December 5, 2012 | 5 comments
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September 9, 2011 | 98 comments
In giving trial rights to terrorists that soldiers fighting lawfully did not enjoy in earlier times we are not helping ourselves.
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Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown put it perfectly in his January 19 special election victory speech:
And let me say this, with respect to those who wish to harm us, I believe that our Constitution and laws exist to protect this nation — they do not grant rights and privileges to enemies in wartime. In dealing with terrorists, our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them, not lawyers to defend them.
No country ever won a war because it had the best legal system. Nor has any country ever won a war because it engaged in full disclosure of sins real or imagined. Despite controversial acts during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln is honored as our greatest President. FDR remains widely revered despite imperfect Constitutional fealty. Few would say that America’s historic wartime sins matched the mass atrocities perpetrated by our adversaries. No reasonable person today would assert that America’s post-2001 sins come close to matching the atavism of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. War choices are usually among greater and lesser evils.
Put simply, via suicide-pact “lawfare” cases, lawyers and judges can lose a war; they cannot win one.
President Obama should immediately take steps to put protect our war effort from destructive lawfare lawyering: place top terror trials in military commissions, and place intelligence needs before prosecuting terrorists. If the federal courts continue to insinuate themselves into war cases, setting aside executive and legislative programs, Congress should deprive civilian courts of jurisdiction in battlefield cases. If the Supreme Court orders that such cases be tried in civilian courts, Congress should refuse to fund them , and we can then hold terrorists as unlawful combatants.
N.B., THIS ARTICLE, POSTED MARCH 26, WAS REVISED MARCH 27 TO CORRECT TWO ERRORS. First, Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman and co-plotters were not convicted of bombing the World Trade Center; they were convicted in a separate trial of conspiracy to blow up New York City landmarks. Second, Osama bin Laden did not learn at the World Trade Center bombing trial that his phone was being tapped; he learned about it when the Clinton administration used information gleaned from an intercepted satellite phone call to target bin Laden after the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa.
I genuinely regret both errors.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?