The TrueSoldier Rants

The Thoughts of a Conservative mind.

Why US History IS so Important

After hearing about the Supreme Court ruling giving unlawful enemy combatants Habeas Corpus rights I started to think back to my US History teacher in High School.  Why do you ask, well because he was an excellent teacher who actually taught US History to include this:

 

Operation Pastorius was a failed plan for sabotage in series of attacks by Nazi German agents inside the United States. The operation was staged in June 1942 and was to be directed against strategic U.S. economic targets. The operation was named by Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, chief of the German Abwehr, for Francis Daniel Pastorius, the leader of the first organized settlement of Germans in America.

 

Why is this so important you ask, well here is what the Supreme Court decided in 1942 regarding trials by Military Commisions (or Tribunals) and the writ of Habeas Corpus to unlawful combatants:

 

The Court holds:

(1)   That the charges preferred against petitioners on which they are being tried by military commission appointed by the order of the President of July 2, 1942, allege an offense or offenses which the President is authorized to order tried before a military commission. (2) That the military commission was lawfully constituted. (3) That petitioners are held in lawful custody, for trial before the military commission, and have not shown cause for being discharged by writ of habeas corpus. The motions for leave to file petitions for writs of habeas corpus are denied….

 

So why is it that the Supreme Court found that Trial by Military Commisions was lawful in 1942; yet now they are not?  And why did the Supreme Court rule that unlawful combatants that were caught on US soil did not have the same rights as US citizens in a time of war in 1942; yet now unlawful combatants caught on foreign soil and held outside the US do?

This is an obvious case of judicial activism by five justices of the Supreme Court that further erodes the meaning and content of the US Constitution.

So where do the two Presidential Candidates stand on this decision:

Obama:

“This is an important step,” he said of the ruling, “toward re-establishing our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law, and rejecting a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus. Our courts have employed habeascorpus with rigor and fairness for more than two centuries, and we must continue to do so as we defend the freedom that violent extremists seek to destroy.”

It seems to me that Obama must not have ever heard of Operation Pasterous and the Supreme Court ruling that said what Congress and the Bush Administration had done was legal.

McCain:

“These are enemy combatants, these are people who are not citizens, they are not and never have been given the rights that the citizens of this country have,” he said. “Our first obligation is the safety and security of this nation and the men and women who defend it.”

Now if only we could get McCain to support the last sentence of that statement when it comes to immigration.

National Review had a look at what each Presidential Candidate had to say about what kind of judges they would appoint (a special thanks to Steve Beren 7th CD Candidate for sending me this information):

McCain assailed activist judges, saying that his judicial appointees would interpret the law rather than make it. McCain said he would be looking for nominees with a record of restraint; he would not just trust his instincts about them. In other words: no more Souters; no more Mierses. Liberals said that McCain was battling strawmen, since judicial activism is a myth.  Have they met Barack Obama? His announced criteria for judges are rather different from McCain’s. “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old.” Empathy for gun owners, or property holders, or corporations, or the unborn does not appear to be something Obamais looking for. If you want judges whose sympathies are with those who have the law on their side, McCain’s the better bet.

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June 16, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

3 Comments »

  1. I do lean toward suspension of habeas corpus for enemy combatants. However, a few questions/observations.

    Does not Congress and Congress only have the legal authority to officially declare war?

    And if so, is suspension of habeas corpus entirely justifiable under the present-day legal authority in regard to enemy combatants? In the absence of any “official/legal/legislative” declaration of war (who do we declare war on exactly?), one could easily argue that “war” continues ad infinitum.

    Since the French were in essence enemy combatants that greatly assisted the framers of the US Constitution in the “war” against Britain, you’d think Americans would embrace fully the mantra “discretion is the better part of security.” After all, enemy combatants did help create this great nation.

    Still, when it comes to a nuclear bomb about to be dropped on the US Supreme Court building, I 100-percent assure you there would be a unamimous decision by all nine jurors to indefinitely suspend habeas corpus (albeit poetically-justifiably after the bomb was dropped).

    It’s a NIMBY (not in my backyard) if there ever was one. And a point in time of no return. We now live in the age of never-ending war. War coming from never-knowing sources both from within and abroad.

    Still, Pastourius was a special case. There was a cold war going on. America needed to convert the Germans to help against the Soviets. It was a time when nations scurried haphazardly to get what they could while they could. The Germans had to be held for fear they would join the other side if allowed access to outsiders.

    That’s what’s happening today. We don’t want these captives to have any contact with the outside world. 9/11 took seven years to unfold. These combatants might be held for 10 years with suspension of habeaus corpus so they can’t do any harm to the US or our allies.

    I don’t know if all this makes sense. It’s a mixed up, convoluted world we live in. And there’s no perfect solution.

    Destroy the US Constitution to save the country that harbors that Constitution?

    I don’t know about war, but in the theater of survival, sometimes it might be best to err on the side of “suspension of Constitution.”

    It’s a basic animal instinct. If you have to cut off your arm to escape alive from the rocks, you do it. This really happened, only a short time ago. That man lives to tell his story, and spread his own constitution.

    Comment by Terry | June 17, 2008

  2. Thank you for your comment Terry.

    I do not feel that refusing the wirt of Habeas Corpus to the terrorists at Gitmo does not destroy the Constituition. I just do not see how the Supreme Court can grant non-US citizens captured on a foreign battlefield any kind of Constitutional rights. In the decision in 1942 the Supreme Court noted that as unlawful combatants they sabatours violated the rules of warfare (which so has the Taliban and AQ fighters); therefore they did not warrant any kinds of rights under the US Constitution.

    One other thing I might point out is in Paterious the Germans had already headed back to Germany and came back over on a German U-Boat, so they had already become part of the enemy and yes they were held so as to not join back up with the enemy.

    Comment by truesoldier96 | June 17, 2008

  3. Hi truesoldier96,
    I agree with you, we cannot offer rights to enemy combatents who are not in a national military and who are not recognized as a nation.
    We are in a war with radicals that use our laws and morals against us. If they want rights they need to be tied to a nation and be commited to following laws of engagement.

    Comment by Greg Fredericksen | June 17, 2008


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