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View Diary: President Obama and AG Holder's Constitutional Contradictions - A Look Back (26 comments)

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  •  Democrats have always found the Republican idea (0+ / 0-)

    of American exceptionalism to be a bit strange. The notion that Americans are better than other people, as people, strikes most Democrats as odd and unnatural.

    Now in terms of the prospect of Americans involved in acts of violence against their homeland and other Americans. Some Democrats are, in effect, raising the specter of American exceptionalism.

    If Osama bin Laden, as a member of al Qaeda, should be stopped by any means necessary due to his declared war and his commitment to inflict violence upon the United States and its people, why shouldn't a US citizen, who is also a member (especially a leading member) of al Qaeda, and one who is also engaged in the same declared war against his homeland, be stopped in the prosecution of such a war?

    Well, the argument you hear is that the constitution forbids it. It is doubtful that the framers of the constitution considered al Qaeda and other terrorists engaged in asymmetric warfare when crafting their document. Nevertheless, some of the same individuals who use this argument are only too quick to second guess the Second Amendment in terms of the right to bear an AK-47....

    Hmmm...certainly smells like a delicious serving of American exceptionalism to me....

    •  Pretty sure framers were aware of asymmetric (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, 3goldens, pot

      Tactics..they kind of needed the to actually start our country.

      And the memo is not limited to "leaders" of Al Qaeda.  Not that this distinction matters constitutionally.   Legally, what differentiates a member of Al Qaeda vs the weather underground or black panthers under the Hoover FBI.  Same assertions of danger were made AND on domestic soil.  Would you have been for assassinating members of those groups, or their children or teenagers seen with them? If not, why not?

      "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

      by justmy2 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:29:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If members of a group that has declared war (0+ / 0-)

        against the united states and its people (regardless of who these people happen to be), and have performed acts of violence on thousands of innocents in carrying out their agenda, were difficult to capture or physically apprehended in order to be brought to prosecution, I would certainly be for the US government stopping them by any means necessary. This is not a difficult proposition for me.

        The Black Panthers with their struggle (albeit a militant one) for ethnic minorities and working class emancipation and the achieving of economic, social, and political equality across gender and color lines, are hardly in the same league as al Qaeda, who have blown up hotels and heavily populated centers across the world for the purpose of inflicting as much damage and indiscriminately killing as many people as possible.

        In terms of asymmetric war, the Revolutionary war had some asymmetric tactics, as most wars do, but the war that pitted American soldiers against British soldiers and the Continental Navy and its allied French Navy against the British Navy, was more in keeping with our understanding of usual warfare between nations than what is being fought today between the United States and al Qaeda....

        •  It isn't about what you or I think (0+ / 0-)

          it is about what the executive branch declares...

          Here is how the executive classified the Black Panthers.

          Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover called the party “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country,”
          That sounds familiar, even close to what you have said.

          The weather underground actually literally terrorized government buildings.  Militias in Michigan have declared war on our government.

          These all fit the criteria you lay out.  The question again is would you support killing individuals associated to these groups, by as little as being in the same neighborhood.  The equivalent of what happened with a teenager that was killed as part of this program.

          If so, you position is clear and people can decide for themselves how to interpret your position.  If not, what is the difference.  Why do you give American citizens on US Soil more rights than those on foreign soil?

          Put another way, when the search for Timothy McVeigh was on, would you have supported the missile from a drone to kill him if there was no new attack imminent?  Or did he deserve his day in court, as horrific as his crime was.

          If you would, I would simply state that your position is vastly different than the intent, meaning, and power of the US Constitution, where we believe in the right to face ones accusers.  Regardless of how reckless or horrific the crime you are accused of was.

          9/11 was horrible and will be engrained in our memories for ever. But the fact that 19 psychotic and morally corrupt individuals were not stopped due to incompetence, is not a valid reason to trash the constitution and start from scratch.  We have been through worse as a country.  We also subverted the constitution in some of those cases.  For instance, after Pearl Harbor internment occurred.  The people were for it, like yourself, and the courts approved.

          But history judged it to be one of our countries lowest moments, when we let fear cloud our judgement.  I wous submit that we are at a similar crossing point.  The only difference is it is 12 years later and we are still letting 19 cowards drive us to do things we know are beyond the rule of law.  The only difference is some accept this out of fear, and some believe it is a slippery slope.  I vote that our country is strong enough, and the Constitution is powerful enough, to not have to throw basic rights of US citizens out the door in the name of security.

          "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

          by justmy2 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:10:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've stated that I would have no objections to (0+ / 0-)

            the US government stopping these individuals by any means necessary.

            Throughout my responses I think I have made myself clear by referring to the premise of a declared war. A state of war exists between the US and al Qaeda, and, in as much as members of al Qaeda are bent on destroying the US and its people, the US government and the President has the right to stop these enemy combatants by any means necessary.

            You asked my opinion of this situation in terms of other groups, and I gave you my opinion, as it relates to a declared war and the wanton indiscriminate killing of individuals.  I stated that I would be for the stopping of such individuals by any means necessary.

            In terms of internment of Japanese Americans following Pearl Harbor, these people certainly did not make speeches claiming to be enemy combatants or participated in activities designed to inflict violence upon the nation. The American al Qaeda leader, Anwar al-Awlaki, has done this. This is an inaccurate comparison to these wronged individuals.

            Your suggestion that the President or the US government have trashed the constitution in order to go after this individual who was is involved in an anti-US war, as a leading figure of al Qaeda, is I think without merit. Again, the President who is the Commander in Chief, especially during a state of war, where thousands have been killed by this very group has to take whatever defensive steps necessary to protect the nation and its people.


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