Monday, March 16, 2009

Mr. Obama fails to restore civil lilberties

Glenn Greenwald is right - and it makes me sick. For A Democrat to do this . . . .

3 comments:

Thomas Joseph said...

Phil,

Why would suspected terrorists who are not citizens of the United States, be granted US civil liberties? IOW, there is nothing there to restore. If the liberties were granted to those detainees, it would not be restoration, it would be a manufacture job out of whole cloth.

Philip H. said...

Thomas,
I look at these policies in the larger context of Bush Administration actions that I view as having a direct impact on my civil liberties. As to "enemy combatants", Mr. Bush and his Administration repeatedly said that the label could b used against American citizens if they were engaged in certain kinds of activities, whether or not they are on U.S. soil. If Mr. Obama follows that logic (and sadly I fear he will), then you or I as a citizen could easily be subjected to the same sort of indefinite, uncharged confinement.

Leaving all that aside, the U.S. is a signatory to and ratified of the Geneva Convention, as well as the 1975 U.N. Convention on Torture. The U.S. Constitution says that all treaties ratified by the Congress become the highest law of the land. Both Treaties outline how signatory nations are to treat those they capture in all armed conflicts. Thus, since the items outlined in Mr. Greenwald's post violate two treaties that are the highest law of the U.S., I view these actions (begun under MR. Bush and continued under Mr. Obama) as violations of the law of the U.S> which also happen to restrict my civil liberties.

Thomas Joseph said...

Philip,

To your first point ... I agree, I do not like the potential of this "enemy combatant" designation being used against American citizens, at least when it pertains to incidents occurring on American soil. In regards to events occurring or off American soil, I need to think that through a bit more. As for the Geneva Convention and the UN Convention on Torture, I agree with those as well. We signed them, we must honor them, though I do not agree with you that if our military is somehow in violation of them that they restrict our own civil liberties.

Of course, it's an interesting discussion because we're obviously in an age where state vs. state warfare (which the Geneva Convention based its assumptions upon) is not as cut and dry as it used to be. I'd have to admit, sadly, that if I thought torture might actually get us solid, useful information (which, I readily admit is debatable) that could save thousands of lives ... I'd be tempted to see it employed.