Civil Liberties and personal Freedom
TORTURE by rogue American troops or agents puts ALL Americans AT RISK.
Judge Andrew Napolitano recently asked, " Why should government agents spy on us? They work for us . How about we spy on them?. On cops when they arrest and interrogate people or contemplate suspending freedom; on prosecutors when they decide whom to prosecute and what evidence to use; on judges when they rationalize away guaranteed rights; and on members of Congress whenever they meet with a lobbyist, maek up a piece of legislation, or conspire to assault our liberties or our pocketbooks."
For a patriotic American, there is nothing radical about this attitude at all. This is how the Founding fathers thought. If our critics want to repudiate the Founding Fathers, let them go ahead and do it. If they won't be honest enough to do so, they should at least refrain from condemning those of us who still believe in the wisdom they left for posterity.
Much more is at stake here than privacy violations or unconstitutional searches, important and dangerous as those are. For example, the president has made clear, in one of his signing statements, that he retains the power to engage in torture regardless of congressional statutes to the contrary. Defense Department memoranda say the same thing.
First of all , legal issues aside, the American people and Government should never abide the use of TORTURE by our military or INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES. A decent society never accepts or justifies TORTURE. It dehumanizes both torturer and victim, yet seldom produces reliable intelligence. TORTURE by rogue American troops or agents puts ALL Americans AT RISK especially our rank-and- file soldiers stationed in dozens of dangerous places around the globe. It is not difficult to imagine American soldiers or travelers being taken hostage and tortured as some kind of sick retaliation for Abu Ghraib.
Beyond that is the threat posed by unchecked EXECUTIVE POWER. Executive branch lawyers claim that the PRESIDENT'S COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF powers override FEDERAL LAWS prohibiting TORTURE, But the argument for extraordinary wartime executive powers has been made time and again, always with bad results and a LOSS of our LIBERTIES . War has been used by presidents to excuse the imprisonment of American citizens of Japanese descent, to SILENCE SPEECH, to suspend HABEAS CORPUS, and even to CONTROL entire private industries. That's why it is precisely during times of relative crisis that we should adhere most closely to the CONSTITUTION, and NOT ABANDON IT. The Founders were especially concerned about the consolidation of power during times of WAR and NATIONAL EMERGENCES. WAR does NOT JUSTIFY the SUSPENSION of MURDER LAWS, the SUSPENSION of DUE PROCESS, or the SUSPENSION of the SECOND AMENDMENT.
The hallowed right of habeas corpus has also been a casualty of WAR ON TERROR. the Military Commissions Act of 2006 gives the PRESIDENT the power to detain people indefinitely and to deny the accused any real opportunity to answer the charges against them. It is anti-American at its core. The name of the Act can give the misleading impression that anyone targeted under it can at least bring his case before a MILITARY COMMISSION. THAT IS NOT SO. If the PRESIDENT wants to punish an accused "enemy combatant," he may bring him before such a COMMISSION. BUT HE NEED NOT, and if he'd rather that the person remain in prison FOREVER, HE IS FREE TO ADOPT THAT COURSE INSTEAD....
[Font Altered-Bolding & Underlining Used-Comments in Brackets]