A divided Supreme Court ruled that the US government has to provide terror suspects held at GTMO with the opportunity to challenge their detention – in essence, to make the government say exactly why they are being held. That’s what habeus corpus is all about: the state has to prove it has good reason to throw a person in jail.
Those calling themselves “conservatives” have fallen all over themselves to condemn this decision as the worst ever in … well, the history of ever. McCain said:
“The United States Supreme Court yesterday rendered a decision which I think is one of the worst decisions in the history of this country”.
Really? Worse than the Dred Scott decision that said black people had no rights and no recourse under our laws?
Newt Gingrich explicitly agreed, saying:
“Worse than Dred Scott, for the following reason: The court has now knowingly stepped in, this morning’s newspaper say, smugglers had actually gotten the design of a nuclear weapon, that we now have the evidence that people out there had a nuclear weapon design. And this court is saying that any random district judge, based on whatever their personal caprice is, whatever their personal ideological bias, can intervene with a terrorist in such a way.
… The problem with Obama is that he’s wrong…He applauded this court decision. This court decision is a disaster which could cost us a city. The debate ought to be over whether or not you are prepared to risk losing an American city on behalf of five lawyers – it was a five to four decision – and five lawyers have decided that the Supreme Court counts more than the Congress and the President combined in national security.”
Is this the level of bat-spit insanity to which we have fallen? If we lose a city it’s not because the government, with all it’s money, and power, and spy satellites, and sophisticated computers that can distinguish between a seditious thought and an ant’s fart, could not provide an activist judge with a sound reason for detaining some random suspected terrorist forever without trial.
If we lose a city it’s because the government failed – abjectly, and once again – to prevent terrorists from carrying out a devastating attack on our own soil. The attacks of 9/11 didn’t happen because we accorded a fundamental right – the right to make the State justify its actions – to “terrorists”; the 9/11 attacks happened because our government, with all its resources, failed to prevent them.
Mr Gingrich is apparently referring to news that A. Q. Khan (notorious Pakistani nuke-technology peddler) sold designs for nuclear devices small enough, and robust enough, to be made into portable weapons. Never mind that actually building such a thing, regardless of how detailed your blueprints, is a technological feat attained only by a handful of nations over the course of half a century. (Could you build a car from scratch if you had detailed blueprints?) Never mind that there’s never been a shred of evidence to support the theory that trans-national jihaadists have ever managed to get their hands on the components for such a weapon. (‘cause even whacked out crazy nations like North Korea don’t just go handing over nukes to jihaadis – not when the consequence for an attack that gets traced back to you is immediate and complete annihilation).
Never mind all that – appartently, to Mr McCain, and Mr Gingrich, and all their fellow travelers, lickspittles, satraps and toadies, our government is helpless. It’s physically incapable of protecting us from the destruction of our cities. Our only recourse is to decide certain folks are terrorists and throw them in jail forever.
I might buy this argument if Mr Gingrich, Mr McCain, and all those fellow travelers, lickspittles, satraps and toadies who have been running our government for the past dozen years had shown one iota of competence during that time. Sadly, between the outright lies, the fuck-ups and the complete lack of accountability for those things, I can’t muster any faith in their arguments.
But maybe they are right…. they have proved unable to keep anyone from anywhere who wants to work backbreaking labor for slave wages from entering the country without papers … how the heck can they be expected to stop determined terrorists? Maybe we better throw the rest of the world in jail and throw away the key – it’s the only way to ensure our safety.