Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thune Votes To Rip The Constitution, But Only A Little

Conor Friedersdorf reminds readers that Americans are allowing their elected officials to usurp citizens' constitutional rights.
Is it lawful for the president to order any American held indefinitely as a terrorist, without formal charges, evidence presented in open court, a trial by jury, or a standard of "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt"? The U.S. Senate had a chance Wednesday to assert that no, a president does not possess that power -- that the United States Constitution guarantees due process. . . . 
The U.S. Senate refused to affirm that American citizens arrested in the United States shouldn't be subject to indefinite military detention on the president's order. Senator Feinstein's amendment to that effect went down in defeat with 55 historic votes against it. 
Unsurprisingly, Senator John Thune refused to stand up for Americans' freedom.  Apparently, he believes that he has to destroy the Constitution in order to save it.  It's unknown if he would have voted differently if the decision had affected a corporation instead of a flesh and blood citizen.

Thune apparently agrees with Senator Lindsey Graham who claims,
"It has been the law of the United States for decades that an American citizen on our soil who collaborates with the enemy has committed an act of war and will be held under the law of war, not domestic criminal law," he said. "In World War II it was perfectly proper to hold an American citizen as an enemy combatant who helped the Nazis. But we believe, somehow, in 2011, that is no longer fair. That would be wrong. My God, what are we doing in 2011? Do you not think al-Qaeda is trying to recruit people here at home? Is the homeland the battlefield? You better believe it is the battlefield."
As Friedersdorf notes,
That quote is important, for Graham is saying that as long as terrorists are trying to recruit  on American soil, our homeland is a battlefield. That means a perpetual state of war. Here are the senators who refuse to affirm that American citizens retain the right to due process during this war that is supposedly being waged everywhere on earth and that has no foreseeable end in sight.
Like Orwell's Big Brother, Thune and Graham seems to believe that "War is Peace"

I would hope that there would be some public outcry.  Freidersdorf notes,
The Republicans listed ought to be condemned by "constitutional conservatives." Those are the Tea-Party-affiliated voters who, according to Yuval Levin of National Review, are "focused on restraining government" through "a system of checks to prevent sudden large mistakes while enabling gradual changes supported by a broad and longstanding consensus." These conservatives, Levin says, insist on "constitutional forms that compel self-restraint and enable self-correction" out of "the humble desire for forms that might prevent large mistakes." They are "focused on recovering the U.S. Constitution, and especially its limits on government power," because in the view of the Framers, "there is no omniscience; there is only imperfect humanity." We therefore need "checks on all of our various excesses, and a system that forces us to think through important decisions as best we can." If a bloc of voters with those attitudes in fact exists, they've now got a list of senators to challenge in the next primaries they face.
I share his dismay that "As yet, there is no hint that there will be such a rebellion."

Oh well, I am sure that  Thune and other Republicans will vote to fully fund the Department of Fear.  If the Department of Fear is insufficient, I'm sure someone will be able to create a Ministry of Truth.

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