Skip to comments.There Will Be No Civil Liberties If We Lose This War
Posted on 01/01/2006 2:55:51 PM PST by SunSetSam
December 30, 2005 - The argument over whether President Bush has the authority to direct the National Security Agency to listen in on the conversations of suspected terrorists on US soil is split primarily into two camps; those who believe we are engaged in a war for our very survival against radical Islam and those who believe and always have that terrorism operates under a set of rules that govern its actions and therefore should be treated as a law enforcement issue. This is just another example of why there should have been a formal declaration of war after September 11, 2001.
It needs to be repeated as many times as necessary until every single American acknowledges this supposition as a distinct possibility; should we lose this war against radical Islam and the terror it uses to breed fear and submission, our way of life, our government and our country, will cease to exist as we know it.
Those on the progressive left have just begun mentally chewing on what for them is a gargantuan idea, that the military conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are but battles in a much more monumental war. Those who understand the danger facing our country have come to the realization that there are two major fronts in our struggle for survival; the physical front (locations of armed conflict) and the ideological front (where the battles for the mind of a society take place).
It is very important to be victorious on the physical battlefields and so far we have been successful. As much as the progressive left and the mainstream media would have us believe that we are struggling to achieve victory, the evidence of our success is overwhelming and validated by the millions of purple fingers we have seen in Iraq over the course of three truly free elections. It is further evidenced by the free elections in Afghanistan and accurate polling of both countries that indicate their people believe that their futures so bright they have to wear shades.
If we are to compare Iraq to Vietnam in any way at all it would have to be in contrast. US military efforts in Iraq stand as testimony to the idea that if allowed to do their jobs, and complete their mission devoid of interference from the progressive elite in Washington DC and their blind followers who havent the vision to see past the daily protest march, the US military will always be victorious. They are superiorly trained and equipped, and motivated by the desire to fight for the freedom of oppressed people rather than, by gutless default, pave the way for tyranny.
More difficult than armed conflict, the ideological front is a battle for the will of our society and is already taking place on our own soil. The controversy over the NSA directive issued by President Bush is a prime example.
Again it needs to be repeated as often as need be; should we lose this war against the oppressive mandates of radical Islam our country will cease to exist as we know it. There will be no civil liberties. There will be no judicial recourse. There will be no petitioning of our government. There will be no First Amendment rights, or Second, or Third. If we fail to be victorious over the fundamentalist zealots who promote radical Islam, not only as a religion but as a totalitarian way of life, this experiment in democracy that is our government will be, if texts other than the Quran are even allowed, a short chapter in The History of Infidel North America Before Islam.
It is ironic then that an organization such as the American Civil Liberties Union is fighting for the rights of those who would dismantle and outlaw the ACLU, if not behead its leaders, should radical Islam be victorious.
It is paradoxical then that defense lawyers are attempting to have courts overturn the convictions of confessed terrorists and self-avowed al Qaeda operatives. For these lawyers to stand on principle is one thing, for them to stand on principle only to see their freed clients return to the battle against the very principles used to free them is quite another.
It is reckless for progressive politicians and activists to be arguing points of order regarding the presidents execution of this war effort when the same points of order, directives and tactics have been used by past presidents and validated by established courts and authorities. In fact, their obstinate refusal to acknowledge recorded history can very well be considered aiding and abetting the enemy and there are consequences for those actions written into the Constitution, unlike the mounting number of fictitious rights frequently referred to by the progressive left.
In an effort to safeguard the ideological liberties the Framers had in mind at the writings of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, the progressive left is willing to enable our enemies to use our own system to bring about our countrys demise. If the progressive left is truly supporting our troops and if they truly want to win the war against the encroaching influence of radical Islam and the terror they use to victimize all who stand in their way, if they are really on our side then it is time for their actions to speak for them instead of their words. So far their words have been selfishly divisive and irresponsible. It is beyond naïve to believe that their words are not being put to good use in the ideological battle our enemy is ruthlessly waging against us.
And there are procedures in place for him to get the approval to do so. If the law is not meeting the needs then you change the law, you don't ignore it.
And implied right.
No, the courts.
No, it's a simple question. Look around at some of these threads and you have people claiming just about anyone who opposes the war is a traitor, giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Is that true? What about that Padilla guy? He was an active participant in planning a terrorist act in the U.S. He's been labled an enemy combantant. But he's also a U.S. citizen. Should the NSA be able to monitor his phone calls?
Article I, Section 9, Clause 2: "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." I don't see where it says it's a legislative power or that only Congress can suspend it.
In Ex parte Milligan, 71 US 2 (1866), the Supreme Court held that the denial of habeas corpus to Milligan was in violation of the law.
It ruled that denial of habeas corpus was illegal in areas where the federal courts operated openly. It did not say that habeas corpus could not be suspended.
"This is just another example of why there should have been a formal declaration of war after September 11, 2001."
War has been declared. The writer apparently forgot.
The fact that it is in Article I of the Constitution is a clue, and in context, the prescription is clearly directed to Congress (as opposed to Section 10 which is clearly directed to the States). And, the fact that Congress passed a measure enabling Lincoln's action is another clue. The Republic is suspended when and where the president successfully asserts the unilateral power to suspend habeas corpus.
It ruled that denial of habeas corpus was illegal in areas where the federal courts operated openly. It did not say that habeas corpus could not be suspended.
My post said basically the same - that Milligan's (but not all) denial of habeas petitions was unconstitutional.
Well by your logic than, Bush is in the right seeing as the only ones saying he violated the law are shrill liberals who want their power back.
"Constitution never contained anything about a right to privacy.
It is a found right."
Actually, it is not. The Preamble to the Constitution makes it clear ALL rights, privacy included, are endowments from the Creator and are not items the "government" has in its posession to dispense at will. That stated, a "right to privacy" in no instance gives an "okay" to infringe upon another's endowment of those same rights to life and liberty, ie. with abortion.
The Constitution never was intended to "give the people rights" but was specifically setting limitations upon which the governing body could regulate or infringe upon those rights naturally bestowed by the Creator to the individual.
In summary, constitutionally, the government has NO rights at all - except those surrendered to it by its subjects and NONE has the right to infringe upon those of another without due process of law.
That's why I believe abortion aided by the government to be in direct violation of the Constitution as abortion ends a life without their having had due process of law.
The fact that Article I contains restrictions on the powers granted the states shows that it is not directed at Congress alone. Unlike other clauses, which specifically state that Congress alone has the power to do something, Article I, Section 9, Clause 2 does not state who may suspend habeas corpus. A case may be made that the founders meant this power to be exercised only by Congress but until the Supreme Court weighs in on the matter the issue of just who may suspend it remains unsettled.
I don't see how pointing out that suspension of habeas corpus is an action that takes two branches of government is judgemental, one way or the other.
I happen to think that the surveillance as described is outside of the bounds of FISA (some would label that "against the law"), but is not unconstitutional. At the same time, I am not comfortable with the broad notion of unchecked executive power, even in time of war. Does that make me a shrill liberal?
True. Section 8 is powers of Congress, and Section 9 limits powers of Congress. Since Section 9 is asserting what shan't be done, it naturally doesn't express directly who can do it. One would suppose however, that it is pointless to tell an entity that is powerless anyway, the limits of its power.
... until the Supreme Court weighs in on the matter the issue of just who may suspend it remains unsettled.
In the universe of possibilities, the question is slightly unsettled; but SCOTUS in Milligan described the Constitutional parameters. The power falls to Congress, unless temporary suspension is required due to impossibility of Congress to weigh in.
We have confined ourselves to the question of power. It was for Congress to determine the question of expediency. And Congress did determine it. That body did not see fit to authorize trials by military commission in Indiana, but by the strongest implication prohibited them. With that prohibition we are satisfied, and should have remained silent if the answers to the questions certified had been put on that ground, without denial of the existence of a power which we believe to be constitutional and important to the public safety,-a denial which, as we have already suggested, seems to draw in question the power of Congress to protect from prosecution the members of military commissions who acted in obedience to their superior officers, and whose action, whether warranted by law or not, was approved by that upright and patriotic President under whose administration the Republic was rescued from threatened destruction.
We have thus far said little of martial law, nor do we propose to say much. What we have already said sufficiently indicates our opinion that there is no law for the government of the citizens, the armies or the navy of the United States, within American jurisdiction, which is not contained in or derived from the Constitution. And wherever our army or navy may go beyond our territorial limits, neither can go beyond the authority of the President or the legislation of Congress.
There are under the Constitution three kinds of military jurisdiction: one to be exercised both in peace and war; another to be exercised in time of foreign war without the boundaries of the United States, or in time of rebellion and civil war within states or districts occupied by rebels treated [71 U.S. 2, 142] as belligerents; and a third to be exercised in time of invasion or insurrection within the limits of the United States, or during rebellion within the limits of states maintaining adhesion to the National Government, when the public danger requires its exercise. The first of these may be called jurisdiction under MILITARY LAW, and is found in acts of Congress prescribing rules and articles of war, or otherwise providing for the government of the national forces; the second may be distinguished as MILITARY GOVERNMENT, superseding, as far as may be deemed expedient, the local law, and exercised by the military commander under the direction of the President, with the express or implied sanction of Congress; while the third may be denominated MARTIAL LAW PROPER, and is called into action by Congress, or temporarily, when the action of Congress cannot be invited, and in the case of justifying or excusing peril, by the President, in times of insurrection or invasion, or of civil or foreign war, within districts or localities where ordinary law no longer adequately secures public safety and private rights.
We think that the power of Congress, in such times and in such localities, to authorize trials for crimes against the security and safety of the national forces, may be derived from its constitutional authority to raise and support armies and to declare war, if not from its constitutional authority to provide for governing the national forces.
We have no apprehension that this power, under our American system of government, in which all official authority is derived from the people, and exercised under direct responsibility to the people, is more likely to be abused than the power to regulate commerce, or the power to borrow money. And we are unwilling to give our assent by silence to expressions of opinion which seem to us calculated, though not intended, to cripple the constitutional powers of the government, and to augment the public dangers in times of invasion and rebellion.
And woe to you if you don't know your enemy....
Please go live somewhere else for a couple of years and then come back and tell us how unfree we are. I think what will lose us our freedom is people who cry "Jackbooted thugs" at every turn, until people roll their eyes and ignore the problem when it really is REAL. There is a story about a boy who cried wolf. Please read it. It's instructive.
Posts like yours give me a glimmer of hope for the libertarian position. I used to consider myself libertarian, but more and more people who espouse that persuasian seemed (to me) to live in some other dimension where the only thing that was important was that they be allowed to do whatever they wanted as long as it didn't actually draw blood on someone else (unless of course that person was not yet born).
Interestingly my very libertarian son (just graduated from college with a double major, history/poly sci) was nonplussed about this issue (wiretapping terrorists) which surprised the heck out of me. His position is much like yours.
Thank you for giving that position so well.
They were wiretapping you??
The DoJ laid its arguments out pretty well in Assistant Attorney General's Letters to Senate Intelligence Committee, and the AUMF is an integral part of some justifications asserted therein.
I certainly prefer the more precise descriptions of "within the inherent power of the executive as augmented granted by the AUMF" to the less precise labels of "legal" and "illegal." And in the broad scheme of things, having some give and take, some tension between the branches of government, is something that I think is good for the Republic.
There is an opposite point of view, that relatively secret (and therefore not entirely, but relatively without oversight) executive actions are entirely appropriate; and the existence of actions undertaken thereby should be forever hidden from public scrutiny. No trials, no hearings, just "secret" action.
It's fairly easy to muddle everything into a gray area if you choose to. I was going to answer this post, but frankly, it's been well answered by others so, I won't waste the time, or yours as they have basically said what I would have said.
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