Thursday, May 28, 2009

Barack Obama is Not for Civil Liberties, part 2





One of the things United States has been historically known for throughout its history is its longstanding record of going the extra mile to ensure that innocent parties are not wrongfully convicted or forced to undergo a long and drawn out trial (which can be just as bad as a conviction). In the bill of Rights, five out of the first ten Amendments (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th) are for the purpose of placing limitations on the prosecution of the accused. I guess now our good reputation may be gone forever.


The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution reads:


No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution reads:


In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.


The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution reads:


Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


http://www.democracynow.org/2009/5/19/jeremy_scahill_little_known_military_thug


Notice in the 5th, it says “No person”, not “No citizen”. So there is not an exception to this amendment in the case that someone is from a different country. The exception “except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service" obviously applies to treason cases, not “enemy combatants”. It is understood that a person can be held temporarily until the indictment is served—“to answer for” means to be given a sentence, but the trial must take place "speedily".


These guys like Obama and Bush think that they are above the Constitution and that they fool people with their silver tongues. The constitutional manner of bringing defendants through the usual justice system has worked throughout the history of America. Why change it now? Is it because of the fear of terrorism? It is because whenever a corrupt politician has an opportunity to grab more power, he always does so. And as I pointed out in part 1 and in this piece on Janet Napolitano’s “Rightwing Extremism” Policy, the chickens have now come home to roost. Obama is using extra-constitutional executive powers to persecute ordinary American citizens, not just these terrorists. And has anyone ever thought it odd that Gitmo is in a COMMUNIST COUNTRY?

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