U.S. Reasserts Right to Declare Citizens to Be Enemy Combatants

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Bullypulpit, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    By ERIC LICHTBLAU

    Published: January 8, 2004

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 - <i>The Bush administration on Wednesday reasserted its broad authority to declare American citizens to be enemy combatants, and it suggested that the Supreme Court consider two prominent cases at the same time.

    The Justice Department, in a brief filed with the court, said it would seek an expedited appeal of a federal appeals court decision last month in the case of Jose Padilla, jailed as an enemy combatant in 2002.


    The divided Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, ruled on Dec. 18 that President Bush lacked the authority to indefinitely detain an American citizen like Mr. Padilla who was arrested on American soil simply by declaring him an enemy combatant. Mr. Padilla has been held incommunicado at a military brig in South Carolina. American authorities say he plotted with operatives of Al Qaeda overseas to detonate a "dirty" radiological bomb in the United States.

    But the Justice Department said in its brief that the ruling was "fundamentally at odds" with court precedent on presidential powers.

    The decision <b>"undermines the president's constitutional authority to protect the nation,"</b> Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson wrote.</i>(emphasis mine)

    In ruling that President Bush lacked the authority to indefinitely detain a US citizen, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit simply reaffirmed the basic protections of the Constitution for US citizens. In advocating for the use of "enemy combatant" status for US citizens, the Bush administration is undermining the foundation of the Republic. The Administration is actively working to undermine the document its members have sworn to uphold and protect.

    From Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution:

    "<i><b>I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.</b></i>"


    What does the arbitrary detention of a U.S. citizen, idefinitely and without charge, have to do with preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution? Nothing beyond the attempt to undermine and subvert it. This is how America will come under the yoke of tyranny. It will not come through violent revolution, it will come quietly, like a thief in the night. And this is but the beginning...
     
  2. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I think this is total BS. There is a reason that the Constitution outlines the rights of all citizens to a fair and speedy trial, to be faced with the charges brought against him, etc. There is also a part of the Constitution that specifically addresses treason, saying that it must be confirmed by at least two witnesses, but it does not state that you can lock the person up forever.

    While I understand the vigilance in pursuing the GWOT, the Bush administration is 100% wrong on this issue. While Jose Padilla is no example of upstanding citizenship, he, like everyone else, desreves a fair trial as a citizen, not as an enemy combatant.
     
  3. acludem
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    acludem VIP Member

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    It's nice to hear a Republican who agrees with me jeff. This type of abuse of authority has gone on long enough. Bush and Ashcroft have to play by the rules, otherwise they are nothing better than Stalin and Hussein. Secret trials, no counsel, lock ups with no contact and no charges, this is the stuff of dictatorships not democracies.

    acludem
     
  4. wonderwench
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    wonderwench Guest

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    I agree, it is total B.S.

    A citizen collaborating with the enemy is a traitor - but he is still protected by the Constitution and deserves due process of law.
     
  5. h.j. anslinger
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    h.j. anslinger Guest

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    you give them an inch.........
     
  6. h.j. anslinger
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    h.j. anslinger Guest

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    hey wenchie, tell me what the definition of a terrorist is under the USA Patriot act....
     
  7. wonderwench
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    wonderwench Guest

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    You are mistaken if you think I am a supporter of the Patriot Act.
     
  8. h.j. anslinger
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    h.j. anslinger Guest

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    cool, has the local government in your area re-instated the constitution yet? you might know this already, but this has happened in 400 us cities
     
  9. wonderwench
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    Well, HJA. I am on the library commission in my city. We were the first library system in the U.S. to adopt a policy of non-compliance with the TIA / Patriot Act abominations.

    So I'm fairly familiar with the power of local politics in thwarting centralized abuses.

    If enough of us act according to our consciences, we can change things. The Feds can't put half the country in jail.
     
  10. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    The USA PATRIOT Act allows the Secretary of State to designate any domestic or foreign group that has engaged in violent activity as a "terrorist organization".

    That can cover alot of ground, like say, the so called "pro-life" folks who have a penchant for blowing up abortion clinics and gunning down the people who work in them. Can't have that now...can we? NOt with Howdy and his smug "pro-life" stance. (Rather hypocritical considering the number of executions he's presided over)
     

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