Time for an amendment?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Merlin1047, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    The Constitution of the United States is the document which safeguards the rights of American Citizens. Throughout history it has been relied upon to limit the power of government and to define individual rights. Unfortunately, the Constitution is being used against us by those who wish us ill. Terrorists use the Constitution in an attempt to escape punishment for their crimes and they find a willing ally among American lawyers.

    The terrorist plot executed in the attack on this country on 9-11 was brilliantly conceived. Al-Qaeda terrorists used our own assets to attack us and kill our people. Now terrorists will seek to repeat that performance in our courts. Regardless if they are tried by military tribunal or in civilian courts, terrorists will receive representation by lawyers paid for with American tax dollars and protected by a Constitution designed to protect American citizens. So the end result is that terrorists may be defended by American lawyers who will be paid by American taxpayer’s money - possibly even those taxes paid by the victims of the terrorists.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/600389/posts

    Michael Shaffer
    Monday, Dec. 31, 2001
    Lawyers may soon have to deal with another crushing blow to their industry’s reputation, as an army is assembling for the chance to defend the alleged terrorists of the Al Qaeda and Taliban networks.

    The New York Times states that even as Pentagon officials wrap up the rules governing the tribunals and forward them to Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld for approval, defense lawyers are anxious to take advantage of this controversial opportunity.

    The chance of a lifetime

    Three lawyers, including former United States attorney general Ramsey Clark, defended Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric convicted in the 1995 terrorist plot to blow up New York City landmarks. Now, these same lawyers are eager to represent Rahman’s son Ahmed, who may have been captured in Afghanistan.

    Virginia defense lawyer Charles W. Gittins, who defended Army Sergeant Major Gene C. McKinney, convicted in 1998 on one count of obstructing justice in a sexual harassment case, but acquitted of 18 other related charges, is eager to lend his services to the terrorists.


    These types of cases draw the worst of the lawyer lot - Kunstler, Clark as well as any opportunistic vermin simply out to attain some notoriety. These shysters will make the OJ trial look like an efficient assembly line. They will pull out all the stops, play every dirty trick in the book, file every specious petition and introduce as many sleazy motions as possible to delay the progress of the trial. They will do this not because it is in their client’s best interest, but because it is in the lawyer’s best interest. By prolonging the trial they keep their name in the public eye and they increase the billable hours for which you and I must pay them.

    http://www.crimelynx.com/wantrepresent.html
    New York Times
    December 28, 2001
    Just Who Would Want to Defend Suspects Before a Tribunal? Probably Plenty

    By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE

    David P. Baugh, former president of the Virginia College of Criminal Defense Attorneys and the Richmond Criminal Bar, said that it was exciting to represent someone who was "despised by everyone else" and that such cases had inherent drama.

    "It's a `High Noon' standing-up against the vigilantes," Mr. Baugh said. "It's really putting the system to work."


    Also from the same article:

    “As for fees, Mr. Gillers said that in the Oklahoma City bombing cases, defense lawyers were appointed, and "the court had to promise them compensation beyond the usual meager rates because they were committing years of their lives to these endeavors." How long the tribunals could last is an open question, though some critics have suggested they might be dispensed with in a matter of days.

    As far as appointing military lawyers in any terrorist tribunals, Colonel Elliott said he expected the Pentagon to do so.

    "We have to be practical," he said, adding of the suspects: "These are dangerous people and involved with a dangerous cabal of murderers and conspirators, and everyone at the trial will be at some risk. It won't be easy for them to find counsel of their own choice."

    But, he added, "you will find people willing to defend these people just for the book rights."

    And for many lawyers, Colonel Elliott said, representing suspects in such difficult cases is a badge of honor.

    "I have no doubt that if we ever get one of these guys," he said, "there will be plenty of people who are willing to come in and defend them."


    Besides terrorism, we have the ongoing problem with illegal immigration. People enter the country illegally, take advantage of social services and programs and if a female illegal should give birth while in the country, her offspring automatically becomes a citizen.

    The courts are used by those who support illegals as a means of writing their own laws in support of illegal entry into the country. Lawyers once again come into the picture and once again the American taxpayer gets stuck with the tab.

    I should provide links and documentation for the illegal alien assertion, but in the interest of brevity I will avoid belaboring facts which have been in evidence for years and are common knowledge.

    So my question is this: Given the abuse of our Constitution by murderous terrorists and illegal aliens and given the fact that as taxpayers we are forced to pay the very people working against our best interest, is it time for another amendment to the Constitution?

    Is it time to spell out very specifically to whom the Constitution shall apply and limit the rights of non-citizens? Obviously there are potential abuses, but why should we continue to support and finance those who seek to advance their own agendas and ambitions by using our own money and our own Constitution against us? Our Constitution is designed to protect American citizens. Why should foreign invaders be allowed to hide behind rights never envisioned for their use?
     
  2. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Write it up and I'll be the first one to vote for it !!
     
  3. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    #2.
     
  4. acludem
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    acludem VIP Member

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    Some of the people being detained are American citizens. The rest are on American soil and are thus entitled to certain rights. This is both a moral and a Constitutional issue. It is also a question of international law, including the Geneva convention. These people can be tried and then either jailed and/or deported. To amend the Constitution to allow for the U.S. to do whatever it pleases with foreign nationals as you seem to suggest will further diminish our standing in the world. The U.S. will be seen as a place not safe for citizens of other nations to visit.

    We must not become vigilantes hell bent on revenge. We must be ever American, dedicated to liberty and justice for all.

    acludem
     
  5. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    You are over-reading again. I never suggested that we should arbitrarily stuff these people into a cannon and shoot them back to wherever the hell they came from.

    My point is this - if someone gets onto American soil ILLEGALLY, why is he entitled to the protection of the constitution of a country whose borders he just violated? And why do I have to pay his damn shyster?

    There is nothing immoral about demanding that others respect our sovereignty nor would it be a Constitutional issue as you suggest, if the Constitution were amended. Then, by definition, it would in fact be constitutional.

    I don't recall any provision of the Geneva convention which covers situations like these, but I'm not an expert and right now my give-a-hoot level is not sufficient to motivate me to read an extremely boring document.

    As far as "diminishing our standing in the world" - well, that remains to be seen. Frankly, I don't much care if they like us as long as they respect us. And again, you miss my intent with your statement about the USA being seen as unsafe for foreign nationals to visit. LEGAL foreign nationals need have no fear of such an amendment because it should be written in such a manner as to protect their rights. It is the ILLEGAL foreigner who needs to be dealt with effectively, expeditiously and as inexpensively as possible.

    "We must not become vigilantes hell bent on revenge. We must be ever American, dedicated to liberty and justice for all. "

    Jeez. What the hell was that? I present a factual argument and this is the best you can come up with?
     
  6. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    The problem with all this is that we already have a process in place for illegals. The INS has authority and jurisdiction over them. When the illegal becomes involved in the judicial process through a criminal act we have a choice. We can either deport him through the INS or we can introduce him to the judicial system and try him. This, unfortunately, does come at a cost to the taxpayers but we can always fall back on the old statement that 'its not a perfect system, but its the best one we have'.

    If you want to change the system for what YOU think is better, consider what would be your consequences should you have to deal with it. That may either settle your doubts or make you reconsider.
     
  7. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    As a rule I don't support amending the US Constitution.
    I would not support an amendment prohibiting the burning of the flag
    or prohibiting gay marriage. However, when the Constitution is
    being used against this nation as a weapon or for the advancement of illegal activities,
    I think it's time to make an adjustment to end these practices.

    I'd support an amendment of this type.
     
  8. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    I agree. I'm not much for messing with the Constitution either. And if there is some other, equally effective way to deal with this problem, I'd sure love to hear it.

    That's why I threw this out. I was hoping to spark some discussion on the subject.
     
  9. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    Sorry DK, somehow I missed your post. Was not ignoring it.

    First, you well know that the INS, as it exists today, is a joke. Under-manned, under-funded and lacking both authority and facilites, the INS is an ineffective waste of taxpayer money. Most of the terrorists who participated in the 9-11 attacks had entered the country legally, but had subsequently overstayed their visas. Where was the INS? The FBI? The CIA?

    I want to reemphasize that I am not espousing wholesale abuse of foreign nationals - legal or otherwise. I am saying that it is somewhat ridiculous to give illegal aliens and suspected foreign terrorists the full protection of the American constitution. I see no down side to this concept provided that the amendment is written narrowly with specific guidelines. Streamlining the legal process has to be a part of our illegal immigration problem. Estimates vary wildly, but I believe that a fair guess at the number of illegals in this country is between eight and twelve million. Even if we low-ball this number, can you imagine the morass in the courts if every one goes to trial before being deported?

    There is another and probably more effective option to amending the Constitution. That would be to close our borders. A gargantuan undertaking. We would have to deploy several divisions along the Mexican border alone. Let's not even talk about the Canadian border. And how do we secure every seaport in the country? All this can be done, but we would need to triple the size of the Army and Coast Guard to acquire the manpower to effectively accomplish the task.

    Personally, I prefer the second option because it is proactive. It seeks to prevent illegal immigration and terrorist attacks by creating a barrier. Whereas the constitutional amendment would only be effective after illegal immigrants and actual or would-be terrorists have been captured. I did not present that option because I do not believe that we will see a politician with the backbone to implement such a policy.
     
  10. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Written quickly....

    As you may know, my wife is a Judge. I've ask her why (she and other Judges) allow
    many illegals to post bond and walk out of jail instead of contacting the INS.

    She tells me they do contact the INS, however they (INS) are so understaffed that
    the local governments must hold these folks (at local tax payer cost) while waiting
    days or weeks for them to be picked up.

    So this comes down to $$$$ in the long run.
    I guess it's a pay me now, pay me later sort of thing.

    Now if we spend the bucks to staff the INS properly that will resolve part of
    the problem...but what of the folks that come in for destruction purposes?
    That's what we may very well need to address with an Amendment.

    ps..they don't let them all go....It depends on the crime/violation.
     

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