6 Jan 2010

The Bright Line That Blinds

Writing in the NYT Op-Ed section, guest contributor Michael Kinsley gives valuable insight into the garbled reasoning behind attempts to downgrade the War on Terror into a police action against criminls. Opines Kinsley:

We have nothing to be ashamed of, little to fear and much to be proud of in choosing to err on the side of treating captured foreign terrorists as we would treat any upstanding American who tried to blow up an airplane full of people.

There we have it. The foreign terrorists in wartime is the same as an American citizen terrorist who is oddly "upstanding" unless, like Timothy McVeigh, he is thankfully strapped to a lethal gurney.

Showing an ability to mush issues into a kind of bland ideological porridge, Kinsey confusingly declares
...why not draw the line to put an Abdulmutallab or a Shaikh Mohammed on the “war” side and treat him as an enemy combatant?....... recognize that the national border is a “bright line,” and if people captured within the United States are going to be treated as if they were somewhere else — provided that they are certified terrorists — things are going to get complicated quickly.

They certainly are complicated, Michael. Khalid Sheik Mohammed was captured in Pakistan, not the USA. the only reason he is crossing the "bright line" into the USA is that Eric Holder and Obama have decided that Khalid is legally no different to say, John Gotti.

According to Kinsley's reasoning, the German saboteurs landed by submarine and caught on US soil in World War Two should have been lawyered up and given cit zens rights because they were caught on our side of the "bright line". Instead Rooseveldt ordered military tribunals that led to swift executions.

Kinsley perhaps has never read the US Constitution, despite having a law degree. Otherwise he could not fail to note it makes crystal clear that in times of war and even great public danger, military justice and tribunals that dispense with many protections afforded to US citizens are acceptable options. Indeed the Constitution only recognises two forms of justice in the USA. That of full rights for citizens and limited rights in military tribunals. It is Democrats who wish to triangulate this crystal clear position with a new layer of civilian-cum-wartime-semi-Mirandized-almost combatant-but-also-a-felon legal gibberish.

Damming arguments from a riposte to Kinsley in the National Review point out that combatants are launched by enemies of the state who also have external networks or even foreign powers either overtly or otherwise working with them, something that almost never occurs in simple criminality and which confounds normal law enforecement techniques.

We have a great deal to fear from the likes of Michael Kinsey and nothing to be proud of in the leftists' unremitting lawfare to overturn more than 200 years of US wartime justice. They are twisting what the Constitution intended, and until the ridiculous Boumedianne decision of 2009 and the vicious legal attacks on Bush's tribunal policies, had followed.

Still, this same confusion can be seen in the leftist approach to criminal justice in the USA itself. Usually, they blur the victim and the accused. Often the victim becomes the accused, an the perpetrator, like poor stressed Maj. Hasan at Ft. Hood, held up for examination as an object of pity and sympathy.

The ideas of the Robert Kinsey types, compared to the word of our Founding Fathers, make me worried.

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