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Archive for Friday, January 8, 2010

Treatment of would-be bomber is naive

January 8, 2010

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— On Wednesday, Nigerian would-be bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was indicted by a Michigan grand jury for attempted murder and sundry other criminal charges. The previous day, the State Department announced that his visa had been revoked. The system worked.

Well, it did for Abdulmutallab. What he lost in flying privileges he gained in Miranda rights. He was singing quite freely when seized after trying to bring down Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit. But the Obama administration decided to give him a lawyer and the right to remain silent. We are now forced to purchase information from this attempted terrorist in the coin of leniency.

Absurdly, Abdulmutallab is now in control.

And this is no ordinary information. He was trained by al-Qaida in Yemen, and just days after he was lawyered up and shut up, the U.S. was forced to close its embassy in Yemen because of active threats from the same people who had trained and sent Abdulmutallab.

This is nuts. Even if you wanted ultimately to try him as an ordinary criminal, he could have been detained in military custody — and thus subject to military interrogation — without prejudicing his ultimate disposition. After all, every Guantanamo detainee was first treated as an enemy combatant and presumably interrogated. But some (most notoriously Khalid Sheik Mohammed) are going to civilian trial. That determination can be made later.

John Brennan, President Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, professes an inability to see any “downsides” to treating Abdulmutallab as an ordinary criminal — with a right to remain silent — a view with which 71 percent of likely voters sensibly disagree.

The administration likes to defend itself by invoking a Bush precedent: Wasn’t the shoe bomber treated the same way?

Yes. And it was a mistake, but in the context of the time understandable. That context does not remotely exist today.

Richard Reid struck three months after 9/11. The current anti-terror apparatus was not in place. Remember: This was barely a month after President Bush authorized the creation of military commissions and before that system had been even set up. Moreover, the Pentagon at the time was preoccupied with the Afghan campaign that brought down the Taliban in two months. The last major Taliban city, Kandahar, fell just two weeks before Reid tried to ignite his shoe on an airplane.

To be sure, after a few initial misguided statements, Obama did get somewhat serious about the Christmas Day attack. First, he instituted high-level special screening for passengers from 14 countries, the vast majority of which are Muslim with significant Islamist elements. This is the first rational step away from today’s idiotic random screening and toward, yes, a measure of profiling — i.e., focusing on the population most overwhelmingly likely to be harboring a suicide bomber.

Obama also sensibly suspended all transfers of Yemenis from Guantanamo. Nonetheless, Obama insisted on repeating his determination to close the prison, invoking his usual rationale of eliminating a rallying cry and recruiting tool for al-Qaida.

Imagine that Guantanamo were to disappear tomorrow, swallowed in a giant tsunami. Do you think there’d be any less recruiting for al-Qaida in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, London?

Jihadism’s list of grievances against the West is not only self-replenishing but endlessly creative. Osama bin Laden’s 1998 fatwa commanding universal jihad against America cited as its two top grievances our stationing of troops in Saudi Arabia and Iraqi suffering under anti-Saddam sanctions.

Today, there are virtually no U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia. And the sanctions regime against Iraq was abolished years ago. Has al-Qaida stopped recruiting? Ayman al-Zawahiri often invokes Andalusia in his speeches. For those not steeped in the multivolume lexicon of Islamist grievances, Andalusia refers to Iberia, lost by Islam to Christendom — in 1492.

This is a fanatical religious sect dedicated to establishing the most oppressive medieval theocracy and therefore committed to unending war with America not just because it is infidel but because it represents modernity with its individual liberty, social equality (especially for women) and profound tolerance (religious, sexual, philosophical). You going to change that by evacuating Guantanamo?

Nevertheless, Obama will not change his determination to close Guantanamo. He is too politically committed. The only hope is that perhaps now he is offering his “recruiting” rationale out of political expediency rather than real belief. With suicide bombers in the air, cynicism is far less dangerous to the country than naivete.

Comments

leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

Scott, even Obama admitted the shortcomings catching the underwear bomber were in his own administration. That they would immediately correct these opportunities. I was shocked it was one of the only times he did not blame the Bush administration. The lack of communication between departments goes directly to the Clinton administration and was discussed at great length in the 9/11 commission report.

And I have already said, his nominee to head up TSA can not even pass the background check to work there because of a censure in his record by the FBI. Surely there is better available.

You do know the owner of Fox News is an Obama supporter right?

"In a 2008 interview with Walt Mossberg, Murdoch was asked whether he had "anything to do with the New York Post's endorsement of Barack Obama in the democratic primaries." Without hesitating, Murdoch replied, "Yeah. He is a rock star. It's fantastic. I love what he is saying about education. I don't think he will win Florida... but he will win in Ohio and the election. I am anxious to meet him. I want to see if he will walk the walk."[

Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_m...

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scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

The bush administration put in place the architecture that failed to catch the underwear bomber. You may fault the Obama administration for not uncovering its deficiencies in the 11 months prior to this terrorist attempt if you wish, but the repubs are blocking a hearing on Obama's nominee to head the agency. Pretty hard to argue its the Obama's fault when you block him putting in place the person he chooses to lead the agency. And the reason it is not explained clearly to the public in the main stream media has to do with the corporate/military/industrial (i.e. right wing) bias of the corporate owners of our mainstream media. An ownership that continues to shrink in terms of both number and diversity of outlook during the last 30 years of tragic right wing ascendency.

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leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

Scott:

"And which administration was the architect of the system that did not include the level of sophistication of a Google search engine?

According to the 9/11 Commission that was the Clinton administration


"Was it the Obama administration's fault that the deficiencies were not uncovered during the last 11 months?"

They were uncovered by the 9/11 Commission. Obama has done nothing about that yet. He has torn apart everything the Bush administration has done, but has not yet put in any of his own systems.


"Does the fact that his choice to head the TSA has not been seated suggest there is any responsibility for those who block the appointment?" Is there fault in this matter for those who block the appointment because of a partisan opposition to an employee's right to collective bargaining?

His choice can not work for the TSA because he can not pass a background check. Who's fault is that?


And why are these issues not included in the mainstream media's campaign of fault finding?"

I don't know why the press is not covering any of this. Because it makes Obama look bad?

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scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

"And lastly, I don't necessarily agree with the Bush administration on a lot of things, but the fact that there was a break down in communication wasn't his fault..he's not the President anymore (and hasn't been for almost a year) Obama is….so quit blaming Bush for everything bad that happens it is getting old and it definitely doesn't solve any of our current dilemmas."

And which administration was the architect of the system that did not include the level of sophistication of a Google search engine? Was it the Obama administration's fault that the deficiencies were not uncovered during the last 11 months? Does the fact that his choice to head the TSA has not been seated suggest there is any responsibility for those who block the appointment? Is there fault in this matter for those who block the appointment because of a partisan opposition to an employee's right to collective bargaining? And why are these issues not included in the mainstream media's campaign of fault finding?

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leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

I always thought the economy was going to take down the Obama administration and Democratic party control over both houses of Congress. I now think it will be Al-Qaeda. The economy will hurt, but Al-Qaeda will be the straw that breaks their back.

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leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

We should follow our laws and use military tribunals for captured enemy combatants. Everyone here should be in agreement for that concept because it is our law and in accordance with international law.

We could treat the terrorist the way they treat us, but that would be illegal.

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 3 months ago

He should be decently treated, decently tried, decenly executed anad then buried face-down with pork rinds covering his grave.

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jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

"Neither are hardcore gang members and drug dealers. Let's execute them, too, without trials. usa! usa! usa!"

Odd segment to champion in this argument. And not even close in comparison.

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anon1958 4 years, 3 months ago

jumpin_catfish (Anonymous) says…

He is an illegal combatant and should be dealt with through a military tribunal and then receive what he has coming.

========

Wake up man the Bush fantasy dream you are living in has ended. Just because you will sell your principles cheap does not mean the rest of us are willing to abandon the law.

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50YearResident 4 years, 3 months ago

feeble, does it really matter who uttered the "Not Guilty" words? What is your point?

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porch_person 4 years, 3 months ago

We either stand for something or we don't. Takes effort to stand for something. Ya gots to take the trouble to do it right. It ain't free.

If we don't stand for anything, we begin to look.....like them.

We don't want that.

Charles Krauthammer has brain bubbles.

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feeble 4 years, 3 months ago

You read wrong. The terrorist said nothing, his lawyer entered a not guilty plea for him. There is a major difference between what happened and what you allege.

Given the overwhelming amount of evidence, the defense is most likely angling for some kind of a plea bargain.

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50YearResident 4 years, 3 months ago

Just read, the Terrorist pleades "Not Guilty" at his hearing so now the 12 month trial will begin with the US Government spending millions on this jerk.

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jumpin_catfish 4 years, 3 months ago

He is an illegal combatant and should be dealt with through a military tribunal and then receive what he has coming.

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anon1958 4 years, 3 months ago

Barry, since you are not catching on, here is the deal about Obama's Nobel Peace Prize. It had zero to do with anything that Obama has done, it was a political statement repudiating the policies of the Bush administration.

That award was no favor to Obama, the Nobel Peace prize, was already completely compromised when it was awarded to suspected war criminal Henry Kissinger. The Obama award diminished the Peace Prize even more so because it was used to make a political statement rather than as an award to a deserving recipient.

You really cannot blame Obama for receiving that award, I suspect he must have cringed when he found out about it.

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barrypenders 4 years, 3 months ago

The "Blessed One" is on a Progressive Articulate Demanding Jihad. He is taking care of the Terrorists using all of his "Progressive Articulate Disciples" help. "Noble Peace" is his calling card. He knows what is best for his mandates.

Stimulus, Blessed One and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless us

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jimmyjms 4 years, 3 months ago

Chucky's argument in regard to Richard Reed boils down to "it's ok when Republicans do it."

How's about Zacharias Mousawi?

Just a quick BTW - how many of the terrorists put before military tribunals have been convicted?

What's that you say? None?

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leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

jhwk 2008 What do you go on about? Did the OP say anything about denying due process? Did anyone say that? Even the Supreme Court has examined military tribunals for enemy combatants.


Georgiahawk:

"Is it naive to the point of destruction to believe that all should be treated with respect and given the same God given rights that we believe we deserve? "

What are the God given rights? I am not a biblical scholar but I like to think I am Christian and I am unfamilar with God given rights. I am familiar with the golden rule and the ten commandments, but I don't recall God giving us rights.

It is naive not to know that 99% of all Muslims are not terrorist, yet 99% of all terrorist are Muslims. It is naive not to know they have declared war on us and finally we heard the President state we are at war with AQ yesterday.

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georgiahawk 4 years, 3 months ago

MyName, Stop Making Sense! It hurts to look in the mirror!

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MyName 4 years, 3 months ago

@LoveThsLife:

It is exactly what Kruthammer is referring to as it's the same thing he's been harping on in his column for months. He is the biggest apologist for torture (or as he likes to call it "enhanced interrogation") out there.

Also, the FBI is perfectly capable of doing the interrogation as they've interrogated every terror suspect who hasn't been picked up by the military.

And I don't know about blaming Bush, but I will say that when they picked up the shoe bomber it wasn't turned into some kind of political football by either side. That sort of BS doesn't exactly solve anything either.

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LoveThsLife 4 years, 3 months ago

Military interrogation and torture do not necessarily have to go hand in hand and I don't think that is what the author is referring to.

Who exactly is dealing with him though? Because interrogating a trained terrorist and dealing with a gang member are two totally different things...I would assume there would be different agencies involved? no?

And lastly, I don't necessarily agree with the Bush administration on a lot of things, but the fact that there was a break down in communication wasn't his fault..he's not the President anymore (and hasn't been for almost a year) Obama is....so quit blaming Bush for everything bad that happens it is getting old and it definitely doesn't solve any of our current dilemmas.

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georgiahawk 4 years, 3 months ago

feeble, but what about all of those that died during the disco-rock wars? it was torture to listen to disco music.

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feeble 4 years, 3 months ago

'Military necessity does not admit of cruelty - that is, the infliction of suffering for the sake of suffering or for revenge, nor of maiming or wounding except in fight, nor of torture to extort confessions."

General Orders no.100, Article 16. Authored by Francis Lieber, adopted and implemented by Pres. Lincoln on April 24, 1863, during the height of the Civil War, after massive Union Army losses in Fredericksburg and Shiloh.

The American Civil War remains the bloodiest conflict in American history, with over 600,000 war dead, which is more than the combined total of all American casualties in WW1 and WW2.

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jhwk2008 4 years, 3 months ago

leedavid (Anonymous) says…

"Could you show us Georgiahawk…where in the Constitution does it say extend our rights to all who enter."

leedavid, the Constitution does not grant every right to all who enter. It does, however, grant due process and equal protection of the laws to all who enter.

"The fourteenth amendment to the constitution is not confined to the protection of citizens. It says: 'Nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.' These provisions are universal in their application, to all persons within the territorial jurisdiction, without regard to any differences of race, of color, or of nationality; and the equal protection of the laws is a pledge of the protection of equal laws....that 'all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right, in every state and territory ... ."

Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356 (1886)

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georgiahawk 4 years, 3 months ago

In my life, my real life, where I deal with all sorts of individuals, I try to treat all in the same way. While some do get favored treatment based on proximity to my heart, I try my best to treat all with respect. I have a minimum threshold of treatment that I do my best to stay above. I know that I am naive (just like the constitution) in my belief that all people should be afforded this treatment, but it is how my mom and dad raised me. I feel bad when I am a (choose your own nether region body part). Is it naive to the point of destruction to believe that all should be treated with respect and given the same God given rights that we believe we deserve? Untill someone (not a supposedly harmonious group or ethnicity) proves me wrong (you know the fool me once...stutter, stutter, confusion thing), I will do my best and I want America to do their best to treat all with the rights that we think we deserve.

Having said the above, once they screw you over, stomp the crap out of them and teach them a lesson they and their ilk will never forget!!!

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MyName 4 years, 3 months ago

Well it looks like Kruthammer has given up even the "ticking bomb" scenario. Let's just torture anyone we think might have useful information. And if it turns out they were making stuff up in order to stop the torture, so what?

NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

"where in the Constitution does it say extend our rights to all who enter?"

So, what you're saying is that anyone who comes to this country is fair game to whatever any citizen wants to do to them?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

"Bozo…did I ever say nuke anyone? Than don't put words in my mouth"

Sorry-- I was just carrying your line of "reasoning" to its (il)logical conclusion.

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leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

Could you show us Georgiahawk...where in the Constitution does it say extend our rights to all who enter. That would help. So all who enter can vote, get licenses and the like, is that correct?

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georgiahawk 4 years, 3 months ago

If we have standards (laws and rights) for ourselves in this country that guides how we deal with people in our country than yes all that enter must abide by our laws and suffer the consequences of not obeying those laws just the same as everyone else in the country. By extension, all of our rights must be afforded those that enter also. It should also be the standard that we deal with others around the world. I am not saying that we need to extend or enforce our rights and priveliges to the world, but if these are God given rights than who are we to stand in the way of God's will? I am not sure why you would want to override God's will with your own prejudices! Do you really believe that these God given rights are only for fellow Americans? Christmas??? Understanding Christmas??? Great comment!

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Anjum 4 years, 3 months ago

Looks like the path to citizenship is attempted murder, don’t tell that to the 15-30 million undocumented people in this country.

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leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

Georgiahawk:

I want to apologize for calling you a nutjob. I am trying to tone it down and discuss more, not name call. You deserve respect.

I happen to disagree with you, but your not a nutjob.


Bozo...did I ever say nuke anyone? Than don't put words in my mouth just because your TV show with the kiddies got cancelled years ago.

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jayhawklawrence 4 years, 3 months ago

Sometimes I feel like I would like to treat them like the Apaches used to do in the old days, slow roasted over a fire and slowly cut to pieces.

Thank God our country believes in a loving and merciful God.

On the other hand, I think there are exceptions that we have to make when dealing with terrorism or in times of war. Some points Krauthammer makes are worth considering, but when you get suggestions from someone who only wants to urinate on your grave, it basically cancels out the value of the advice you are given.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 3 months ago

Obama is taking steps to prevent..... apparently Bush forgot about the intelligence sharing problem.

Obama orders up more air security, intel sharing http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100108/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_obama_airline_security

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

Hell yea, leedavid. All we got to do is nuke 'em, nuke 'em all, till they glow, cause the constitution is ours, all ours.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 3 months ago

All alledged criminals have rights

9/11/01 might be the most significant national security breach in the history of the USA. What was the BUSHCO excuse?

9/11/01 culprits aka known terrorists learned to fly in Florida and none were interested in learning landing.

9/11/01 culprits had been living for two years only blocks away for Gen. Michael Hayden director of National Security Agency/Central Security Service. Michael Hayden is still there. Why ask for a resignation from Hayden?

Hayden did not authorize the FBI to pursue the known cell of terrorists . According to news agencies the FBI was wondering why they were not being allowed to investigate and pursue.

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50YearResident 4 years, 3 months ago

Georgiahawk, are you saying that under God if the constitution applys to us it applyies to the whole world or did I misunderstand your coment?

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leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

georgiahawk (Anonymous) says…

"leedavid, you are right, basic fundamental rights that should be granted to all humans actually are for the USA only. It would be immoral to extend them to all! It is so nice to be special and no I don't mean special bus special, I mean special enough that God has granted us these fundamental rights and no one else. Why is it that all you righties hate God?"

What a nut job....the Constitution grants rights from GOD? No wonder the left does not understand Christmas. No it does not.

The Constitution grants rights for US citizens. Terrorist????? No so much.

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 3 months ago

Beats having a rocket from a drone blowing you to smithereens, Obama's other preferred method of handling terrorists.

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50YearResident 4 years, 3 months ago

I agree with BKGarner and Leedavid, no Constitutional Rights for Terriorists that enter United States to kill American Citizens. Give this guy over to the military for quick action. We can not let our court system be overwhelmed by hundreds and eventually thousands of Terriorists.

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georgiahawk 4 years, 3 months ago

leedavid, you are right, basic fundamental rights that should be granted to all humans actually are for the USA only. It would be immoral to extend them to all! It is so nice to be special and no I don't mean special bus special, I mean special enough that God has granted us these fundamental rights and no one else. Why is it that all you righties hate God?

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leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

Isn't fun when the left pulls out the Constitiution and our founding fathers when it pleases them? In this case they get it wrong because the Supreme Court has ruled time and again regarding military tribunals. They ruled on Gitmo and did not rule to close it.

Yet when the left picks a judge to protect the Constitution we hear about how it is a living document and must change with the times. So people on the left, when is the Constitution a living document and when is it not? Just let us know so we can catch up.

I should remind the left the Constitution starts with: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Captured terrorist are not "We the people of the United States...." and as such are not entitled to its protections.

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temperance 4 years, 3 months ago

"These terrorists do not comply with any of the Geneva Conventions or other Laws of War and as such are not deserving of anything other than execution!"

Neither are hardcore gang members and drug dealers. Let's execute them, too, without trials. USA! USA! USA!

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Healthcare_Moocher 4 years, 3 months ago

georgiahawk (Anonymous) says…

Yes, Krautboy the constitution is naive! It is also idealistic and sometimes we must do what is right by it rather than give into a position of weakness driven by thoughts of momentary political gain. Deal with it or move to another country, quit trying to circumvent our constitution. Why is it that these conservative pundits hate personal freedom and our constitution?


They should remember this when it comes to the pending health care bill.

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georgiahawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Yes, Krautboy the constitution is naive! It is also idealistic and sometimes we must do what is right by it rather than give into a position of weakness driven by thoughts of momentary political gain. Deal with it or move to another country, quit trying to circumvent our constitution. Why is it that these conservative pundits hate personal freedom and our constitution?

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Brent Garner 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, then, anon1958, should the US have given German, Japanese, and Italian soldiers captured during World War 2 lawyers, civilian trials, etc.? Frankly, that is the wrong approach. These terrorists do not comply with any of the Geneva Conventions or other Laws of War and as such are not deserving of anything other than execution!

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anon1958 4 years, 3 months ago

Sourkrauthammer must have raided Rush Limbogus' medicine cabinet and mistaken the stupid pills for Extenze male enhancement pills.

You must have due process for everyone or it just does not work. The men that framed the constitution were not cowards and had a perfect understanding that in order to protect the idea and principle of liberty there would be personal danger.

It is a cliche, but the words of Benjamin Franklin are a perfect criticism of Krauthammer and of, I suppose a few people on this forum who disagreed with me about this issue recently....

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

My guess, based on what they wrote in letters, pamphlets and books is that on this issue my opinion would be endorsed by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson. I also believe they would rebuke Krauthammer and name him as a coward.

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