Carol Platt Liebau: The Serious Party

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Serious Party

Which party is serious about terrorism and which isn't was back on display yesterday in the US Senate. Most Democrats want to endow terrorist suspects with rights in federal court -- most Republicans don't.

Democrat Patrick Leahy opines that the law passed last year by the Republican Congress, which denies terrorist suspects the right to challenge their detention in American federal court, is "whittling away our civil liberties." Hardly. "Civil liberties" aren't being taken away from anyone with a legitimate legal claim to them. The only people who are not being treated to the whole panoply of the legal rights extended to American citizens are terrorist suspects from other countries.

So unless there's something Senator Leahy hasn't told us, there's no threat whatsoever to his own civil liberties or those of people like him.


Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Two points:

1. How do you know they're terrorists if they haven't had a trial yet? Don't you think you're jumping the gun?

2. What part of "No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury..." can't you understand? OK, I'm oversimplifying, but the basic point remains sound. Don't you support the Constitution?

3:34 PM  
Blogger Earth to Carol said...

The Decider who has killed 1.2 million Iraqis so far, for oil is supposed to be the one who determines who are or are not terrorists. How is this not fascism?

4:22 PM  
Blogger Carol Platt Liebau said...

Constitutional protections of the sort enjoyed by US citizens do not necessarily extend to war prisoners who are not Americans. What's more, notwithstanding the Supreme Court's jurisprudence, these people aren't even really prisoners of war as defined by the Geneva Conventions. They are terrorists.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Earth to Carol said...


No one has proven in a court or military tribunal that those detained at GITMO are terrorists. Your and moron boy saying it is so, doesn't make it so.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Ms. Liebau, the Fifth Amendment brooks no exceptions other than those it presents. "No person" does NOT mean "No American citizen" -- it means what it says: "No person".

There are plenty of fine points to debate here regarding the precise application of the Fifth Amendment. For example, the military in times of war is not required to respect the Fifth Amendment as part of its warmaking. However, we get into all sorts of difficulties when we apply this to a situation in which a) war has not been declared by Congress; b) the President has declared that major military operations have ended; 3) no military justification for continued detention of the prisoners can be forwarded.

You flatly declare, "They are terrorists", yet you have no proof of this accusation. The most basic principles of justice require that the accused be put to trial. Yet you would deny these people even that fundamental right. Have you no respect for the principles of justice?

8:40 PM  
Blogger The Very Sane Woman Who Points Out the Obvious said...

The bill did not concern terrorists, only suspected terrorists.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Let the Democrats continue to stress fighting Islamic Fascism as a criminal matter in American court rooms. Let Republicans continue to stress fighting Islamic Fascism via the military. It's a clear distinction between the parties. Then let the American people decide which party they'd rather have in charge of this fight.

5:52 AM  

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