Sunday, November 30, 2008

On Pre-emptive Pardons

The Washington Post Editorial Board rises today in opposition to rumored Bush Administration plans to offer a blanket pardon to those persons involved in the conduct of the war on terror's more questionable tactics. I rise today in opposition to the Washington Post's opposition.

President Bush and his team have kept this country safe through seven years of onslaught. Perhaps PEBO should recall that his spirit totem president (Lincoln) suspended the writ of habeas corpus during a portion of the civil war, an act that today would likely result in the impeachment of a president. Years of investigations and show trials would create exactly the heightened political animosity that the Post believes the pardons would create. Additionally, relying on the judgment of the all-knowing and all-wise Obama to pardon the truly deserving ignores the lives ruined and personal expense accumulated by those who would be called upon to defend themselves against an aggravated Democratic Star Chamber.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

"President Bush and his team have kept this country safe through seven years of onslaught." Laughable at best... more likely a neocon's dangerous assertion.

Rosie O'Donnell said...

"President Bush and his team have kept this country safe through seven years of onslaught."

I ain't laughing anonymouse. I'll be throwing away a few cases of expired supplies that I put away in September 2001, thankful that we have not suffered a follow-up to the 9/11 attacks.

I'll replace them with fresh supplies of course, because as we saw last week, the Islamic world does not see BHO as the Messiah and we continue to live in perilous times.

Plus, if Obamunists go on the rampage because they still have to pay for gas or can't "marry" their shih-tzu, I want to be prepared.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Anonymous...do you have evidence to refute my statement?

Mudge said...

CW, you ask anon for evidence as if you actually believe someone who stands up from within the Anti-W bandwagon and shouts a weak refutation of your support would actually have exerted any energy seeking evidence? Now THAT's laughable.

b bauer said...

I'm afraid of fearful people.

Ace said...

Well said, CW. I never understood the hue and cry over the violation of human "rights" associated with habeas corpus. The US Constitution articulates it as distinct from a "right" which would not be subject to any suspension or revocation by the government. For example, the framers wrote the document so that any "rights" expressly articulated or generally enumerated as "natural rights" would require an amendment to the document for any and all alterations. "Rights" in the original view are granted by a Creator, not the government, and are therefore not subject to revocation or suspension.

In the case of habeas, the Constitution clearly states it is a "privilege" and not a "right." Whereas, "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." (Art. 1, Sec. 9) Now, one can argue that the power to suspend rests in the legislature since it is addressed in Article 1, but as CW points out, that complaint goes equally against the Lincoln administration as it would against the current, and that has not been evident in the decades since the power was then exercised--at least not in contemporary dialogue. That would be a matter for the courts to decide based upon the broad language of the Patriot Act and subsequent legislation.

In any case, it seems clear that no right of habeas corpus exists, and barring a "terrorist bill of rights" of some sort, claims of rights violation when a privilege is revoked is as ridiculous as it is untoward.

Keep up the great work, CW!

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Ace--nice to see you visiting and commenting.

Ace said...

Sorry it took me so long, CW! I'll try to keep up. :)

Anonymous said...

Not the same anonymous as 10:45 30 Nov 08, but having heard some of the more sensitive facts surrounding the proceedings of the Gitmo Habeas cases that were decided last month, I can back him up. The administration's track record for building successful cases against known terrorists so that they can be tried and prosecuted is actually pretty abysmal. I hope that an investigation leads to the facts surrounding that failure to become declassified so that I can point a finger of condemnation at a few of the President's advisors (mostly his lawyers) and explain how they have failed to secure America from international terrorists. Unfortunately, without a formal investigation, that will never happen, and with blanket pardons, there will never be an investigation.

In the meantime, CW, I have to ask you as someone who has served his country in uniform and commanded enlisted personnel--after all the risks our soldiers have taken to capture some of these detainees at Gitmo, doesn't the fact that we're incapable of building a legal case to justify imprisoning people we know to be terrorists leave you feeling just a little bit enraged? Wouldn't you maybe like to know why we're releasing some people we know to be national security threats into the proverbial wild, after good men died to bring some of them to justice? Don't our servicemen deserve an explanation? Don't the American people?

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Anonymous--Firstly, I take issue with your assertion that the administation has had an "abysmal" track record in building cases to be tried and prosecuted. What is your measure? The total number of trials? I'd rather like to look at the number of trials vs. the numbers of convictions. By this measure, I think the government is doing just fine.

My second point is related to my first and it answers the "after all the risks our soldiers have taken to capture some of these detainees at Gitmo, doesn't the fact that we're incapable of building a legal case to justify imprisoning people we know to be terrorists leave you feeling just a little bit enraged? Wouldn't you maybe like to know why we're releasing some people we know to be national security threats into the proverbial wild, after good men died to bring some of them to justice?" question.

I see it this way--and since you take the liberty of speaking and thinking for dead and living soldiers, I'll do so too. Those soldiers died trying to protect the American people from others who would do them harm--bringing terrorists to justice is a related concept. They would just as happily have left the residents of Gtmo bleeding on a battlefield. They did so by adhering to the Geneva Conventions, which make plain the status (or lack thereof) of unlawful combatants. That their Supreme Court has decided to grant unlawful combatants habeas corpus and other legal rights afforded American citizens is something that they neither contemplated nor would accept were they here to voice their outrage.

What am I enraged about? I'm enraged about people more concerned with the rights of unlawful combatants than they are with the protection of the American people. I'm enraged that our Supreme Court reached the decision they did in Hamdan.

My point is, the standards of guilt and innocence in a courtroom are very high, certainly higher in some cases than are available to "prosecute" some of the detainees along the lines suggested by the Supremes. In the case of others, years of hardened training by a group determined to kill American citizens left them immune to standard interrogation techniques; so others were approved. Information was gained and acted upon. That we probably cannot try these people in a civilian court is unfortunate, but not a show-stopper.

We should press ahead with the military commissions. We should move out smartly with the redistribution of some of the garden variety folks to countries who will take them. And we should try those who can be tried successfully in American courts.

But am I enraged that Americans died trying to bring these terrorists to "justice"? No. Because they didn't die trying to bring terrorists to justice; they died trying to kill terrorists and trying to protect the American people.

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