Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Preventive Detention

I hear it all the time. Democrats lavishing praise upon Obama and seeking to blame most any problem in America on the Bush administration. They praise Obama for promising to close down Guantanamo, for the bailouts and stimulus, for his plans to withdraw troops. They cut down Bush for sending troops in the first place, blame him for our economic woes, and curse him for the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo.

Well my liberal friends, here's a wake-up call. How do you feel about the "Obamessiah" (pardon the term, I'm trying to emphasize the unending, blind praise that Obama seems to get from his supporters) proposing a plan that would allow the United States government to detain anyone, anyone that they deem a threat to the nation's security? Unlikely you say? Wrong. It's called "preventive detention" and it would allow the government to detain individuals that it felt were a danger to society, but without evidence. We're talking about an indefinite imprisonment with no trial, no evidence, not based on past crimes, without bail.

Does this sound familiar? It should. Let's look at a few similar examples. Joseph McCarthy and the Red Scare. He and his ilk detained anyone they thought might be a communist, and forced them to rat out other supposed communists. How about the American detention of Japanese Americans during WWII? Here's a doozy. The Nazi Gestapo. Pretty horrifying to think of, no?

Alright, pop quiz time. How many of the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution does a policy like this tear down? By my count, no less than four, but possibly six depending on your interpretation of the 9th and 10th. Let's examine the four though.

The Fourth Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Fourth Amendment is a pretty important one, being the one that prevents the government from searching or detaining us without a warrant. Obama wants to circumvent that and detain "dangerous" people... well, just because. Kiss this amendment goodbye if he has his way.

The Fifth Amendment:
No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Another important amendment. This one says the government can't hold you for a crime without actually charging you with one, and that you can't be detained for any length of time without due process of law. Looks to me like Obama's "preventive detention" gives this one the shaft too.

The Sixth Amendment:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

This one's very important. I'm seeing a pattern here, one almost begins to think the framers wanted these "amendment" things to all be important. Weird thought huh, who would have known. Anyway, another shafting here.

The Eighth Amendment:
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

And the last (also important) amendment I'd like you to look at. This one's iffy actually. I'm not sure if it really counts as "excessive bail" since there's really not any bail at all.

There you have it. Quite possibly one of the most ridiculously unconstitutional ideas I've ever seen. While they're at it the government might as well take all their property, quarter troops in their house, turn them into slaves, tell them they can't practice whatever religion they happen to be a part of and call the whole thing a big "Let's burn the Constitution" party. I can't figure out if they'd serve alcohol though, since one amendment banned it and another repealed that. I think that little conundrum would melt their poor little brains. Maybe they'll just serve punch.

Obama says "...going forward, my administration will work with Congress to develop an appropriate legal regime so that our efforts are consistent with our values and our Constitution." I'm amazed he even has the gall to utter the words in conjunction with a proposal to practically tear down the Constitution. In no way can the idea of "preventive detention" be considered Constitutional.

Mr. Obama, I doubt you'll ever read this, but on the off chance you do, I want you to consider this an open letter to you, and a man-to-man challenge for everyone to see. I want you to show me beyond a shadow of a doubt that this kind of policy falls within the precepts of the Constitution, not violating it in even the smallest way. Then, assuming you do pull off a miracle and prove that such a policy doesn't infringe on anyone's rights, I want you to tell me how you figure you have the right to do such a thing. The Constitution lays down the authority of the government very specifically, and I don't recall reading anywhere that it has the right to detain individuals indefinitely, without cause, charges, warrant, trial, or due process of law.

And for all you Obama supporters: how do you like Dear Leader now?

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