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Friday, December 09, 2011

America's Surrender?

Did any of you notice what your elected representatives just did to the future of freedom in America? Giving up the 6th Amendment is kissing freedom good-bye in the long run. Under this new and outrageous law, all it will take is some government official to declare that a person or group is suspected of terrorism, and they can then be snatched and held without trial--forever. Both Republicans and Democrats ganged up to deprive Americans of these rights. Everything is justified by the fear of terrorism, right?

Friends and critics, all of you who care about religious liberty and liberty of all kinds, this is not the time to continue your silence. This is not the time to trust a government that is out of control. This is the time to say something, do something, and especially to let your elected officials know that they have violated your trust.

(A lawyer's perspective comes from the Lowering the Bar blog.)

In China, where I live, personal freedoms seem to be expanding. There are serious efforts to follow the rule of law. In many ways, China is more free or about to become more free than the United States. The people in the US don't see what's happening to their liberty. The debate is focused on how soft the shackles should be. But slashing the 6th Amendment should be a clue that big changes are needed. (I finally figured out what the "C" stands for in Bernie Madoff's WWCD ring: "Congress.")

I hope the President will recognize the horrific foolishness of what Congress has done and veto this bill. He's asking for the worst part to be removed. Fingers crossed. But how insane that we have elected officials who would risk doing this to us! What dangerous times these are.

Update: Speaking of freedom, I'm going to try to purchase the new book, Latter-day Liberty by that young but bold champion of freedom, Connor Boyack. Have any of you seen it? Interested in your feedback.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely on this one, Jeff.

-- Eveningsun

Anonymous said...

Senator Lindsay Graham:

"The enemy is all over the world. Here at home. And when people take up arms against the United States and [are] captured within the United States, why should we not be able to use our military and intelligence community to question that person as to what they know about enemy activity?"

"They should not be read their Miranda Rights. They should not be given a lawyer," Graham said. "They should be held humanely in military custody and interrogated about why they joined al Qaeda and what they were going to do to all of us."

Read this with a loud, hysterical voice.

Anonymous said...

You folks are way overplaying this.

The Constitution requires due process for American citizens, not enemy combatants. That is who this provision applied to -- despite some hysterical commentators.

For a pretty thorough analysis, take a peek at this article by Andrew McCarthy: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/284698/rand-paul-libertarian-extremist-andrew-c-mccarthy?pg=1

Anonymous said...

Obviously

(1) We are at war.

(2) The battlefield now extends to the United States.

(3) American Citizens who conspire with the enemy are not Traitors, (as in prior wars), but Enemy Combatants themselves.

(4) Therefore, if a war is being fought on U.S. soil, American against American, then the War on Terror is a Civil War.

Why didn't we see it before?

Darren said...

"I agree with you completely on this one, Jeff."

The Apocalypse has begun!

LoL, I too completely agre with Jeff on this.

Darren said...

Anonymous;

Here's from a link from Jeff's link. It asks if the NDAA allows citizens to be picked up and held indefinitely based upon the assumption that said citizen is a terorist:

"So what does the NDAA have to say about any of this? Nothing at this point, thanks to the Feinstein amendment. For better or worse, the Senate version is explicitly agnostic as to these matters. If it is enacted with that qualification, then the government will be no more and no less able than before to assert detention authority over citizens, and the courts should be no more and no less likely to rule on the matter one way or the other."

This was as of 12/09/11. the article you cited from National Review Online (which, overall, I really like NRO) was 12/03/11. I haven't looked into it yet, but NDAA was probably not even passed in the Senate at that time.

Andrew C. McCarthy, author of your NRO article, presents NDAA as focused on foreign combatants. So does the Constitution protect US citizens from foreign combatants? Yes. And the US military has always (correctly) practiced holding enemy combatants indefinitely during war. Does the Constitution protect US citizens from domestic terrorists? Yes. But do they have Constitutional rights? I'd actually have to say no but there are many hurdles to overcome in order for that to sell.

As Robert Chesney, author of the article I linked to, mentioned, Jose Padilla was picked up at Chicago O'Hare airport of chares of aiding and abetting Al-Queda. Since we are at war with Al-Queda, I had no problem holding him indefinitely. In times of war such is necessary and event essentiasl in my opinion. But even President George W. Bush, although I think he wanted to hold Padilla indefinitely, didn't seem to want to face the political outlash from doing so. So the situation was manipulated as I see it to Jose getting arrested on domestic charges and is now in prison.

I support rounding up citizens under VERY specific scenarios. Finding out that a citizen is aiding and abetting an enemy combatant is one of them. But to pass a bill which, if signed into law, would empower, or even *could* empower the federal government to round up citizens and to hold them indefinitely on the suspicion of terroism, I cannot get behind.

Jeff Lindsay: said...

An attempted amendment to expressly exclude US citizens from the risk of being detained forever was defeated. So are you sure it won't apply to us? You expect me to think that there's nothing to worry about, that somehow we can trust the government to not abuse this giant power grab in the future?

Anonymous said...

Jeff,

The reason the amendment went down is because the Constitution explicitly protects American citizens from such action.

It is pretty simple. Constitution trumps a statute.

That was the floor debate . .

Anonymous said...

The Constitution requires due process for American citizens, not enemy combatants...

This is misleading. The Fifth Amendment guarantee applies to persons, not just citizens.

Even if you're not a citizen, you're still Constitutionally entitled to due process. This nation was founded on the idea of certain universal rights.

No one should be all that surprised to see me agreeing with Jeff on this issue. It's not an issue that pits Mormons against atheists, or conservatives against liberals. It's an issue that pits those who understand and respect the Constitution against those who don't understand it, or at least are so scared as to jettison it in the name of security.

Nor should anyone be too surprised at the agreement of so many Congressional Democrats with so many Congressional Republicans, united by their mutual love of state power.

-- Eveningsun

Anonymous said...

Eveningsun --

The Constitution has never been interpreted as applying to all persons as opposed to U.S. citizens.

If your theory was correct, then foreign nationals in every previous conflict would have been entitled to a jury trial. Instead, we've held foreign combatants as POWs without such.

Nor, are many constitutional rights universal in nature. Is the 10th Amendment leaving unenumerated powers to the States universal? Or, the provision dealing with quartering troops or the provision dealing ith voting at 18? Certainly no.

Anonymous said...

The Constitution has never been interpreted as applying to all persons as opposed to U.S. citizens.

Yes, but so what? I never said that was the case. If you read the Constitution you will note that some parts of it apply to citizens and some parts to persons generally. It quite consciously uses the term "citizen" at times and the term "person" at other times. And the Fifth Amendment refers to "persons," like I said.

If your theory was correct, then foreign nationals in every previous conflict would have been entitled to a jury trial. Instead, we've held foreign combatants as POWs without such.

Not true. For one thing, a jury trial is not the only form of due process. For another, even POWs have been acknowledged, as a matter of both law and tradition, to possess certain basic rights that all nations are expected to respect.

Nor, are many constitutional rights universal in nature.

Again, yes, but so what? Neither I nor Jeff nor anyone else I know has ever said that all rights are universal rights. But the right in question in this discussion (the right not to be imprisoned and punished without due process) is one of those rights that is universal.

-- Eveningsun

Darren said...

Anonymous;

"It is pretty simple. Constitution trumps a statute.

That was the floor debate . ."

you can also say that the constitution tumps statues of gun control but Chicago and Washington DC, two of the most rigorous gun control areas, were hotbeds for constitutional challenges regarding gun restrictions. This includes it being illegal to transport a gun in your own house room to room and for shooting someone actively attempting to break into your residence.

You can also say that the Constitution guarantees freedom f speech yet McCain-Feigngold was in force for at least a decade before being struck down by the US Supreme Court.

You can also very successfully argue unconstitutional parts of Obamacare yet that law *will* be enforced upon everyone unless struck down now before all of it is implamented.

In every case you have laws and statuetes which are either blatantly or highly probable to stand against the US Constitution. The point is that the Constitution will not protect you at all. You, the citizen, must ensure its principles are upheld by government, which is their natural, even God-given, responsibility to do so. Having a Constitution is meaningless unless its citizenry upholds it. Just because the constitution is there does not mean tha federal laws will not violate it. And just because we have a judiciary, doesn't mean said unconstitutional laws will be removed (in fact I find judicial activism far a more grave threat to our liberties than I do unconstitutional legislation). In the end, NDAA *must be* written to guarantee freedoms of its citizenry.

I'm all for rounding up terrorists and holding them indefinitely. This includes its citizenry. Now, if said citizen is picked up abroad on the battlefield on the side of theenemy, that citizen has forfeited his/her rights. If a citizen goeas abroad to institgate inurrection against the US in time of war, then I've no problem sending that person another Christmas present trough his car window fromn the air as was the case with Al-Awlaki. But if said citizens are here then the situation is much more volatile. Yes, in timne of war, which we are in now, I support rounding them up and holding them indefinitely *if* they are aiding and abetting the enemy of the state but the broad wording of NDAA is that if the government *suspects* one to be a terrorist, period, you can be taken and never heard from again.

That deeply concerns me.

Darren said...

Anonymous;

'Even if you're not a citizen, you're still Constitutionally entitled to due process. This nation was founded on the idea of certain universal rights.'

Actually, it wasn't. It was the US Supreme Court sometime mid 20th century which ruled that if a person is on the soil of the United States of America than said person has all the rights and protections of the US Constitution. Before this ruling, power to decide what rights a foreign national was upon individual states which, in my opinion, is where it belongs. Like many other cases, by making universal rulings, the US Supreme Court vioated states rights and thus the federalistic nature of our republic.

Darren said...

My last post to "Anonymous" was for Eveningsun. I didn't get confused this time; just ofrrgot to address it specifically to him.

Darren said...

Anonymous;

"The Constitution has never been interpreted as applying to all persons as opposed to U.S. citizens."

You can take that one step further, The Bill of Rights of the US Constitution were written to guarantee that the *federal* government will not vilate those freedoms. States, on the other hand, were well within their constitutional powers (10 amendment) to restrict said rights. For example, states, I believe almost all of them, had their individual official religion. it wasn't until around 1850 that this was completely gone. And no foundng father that I know of ever said states cannot establish a religion. They, correctly in my estimation, opposed states doing this but never said that states cannot do so because it was the states' constitutional power to do so within their own states. It was the outcome of the Civil War and later judcial activism that radically change this perception of the Constitution.

Darren said...

[Addendm]:

"For example, states, I believe almost all of them, had their individual official religion. it wasn't until around 1850 that this was completely gone."

That's because people fought against this from within each state; not because the federal government, nor the courts, dd anything. Nor should they have.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for rounding up terrorists and holding them indefinitely.

Darren, I think you meant to say you're all for rounding up terrorist suspects.

If a citizen goes abroad to instigate insurrection against the US in time of war, then I've no problem sending that person another Christmas present through his car window from the air as was the case with Al-Awlaki.

Again, I think you meant to say you support the assassination of suspects. And that you support doing so in ways that can take the life not only of the suspect but also the lives of innocent children and other "collateral damage."

I also don't understand the problem so many people have with due process. We've given terrorists fair trials before and convicted them. Ditto for WWII Nazis. Some people seem to equate "give the suspect due process" with "set him free," which is just dumb. I know it's a popular talking point with a certain kind of law-and-order conservative, but sheesh. It's not exactly as if America's prisons are all empty because our justice system is incapable of convicting people.

-- Eveningsun

Darren said...

"Darren, I think you meant to say you're all for rounding up terrorist suspects."

Yes only if you mean to have evidence before rounding them up. But once that evidence is provided, then, in a time of war, round ‘em up and hold them indefinitely. If in times of peace and we are talking about US citizens on US soil then it needs be more burdensome upon the state to gather evidence and then go after the suspects. Then there is no need for holding these citizens indefinitely. Their due process should be followed.

What I do not support is the Liberal record of locking up people just because their ethnic background is from the country we are at war with.

“Again, I think you meant to say you support the assassination of suspects.”

Al-Awlaki was no suspect. He was in league with Al-Qeada and we are at war with Al-Qeada. If they do so abroad, then, yes, kill ‘em. I hope Awlaki enjoyed his early Christmas present.

“And that you support doing so in ways that can take the life not only of the suspect but also the lives of innocent children and other "collateral damage."”

War is a very ugly business. I do not support deliberately target children (unless they are used to kill our troops) or any other innocent.

“We've given terrorists fair trials before and convicted them. Ditto for WWII Nazis.”

The Nuremburg trials were performed after the major fighting of WWII ended and they were disastrous. It gave rabid Nazis a platform to preach to the world one last time before their execution. There was no need for that. The only thing “good” from the trial was that Albert Speer avoided execution by convincing the jury he knew nothing of the Holocaust (he really did) and he wrote the book Inside the Third Reich which today is the best account on the inner workings of Hitler’s Nazi regime. There are better ways to try and convict captured war criminals. It was even a mistake to put Saddam Hussein on civil trial. It should have been conducted under military tribunal, pure and simple. Ditto for WWII Nazis.

“I also don't understand the problem so many people have with due process.”

What is imperatively dangerous is to give civil courts any power over military matters. Although I very much oppose placing Japanese Americans into camps the US Supreme Court was absolutely correct in staying away from intervening on that horrible decision. If you empower civil courts on military matters than you will surrender your own sovereign voice as a citizen and you will greatly empower your enemies to destroy you and your loved ones. Americans were more than justified to express outrage in the attempt by the Obama administration to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York. Hold him indefinitely and if there is a compelling need to try him, do so under a military tribunal.

Enhanced interrogations worked on him as well. It also helped find a certain friend of ours.

Jon said...

I love Connor's work. ldsliberty.com is great bastion of freedom. He is a Lew Rockwellian or Mises type of guy, which I also love. A message of peace. Another good book, that Connor likes and I am currently reading is "Healing Our World in an Age of Aggression".

As for the liberties being taken away from us by congress and the president. This has been going on for a long time and is just one more straw on the camels back. It doesn't matter if this bill passes or not, the president is a virtual dictator already, he can declare war without congressional approval, assassinate americans at will, create new laws, etc.

A great opening of the mind comes from Will Grigg's blog Pro Libertate (freedom in our time). He's very strong in his word choice but what he shows is important for understanding what is happening in the US right now.

Remember this is all happening to us as a consequence of our actions as a warfare state. Repentance is needed now more than ever. The scriptures point to this and we have not hearkened.

Darren said...

Jon;

"Remember this is all happening to us as a consequence of our actions as a warfare state. "

I find this all hapening as a result of being an entitlement state with a significant portion ofthe people believing they have a right to entitlements.

Jon said...

Darren,

Really it's both, but the scriptures focus more on the warfare state, but also on the lying, etc. 3 Ne 16:10 sums it up. Kimball talked about it quite harshly.

Jon said...

Darren,

It's also the rich looking at the poor and saying it is the poor's fault for their condition.

Darren said...

"It's also the rich looking at the poor and saying it is the poor's fault for their condition."

I've known some very rich people in my life and some very poor people. It is not my experience that it's the rich saying, 'it's the poor's fault" for being poor. In fact, I've found rich people be quite generous in teir givings. The entitlemnt mentality are from folks either poor or middle class but mainly who have no desire to work but have a strong desire to have stuff. Class envy and class warfare seem quite ripe with these people. If you want evidence of coveting riches, it's these people.

To see what the government owes, check out in particular tsocial Security and Medicaid obligations.

Us National Debt Clock

Jon said...

Yes, you got me. It is both groups and both groups are at fault, both receive welfare from the government, the poor get their food stamps and the rich get their bailouts and accompanying bonuses and the favored government caused monopolies/regulations/special deals.

goslow said...

Go ahead and give them the power and the supreme court in their back yard to cover them and protect them. We simple "citizens" will not have a chance. That's all I'm saying!

Darren said...

Jeff;

I have not, read into anything thorough regarding Conner Boyack. A gleaning from your link to his website tells me he's very much of the libertarian persuasion. My view is that while libertarianism has excellent ideas on about half the issues, they are completely insane on the other half. Libertarianism has evolved in the wrong direction over the past few decades. While conservatism, the political movement I most identify with though I do not like to be placed into any specific political category, has roots in libertarianism, libertarianism has become very troubling to me. Here's a very good description of libertarianism on Boyack's "Is Libertarianism Compatible With Mormonism?" from a poster named Carpenter on 12/1/11 @ 2:13PM:

Libertarians believe in Drug Legalization (Ron Paul is Pro-Heroin)
Libertarians believe in Freedom of Pornography (its your choice)
Libertarians believe in Freedom of Abortion (again its your choice)
Libertarians believe in Freedom of Immoral Perverse acts (if it don’t hurt anyone than so what)

and most Libertarians literally worship the US Constitution as if it is a Holy Document. The make a Golden Calf out of the Economy and they seem to dance around their Economic Gurus praising and worshipping them as if they are Divine.

I find Libertarianism to be extremely IDOLATROUS and very little different than Baal Worship. Now does that make Libertarianism compatible with Mormonism? I’m not a Mormon so I don’t know but anything that makes Ayn Randianism an ultimate thing can’t be good.


I find this description very accurate regarding libertarianism and very incompatible with LDs theology. Worse off, libertarianism has sided more and more with liberalism, thus creating "liberaltarianism". This recent movement is done in the hopes of establishing gay marriage, decriminalize drugs, prostitution, etc. which libertarians support howbeit for slightly different reasons than liberals. When I have time there's a very good video on ReasonTV (a libertarian-thinking website)which includes Jonah Goldberg which argues why libertarians should side with conservatives; not liberals. When I have more time I'll be happy to dig it up if possible.

Darren said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jon said...

Darren,

You really misconstrue Ron Paul's beliefs and libertarians. Many libertarians have different ideas of what libertarianism means, not to be confused with the Libertarian party. Libertarianism's roots are from classical liberals, not to be confused with liberals of today, which, btw, should be called progressives, because, they are not, in the true sense of the word, liberals.

Most libertarians believe in the second great commandment which can be derived in what the libertarians call the non-aggression principle (NAP), or the golden rule, or the good-neighbor policy, etc. Which leads to drug legalization, unless you are directly harming someone else. Libertarians believe in teaching correct principles and letting people lead themselves, even when they are doing bad things to themselves. Not that we shouldn't do anything but that we shouldn't use violence to stop them.

Ron Paul is not "pro heroin", he is pro constitution and believes that it is a state issue, not a federal issue. If you believed in the constitution then, you too, would believe likewise. Just as alcohol prohibition needn't an amendment to the constitution, so does drug prohibition.

Libertarians believe in Freedom of Pornography (its your choice)

As long as you are not hurting anyone, once again, the second great commandment. Two wrongs don't make a right. It is wrong to use violence to force people into your views. Now, if the people made a covenant not to view porn then yes, they would need to abide by the consequences of the covenant, otherwise, they have their agency and will receive the natural consequences of their sins, if they don't repent.

Libertarians believe in Freedom of Abortion (again its your choice)

Not true, some libertarians believe this others don't (including myself - I don't, to a certain extent, like the church). Ron Paul abhors abortion, but also believes it is a state issue, not a federal issue and so the federal government should stay out of it.

Libertarians believe in Freedom of Immoral Perverse acts (if it don’t hurt anyone than so what)

See above explanations. And, no, not so what. A free people require a certain amount of righteousness. See:

http://mises.org/daily/5672/The-Sinful-State

A careful reading of the scriptures leads one to a desire of freedom, liberty, and agency. Although the libertarian movement is not perfect many of its ideals come from scriptural based principles.

Jeff Lindsay: said...

Darren, this post is not about politics and not about my political leanings, but I do suggest you do what we ask of anti-Mormon critics: don't just spout off the anti stuff you've heard, but pick up our texts and talk to us and find out what we really believe. Go listen to a few Ron Paul speeches and read what he actually teaches and stands for. Throwing out insults like "insane" without understanding what you're talking about is inappropriate.

But thanks for your help on several issues, though I don't agree fully with some of the theological positions taken. Well, that's normal--there's so much we don't understand.

Darren said...

Jeff;

My apologies for the rhetoric though I'm at a loss as to how I did not understand what I was responding to. I assure you that my replies have been made based on looking into issues and understanding their points. Libertarians points included.

To sum up my views of libertarians and libertarianism tey are great stalwarts of freedom on many regards. In fact, in my view, you can find much libertarianism in the thinking of the Founding Fathers. I value the libertarian views on individual liberties but there's become much to strong an element within libertarianism that I cannot agree with. This element sides strongly with the more liberal side of political thinking. This has increased manyfold within the last couple decades or so. What bothers my most about this is that I find modern-day liberalism the anthithesis of classic libertariansim. and my next post I will show a prime example of how that is.

As for Ron Paul, he has outstanding positions but like lbertarians in general, I cannot side with a signinficant portion of them. relatively speaking, Ron Paul's voting district is not too far from mine so not only do I hear about Ron Paul in the national news but also in local news, particularly on the talk shows. These reports as well as the commentaries are both favorable and not so favorable for Dr. Paul. And I have watched both speeches and interviews of Ron Paul so, as I told Jon originally, I'm well aware of the issues he spoke about to me. I've even read from the Mises Institute before and they have good stuff.

Now, was the video I linked inappropriate because it delved too much into politics or was the video acceptable but my rhetoric not acceptable? I ask because I'd like to reconstruct a reply to Jon using the standards you laid out.

Darren said...

Ok, I had a post to make regarding but I looked at the source and it's, well, not my standard to use the source. I'll have to check other sources to post what I wanted.

Darren said...

just for further clarification, my source turned out to be from a tolk show host known to perpetuate conspiracies to no end. This is a turn off to me and so I've decded a while ago to never use him as a source to spread information. So my statement, "and my next post I will show a prime example of how that is" will have to be placed on hold.

Darren said...

Did I ever post a reply to Jon's last post? I know I wrote one but parently I never submitted it.