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Thursday, January 25, 2007


Warning: the following post has been rated P-R. Political Rant.
Contains material which may not be suitable for the strongly-opinionated and thin-skinned (a precarious combination indeed). Reader discretion is advised...

I can abstain from comment no longer. AG A. G. is leading Pres. Bush’s war on common sense (not to mention American liberties). Just read the bold text if it’s hard to understand what’s being said.

Excerpts from the exchange between Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Jan. 17:

Gonzales: There is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution. There's a prohibition against taking it away. ...

Specter: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. The Constitution says you can't take it away except in cases of rebellion or invasion. Doesn't that mean you have the right of habeas corpus unless there's an invasion or rebellion?

Gonzales: I meant by that comment, the Constitution doesn't say every individual in the United States or every citizen is hereby granted or assured the right to habeas. Doesn't say that. It simply says the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except...

Specter: You may be treading on your interdiction and violating common sense, Mr. Attorney General.

Um, what? This just goes over the line from naïve, party-hack ignorance to full-blown enmity toward the Bill of Rights. Is this a sign that the administration has decided to stop even pretending to respect the laws (including rights and privileges) established to ensure freedom for the American people?

Note that I didn’t not say "bestow freedom upon the people" or word to that effect; the authors of our government recognized our freedoms as being central to the default and just human state. They are "the people's", simply put, endowed to them by their Creator. Duh.

Justification? Why, that wonderful document known as the Constitution, which AG swore to "preserve, protect, and defend" when he accepted his job. Please see Amendment IX below: readers of the Constitution are instructed to assume that the people have (inalienable) rights if they are not explicitly addressed; AG (and the current administration) seems to make the opposite assumption. Does no one even care about these openly hostile public statements? There’s something deeply wrong with this picture.
Section. 9.
Clause 2: The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

Amendment IX: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
I almost want to say that the Constitution speaks for itself. Unfortunately, this is only true if people pay attention to current events and are aware of what the "law of the land," in its most basic, crucial form, actually says. Otherwise those who rely on ignorance and apathy will have their way, and the founding documents won't mean a thing. (I know it sounds as though I'm plagiarizing a semi-apocryphal Edmund Burke quote... bear with my, I'm almost done here.) Clearly, being an alarmist is not going to change anything for the better, but I think caring about preserving liberty, talking about the issues, and acting upon your beliefs... well, those sorts of things might actually do the trick.

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled, non-political blog. Please stay awake.



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