Constant's pations

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

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Piracy: Congress shall have power to make rules . . .

Newsweek has a piece on African pirates. Congress, not the President makes rules related to capturing pirates.

Some like to call "pirates" something else, then argue the law doesn't apply. The US has the wrong focus. That people -- who are pirates -- may or may not do something is not the issue.

It's the goal of the Constitution to ensure that the captures are humane. We did so in 1775 when dealing with British merchant ships. This is legal precedent.

We may despise the enemy, but it doesn't mean we need to lower our standards to them. The law is there as a guide, a reminder.

Despite that reminder, this Congress and President refuse to be reminded. We may remind them again with a New Constitution compelling members of Congress to assert their oath, not simply defer to tyranny.

If they "aren't pirates" -- and are treated contrary to our laws -- then we're not engaging in lawful war. Our violations of the the laws of war entitle others to lawfully reciprocate and violate the same laws. This is what the "pirates" did during Sept 2001.

America wants it both ways: To have the world ignore our violations; then ignore the lawflu basis others to violate the laws we ignore.

America may have gotten some ignorant sympathy in the wake of Sept 2001. The abuse of power around the globe has done more than exhaust capital. It has damaged the legal foundation of America.

The American legal foundation needs to be strengthened. It is not likely the Congress will self-check it's failing. The way forward is to create a Constitutional mechanism.

One approach is to impose consequences on Congress for them failing to do what should be done: Protect, preserve, and defend the Constitution against a Presidential rebellion against the same.