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November 12, 2005

Comments

Arguing by anecdote won't make your point. The courts can't handle these cases. They belong in military tribunals. Lindsey Graham has it precisely right. There is no way to "get through" to you on this but yours is essentially an "absolutist" view. Don't forget the greatest "absolutists" of them all. Vladimir Lenin, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Bye.

Joe Yowsa: Don't forget the greatest "absolutists" of them all. Vladimir Lenin, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

Wow, that was quick.

It is ironic that the previous poster, in his argument in support of the Graham Amendment, implies a similarity between its opponents and the totalitarian leaders he names. The Graham Amendment would allow the US military to detain any non-citizen captured anywhere in the world in perpetuity, or until the end of the ill-defined "war on terror." They would be tried by officers of the executive, the same branch that initiated the war, and prepared the case against them and their decisions would be subject to no non-executive-branch review. There are some passable arguments in favor of stripping statutory habeas jurisdiction from the courts here, but in light of the position they advocate, supporters of the amendment should be a bit more circumspect about calling others totalitarian.

Habeas Corpus was first formally codified to prevent the sorts of abuses we are seeing, from arrest without evidence to shipping people off overseas to allied countries so as to get out of having to provide proof of guilt, - by a country that had, within living memory, gone through a civil war, complete with the execution of the former head of state, a dictatorship, several smaller insurgencies, and all of it immediately led off by the attempt of a disgruntled ex-soldier to blow up the entire government at a stroke - in response to repressive policies and disenfranchisement of minority ethno-religious groups, but with the help and instigation of foreign powers.

All of which resulted in witchhunts (not always literal), draconian press censorship, arrests and imprisonment on nothing more than suspicion, and a continuous escalation of dissatisfaction and spread of cynicism towards the very idea of government authority, rather than creating a submissive and docile population. The Act of 1679, as a voluntary check on the powers of govt owing to the inherent rights of citizens, was a step in the right direction, although it did not solve the problem of there being de facto one law for the rich and powerful and another law for everyone else - but it did release some of the pressure building and the tension between the Law'n'Order vs Freedom From Tyranny sides.

To say it's outdated or doesn't apply to the complexities of modern life is to show a remarkable ignorance of our own Anglo-American history.

"The courts can't handle these cases. They belong in military tribunals. Lindsey Graham has it precisely right."

It's entirely possible you are correct. Could you please demonstrate that you are correct with an argument?

I'm kinda baffled that people even bother to make the argument-by-assertion: who do they think it would convince?

Is the following a convincing argument? "The courts can handle these cases. They don't belong in military tribunals. Lindsey Graham has it precisely wrong."

No. Of course not. There's no argument there at all. Merely assertion. What would be the point of this without any support?

No. Of course not. There's no argument there at all. Merely assertion. What would be the point of this without any support?

Of course it's an argument. Its argumentness is unchallengeable. Those who would challenge its argumentness are filthy Commie mutant traitors. Are you a filthy Commie mutant traitor, Gary?

Your Friend,

I am a filthy Commie mutant traitor, Computer!

You have found me out. And as a filthy Commie mutant traitor, I am, of course, a liar.

So when I say I am a filthy Commie mutant traitor, I am lying. But if I am lying, then I am not a filthy Commie mutant traitor. But if I am not a filthy Commie mutant traitor, than I am telling the truth. But if I am telling the truth, then I am a filthy Commie mutant traitor, and therefore am lying.

What do you have to say to that, Mr. Smarty-Pants Computer!? Huh!?!? HUH?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and: "huh." Your "mother"! I devastate "you" with my "logic."

Habeas corpus does not necessarily mean civilian criminal trials and is not inconsistent with these cases being handled by military tribunals. A lot of people seem really confused about this point; I guess I better clear that up.

"Argument by Anecdote"

A fine description of the common law.

And of Sen Graham's speech in favor of his amendment.

"Once they choose to become part of a terrorist organization in an irregular force that blows up people at a wedding"

Interesting choice of example. I seem to remember an episode (at least one episode) in which the US military bombed a wedding party or parties, possibly accidently. Does that make it ok for the Taliban or whomever to lock up any US soldiers or anyone it suspects of being a US soldier or sympathizer that they capture and throw away the key?

It seems to be a part of the problem that significant parts of the evidence as "classified", which means it can't be passed on to anyone who doesn't have the correct security clearance.

Since Scooter Libby had a security clearance, it doesn't seem out of the question for there to be Federal Judges with a security clearance.

Problem solved?

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