Did Bush switch constitutions on us?
- The Village Voice: George W. Bush’s Constitution by Nat Hentoff
- . . .The imprisonment of “enemy combatant” Yaser Esam Hamdi in a naval brig in the United States is not a matter of concern to most Americans, since they do not know of Mr. Hamdi’s isolation from the Bill of Rights, and might not care if they did. But the Supreme Court will ultimately decide whether George W. Bush’s Constitution will replace—in significant parts—the Constitution that most Americans are also not familiar with.
. . . In addition to Mr. Mobbs’s pieces of paper, the government prosecutor also told Judge Doumar that the Defense Department had to hold Hamdi for interrogation. And since the war on terrorism has no defined end in sight, he must be “detained” indefinitely.
Said Judge Doumar: “How long does it take to question a man? A year? Two years? Ten years? A lifetime? How long?”
Under this intensive fire, the prosecutor, Gregory G. Garre, an assistant to Solicitor General Theodore Olson, had only this response: “The present detention is lawful.”
As Judge Doumar said after he had denounced the two-page declaration: “So the Constitution doesn’t apply to Mr. Hamdi?”
I will follow this case through the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and then, I expect, to the United States Supreme Court. Those nine men and women will decide whether the essential liberties in the Framers’ Constitution have been removed by George W. Bush. It’s a pity the Democratic Party cares much less about civil liberties than about Bush’s tax cuts.
Bravo to Nat Hentoff for telling this story and for indicting the Democrats (supposedly the “liberal” party in this country, but not in reality not anymore) for their abysmal ignorance and apathy over the rape of Civil liberties in this country.
I should add one thing to this conversation though. In recent conversations with several of my readers, I have been critized for saying the administration and its supporters are evil for doing these things (denying constitutional protections to accused terrorists and for engaging in war at all); and that I should not deny that the Administration has good motives for what they are doing.
I would have to agree with part of those concerns. I do believe Bush, Rumseld, and the rest (except maybe for Ashcroft 😉 mean well. They obviously must believe that trashing the Constitution (or rather amending it by fiat) is neccesary in these drastic times, and I am sure that they have good motives for doing so (the desire to protect our nation’s security, protect its way of life, etc.). BUT, that said good motives don’t excuse bad choices.
I personally believe human liberty is more precious than even security, and that our Constitution should not just be violated just because our resolve is tested. It is in such times that our commitment to liberty is most tested. I think so far the Bush administration has failed the test.
Edited by JMB 6:50 p.m. CST