and our posterity ...." to someone not ourselves and not our posterity, then we should be bound to intervene in every case on earth where the blessings of liberty are attacked, no? Or did you want to be more discretionary than that? lol.

Fact is, those enemy combatants or whatever you want to call them aren't criminals, they're warriors and now, thankfully the Supreme Court will once again, demonstrate that whatever liberals do, it always results in 180 degrees opposite of their intention - those who they want to have rights, will be summarily shot, as they should have been in the first place - well, hopefully right after waterboarding and getting as much info as possible from them.

Anonymous said...

After they spend 10mil trying and finding these terrorists as innocent as wind driven snow I'm thinkin' we should return them to the country that they were captured in and see if they treat them as we have. How many sons and fothers of Afghanis and Iraqis have they killed as well as Americans?

steveintx said...

Well, I really wasn't trying to be anonymous. I just hit the wrong button.

Col. Hogan said...

Kent,

Much as I respect those who composed out founding documents, I think that ought to have been clarified, just as the property issue should have been.

Whatever they do, and it could be a military tribunal, the trial should be fair, and the prosecutors should be required to show that the individual did commit the act for which he's charged. They should not be brought over here (don't we want to keep them away from here?) and warehoused.

Additionally, there is ample precedent that ununiformed combatants are considered spies and should be shot.

I'm having a big problem with war, as it is a child of government, and am particularly having a difficult time with this one (as with VietNam) since we were not attacked by Iraq and probably never would have been.

Col. Hogan said...

Steve,

No, they should've been tried in Iraq within days or weks of being captured, then questioned, and offered early outs if they offer anything valuable.

Then, when they get home, their chiefs will take a weight off their shoulders.

Kent C said...

Col.,

It was your "Is our Republic on such shaky ground that we can't stand to apply these principles of Jurisprudence to all?"

...is what I was questioning. In one instance you want to apply certain Constitutional principles to non-citizens, but you're not willing to apply others - by your "no war...since we were not attacked by Iraq and probably never would have been." - where 'probability' is operative and where liberating indiviudals from suppression was a major tenet of the concepts underlying the Constitution.

I agree that further 'clarification' would have been nice, but I also know that 'Congress shall make _no law_ ..." is quite clear to me, but laws there are on every aspect of that amendment ;-) Only strict construction should reign with help of the understanding (hell even just the reading of) the historical documents that preceeded. This recent decision overturned several earlier decisions that were explicit as to whom, such rights belong, and this case, vs. what Roosevelt did in WWII to citizens, is much more clear and, imo, Constitutional. We've released over 500 from Gitmo, and many have been involved in bombings after the fact. The liberals claim - 'we caused it!' I think not. Some 260 still remain, iirc.

Would anyone else like to see Jason Lewis on TV?

Kent C said...

Apropos to the discussion:
http://www.anncoulter.com/

There's no 'permalink' so that will change but it's titled: "Justice Kennedy: American Idol".

Col. Hogan said...

Kent,

My reading is undoubtedly less thorough than yours, but I'm unaware that early American revolutionaries wanted to go around the world freeing oppressed societies. I am aware that our early government was comfortable with granting asylum to oppressed individuals and groups who could manage to making into our country.

Once here, though, (unless I'm incredibly naive) they were expected to toe the line legally and also received the protections and rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

I'm not very happy with the inconsistency shown by the many and contradictory decisions rendered by the Supremes over the life of the country. Unless they pretty precisely explain the language that exists in the Constitution, I regard them as bought-and-paid-for by either the Administration of the day or an overwhelming cultural trend (unaccompanied by a legal Amendment to the Document).

I'm thoroughly disgusted with such moral atrocities as the internment of Americans of Japanese descent during WWII, as well as the inconsistent and uncertain (undefined) treatment of (we don't know if they are) ununiformed combatants in this, an undeclared war.

The war in Iraq (and in Afghanistan, for that matter) is illegal simply because there's been no declaration of war by Congress. Yet, Congress has abrogated its responsibility by granting funding for an adventure for which they offered no legal sanction.

Col. Hogan said...

Kent,

I just read Coulter's column. See, if I could write like that, I'd be rich, too~

Kent C said...

Col.writes:

"I'm unaware that early American revolutionaries wanted to go around the world freeing oppressed societies. I am aware that our early government was comfortable with granting asylum to oppressed individuals and groups who could manage to making into our country."

I didn't mean to convey that we wanted to free oppressed societies, only that if you read the constitution as extending rights to people not only not in this country but to enemies that would kill if they had the chance and did when they had the chance, then it follows that one could also extend the protections in the document beyond the borders as well. And while the Declaration may have made the point that 'all men are created equal with certain rights', the Constituion - the legal document upon which the USSC decides, decidedly outlines to whom the document addresses. Whether that should be expanded would be a matter of an amendment addressing that.

There's a lot in that note to discuss, but I'll just point out one fact about how we treated some "combatants" and non combantants who sided with the enemy in the Revolutionary War - we tarred and feathered them without a trial or military tribunal. While we did honor the rights of the 'non-committed' such as the Quakers and such as you point to. Of course the Constitution wasn't in force at the time, but when it was during the Civil War, both sides had 'milatary combatants' held for a long time without trial or tribunal and they were here and could have been considered 'citizens', but that was part of the problem, they in the South, no longer considered themselves as such and were so treated.

Col. Hogan said...

Kent,

From past readings, I recall that Lincoln (whom I hold in far less esteem than do most) received quite a lot of criticism for his suspension of habeas corpus back then, too. Rightly so. Lincoln and Grant fairly trashed the Constitution during and after the War Between the States. Precedents that were set during that period are still affecting our lives, to this day.

I'll wager that many of them were picked up as "rounding up the usual suspects" and that any sort of reckoning would show that our military has no idea why many of these individuals are incarcerated.

Since I'm thinking more and more in individualist terms here; if these "combatants" can be shown to have done something "warlike," in a court, they should be punished according to that for which they've been convicted. If that simply means they should be warehoused until hostilities are over, then make that their sentence. If not, they should be taken to their home countries and released. Some may be owed restitution. Some should be shot.

Somehow, I think a sentence to the end of hostilities will be a life sentence for those there now.