Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Senate Votes to Confer Judicial Review to President

Newsflash: Senate Votes to Ignore Your Courts.

This action interferes with the Judicial Branch, and Habeas Corpus.

The Constitution protects rights; it does not preserve the right to commit abuse without oversight.

* * *

"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands ... may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."
--James Madison, Federalist Paper No. 47


Slim asks a great question: Did we miss the invasion -- We have no information that the US has been invaded, raising questions to the legality of suspending Habeas Corpus.

The fact that they would discuss, debate, and approve this should send alarms -- they're actively discussing ignoring the Constitution.

Then later saying, "Maybe we should discuss this." How did this pass in the first place; and why should we be "happy" there was a compromise -- this never should have come up in the first place.

What kind of pressure is the Congress under; and what needs to be done to put the burden of proof back on the tyrant in the White House?

* * *

In a 49-42 vote, the Senate decided to deny detainees the access to the courts.

At the same time they said it wasn't lawful to commit torture.

The obvious next question: Where do the detainees go if they've been tortured?

We find nothing instructive in the Senate language.

* * *

The real answer: The confusion of that question will then be an excuse for the RNC to "do nothing" while the mess is sorted out.

This is a recipe for inaction -- the logical result when citizens invade a country and have no exit strategy -- inaction on war crimes.

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." -George W. Bush, 4/9/99 Ref

* * *

Issue: How many detainees have to be tortured, then sit in prison, while the constitutionality of this Senate action is debated?

If the weather cooperates, maybe the Constitution will prevail.

* * *

  • How does the Senate propose resolving issues when DoD or DoJ engages in abuse; will this "matter that the court cannot review" be ignored?
    This invites more abuses.

  • Why have a "treaty that prohibits torture" that cannot be enforced by the court?
    Treaties that are not followed are Hitler's "just a scrap of paper."

  • How can the US suggest to anyone that it has an "independent judiciary" when the Congress denies the Judiciary the role, power, and authority to do its job -- evaluate whether the detainees are appropriately being handled in a manner consistent with the rule of law?
    There is not merit to suggest the "American Model" is superior when the Judiciary is no longer independent.

  • If the courts cannot review this matter, what power, if any, has the Senate conferred unlawfully on itself or the President, to exercise this review and Judicial Function?
    Self-evidently, the Senate has deferred to the President what the Constitution has already made clear: The power rests with the Judiciary, and has not been expressly conferred upon the Executive.

    * * *

    Your Constitution is not only getting whittled away, but the Congress, as it did prior to Iraq, is conferring powers to the President it was not given the authority to confer.

    Now, the Senate is doing the same, but in reverse to the Judicial Branch: Denying the Judicial Branch it's constitutional power to review the legality of Executive Branch decisions.

    It remains to be seen whether this is struck down as unconstitutional, or rubber stamped in deference to this Tyrant.

    * * *

    Let's consider two essential problems with this Senate deference to the President.

    There is something called the laws of war. In the case of Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and AlQueda, some suggest that the AlQueda fighters are not properly displaying their arms, have no commanders, and are not wearing uniforms.

    Thus, they argue, they are not entitled to protections under the Geneva Convention.

    However, there is another view. The US has signed treaties that ban torture and degrading treatment. These are called human rights.

    Also, under the principle of levee en masse, when an army invades quickly, and the domestic forces have no time to organize, then the local militants are not required to carry their arms openly. This means that "despite not carrying a weapon as required under Geneva," that the levee en masse principle would ensure the militants are still protected.

    * * *

    We have two problems, and they go back to 9-11. With Afghanistan, one could argue that the US responded so quickly, that nobody in Afghanistan could mobilize, or gather uniforms. Thus, they should be protected under the theory of levee en masse.

    But what happens when the US fails to recognize this principle -- who or what will review the matter? The Senate's vote denies the Judicial Branch a role in reviewing the law.

    The second problem occurs when it appears as though the actions taken subsequent to 9-11 are unrelated to the offenses. Namely, the invasion of Iraq is not related to what did or didn't happen on 9-11.

    Thus, one cannot argue that the defending army in Iraq is not subject to the laws of war.

    Rather, and conversely, the law of states that if an invading army violates the laws of war, as the US has done in invading a sovereign nation, the defending army is not bound to the laws which the US has violated.

    Again, the issue then becomes one for the court to decide: Who, or what reviews the matter?

    * * *

    Ideally, as we saw in Nuremburg, despite a nation ignoring the rule of law, the law will ultimately prevail.

    Nuremburg didn't exist as a court until after the problems.

    Today, we have the International Criminal Court, or ICC, which the US doesn't recognize.

    Again, the issue becomes: Who, or what will review the matter of detainees if the Senate says the Judicial Branch may not do so?

    * * *

    Nothing before US suggests the Senate is doing anything to clarify ambiguity, but compound it.

    Moreover, the Constitution recognizes Habeas Corpus as a right to be protected. The Constitution didn't say this Judicial power does or doesn't apply; rather, the power is one for the court to exercise. Without the power, there is no Judiciary, and there in no judicial independence.

    * * *

    Americans must decide whether you are serious about protecting your Constitution. Your Senate, as it did in deferring to the President the power to declare war, has now stripped your once-independent Judiciary of that independence.

    Congratulations. You sent people to Washington to preserve the rule of law, protect the Constitution, and they have violated their oaths of office.

    Clearly, they will claim, "Legislative Immunity" and there will be no accountability.

    But don't expect the courts to have any say in that matter.

    You can look to your Tyrant in the White House -- he's already given you the answer -- if you are not on the RNC team, you are subject to be smeared, outed, and harassed, even if you were once a loyal servant.

    * * *

    If you require more examples of what your Congress is doing to trash your Constitution, do nothing.

    If you want to exercise the rule of law and ensure your Judicial Branch remains as a viable independent force, you need to speak out.

    If you are silent, then your silent Judiciary may fall by the wayside.

    The rule of law is to be asserted, not whittled away. Those you fight are not just on the battle fields, but in the halls of Congress.

    They continue to dream of ways to defer to Tyranny.

    But where is the rule of law, and the preservation of the rights of those who are falsely accused?

    Perhaps one of you may face the day when you are falsely accused, but cannot rely on the courts or anyone to make sure you're being held for a good reason.

    The CIA has the power to torture people. Now they have the power to falsely accuse of terrorism and the courts will have no say in the matter.

    "It can't happen" is an old argument. It's happening. And they continue to trash your constitution.

    More is on the way. And they're doing it with the votes that you have been denied.

    * * *

    What is America to parade the "benefits of Democracy" when that democracy no longer functions?

    What is America to proclaim, "The rule of law is the foundation for our society," when the rule of the Constitution is ignored?

    We have no answers to satisfy the detainees, so torture them until the assent to the American imperialism and fascism.

    * * *

    The beatings will continue until all blindly nod, "Yes, America has the best democracy in the world."

    If you do not comply, you will be tortured.

    * * *

    Americans beat you because they are liberating you from the evils of "whatever the Americans do not understand."

    Americans do not understand many things, most of all their Constitution.

    The beatings will be long, and you have no say in the matter.

    Why is American puzzled why invaded citizens take up arms against tyranny?

    A nation that unlawfully invades others self-evidently cannot expect its citizens and soldiers to be free from lawful retaliation for those violations of the law.

    Then the arrogant, lawless Americans use the "reasonable resistance to that lawlessness" to justify more unlawful treatment.

    This is a cycle that is feeding off itself.

    Where is Osama?

    Where is the end to this?

    After Pearl Harbor in 1941, the war ended four years later.

    Today, in 2005, it is also four years after 9-11. But where is the end?

    It's always a new kind of war. New wars require new leaders, not new Constitutions.

    If you cannot win on the battlefield, why is America's only solution to deny their opponent access to the forum of the courts? Self-evidently, it is because the Americans do not expect to prevail in the courts.

    * * *

    If you cannot defeat your opponent on the merits, deny your opponent the ability to show the world that you are in need of jail time.

    This is the law of tyrants and barbarity. Not something any American should be proud.

    But celebrate they do, as they confer their rights unto the leader.

    To the beating drums, as one of the Caesars might remind us, if alive today, what has already happened.

    It is the lesson of Rome which inspired people to come together under the rule of law. It is also the lesson of Rome of what can happen when all that has been fought for, is ignored, simply to save a dream, but in doing so they destroy a civilization.

    The Roman Empire, as the American Constitution, did not last forever.

    * * *

    If you desire another outcome, the rule of law must be asserted.

    The rule of law commands that the facts be found: What happened, and what is to be done.

  • How was this prisoner treated

  • How was this war prosecuted

  • How was this action justified

  • What information was used to induce action

    The rule of law is based on reason, nothing more.

    If you ignore the rule of law, you ignore reason.

    Thus, you cannot claim civility, only something else.

    This is not the recipe for inspiration, but contempt.

    America should not wonder why the enemies are emboldened.

    They ignore the laws you have already shown contempt for; and then you wonder why they do what they do.

    Americans are confused because they move without regard to reason.

    As did the Romans.

    Imprudent, as was Caesar.

    * * *

    Senate allows detainees to appeal tribuinal rulings to US Supreme Court.