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John Smith
11-15-2009, 12:19 PM
I'd like to quote our constitution here. Note it says "person" not citizen, and that it makes an exception for actual soldiers in actual times of actual wars.


Article [V]
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Article [VI]
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.


I made the bold.


Please note that our constitution pretty well defines soldiers, and the Al Qaeda folks don't fit that definition. The ONLY other category of "bad guy" our constitution recognized is "criminal".

To create another category would, in itself, be unconstitutional and be the "technicality" with which the guilty go free.I'd like to quote our constitution here. Note it says "person" not citizen, and that it makes an exception for actual soldiers in actual times of actual wars.

While I seem to be in the minority, if volume means anything, I am glad we are taking this path, and am puzzled by the fear people seem to attach to trying the 9/11 suspects in open trials in NYC.

To call these people "soldiers", to me, elevates them to a level they don't deserve. "Enemy Combatant" is a nice term, but the only purpose I can see for creating it is to avoid those laws and rules that apply to prisoners of war or plain old criminals.

After years of preaching democracy and trying to spread it with bombs and guns, we now have an opportunity to show the world: this is our system, and we are proud of it.

Those in the media who profess to most "fear" of an attack resulting from such open trials really puzzle me. They seem quite supportive of two unfunded wars, but they all managed to avoid any military service during wars they supported.

Frankly, I can't imagine how open trials would anger the "bad guys" anywhere near as much as trying their colleagues behind closed doors, or holding them indefinitely and torturing them would.

Much fear here is, I believe, the constant elevation of these murders to "terrorists" and the constant "terrorism" being connected to so many things lately. Overuse of that word is, itself a form of terrorism.

I'm not sure what people are afraid of. Maybe we'll learn we've collected enough evidence to convict these people via totally legal methods and the torture served no purpose. Some have expressed fear of a legal technocality freeing guilty people. I would think trying them in some category not recognized by our constitution could do just that.

Bottom line. We either have faith in the system we claim to be so fond of, or we don't. This won't be the first time "terrorists" have been tried and convicted in federal court.

Landrith
11-15-2009, 12:39 PM
My faith in "the system" is constantly challenged. The media is looking more and more like a willing participant in frustrating the Rule of Law, forgetting all we were taught about Yellow Journalism. Now I am having a hard time facing the reality of what was happening in Kansas City and around the nation revealed in the documentary on Bush Era USDOJ political prosecutions http://www.politicalprosecutions.org/.

Nicholas Carey
11-15-2009, 12:48 PM
I'd like to quote our constitution here. Note it says "person" not citizen, and that it makes an exception for actual soldiers in actual times of actual wars.


Article [V]
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

[much elided]


Bottom line. We either have faith in the system we claim to be so fond of, or we don't. Hear, hear.

I'd also like to point out that the 5th Amendment exemption for soldiers applies only to the requirement for a Grand Jury indictment, and then only "when in actual service in time of War or public danger;"