Sunday, October 22, 2006

Once Again, We Get Mail

Yes, for a second time, I'm going to directly address a comment. This comment was posted in response to "That Didn't Take Long":

Democrat[sic] icon FDR acted in a much similar way.. At least we don't have internment camps where the only requirement for entrance is being from a specific race. The "enemy-combatants" are in Gitmo for a reason. If you aren't a terrorist, there shouldn't be anything to worry about. - Brian

Brian, Brian, Brian. Here, let me go through this point by point:

Democrat[sic] icon FDR acted in a much similar way.
Okay, laying aside for the moment what Franklin Delano Roosevelt did during a declared war against an alliance of fascist nation-states, this talking point is straight out of the "He did it, so I can do it too" school of jurisprudence so beloved by my five-year-old. While adorable coming from a small child, it's disturbing when a putative adult bases civil liberties and foreign policy decisions on it. I believe the proper response would be, "So, if FDR jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?", save that I doubt a polio-crippled FDR could have managed. We can leave the minutiae regarding FDR's physical limits aside, for my point is made.

At least we don't have internment camps where the only requirement for entrance is being from a specific race.
This is teh funny. In, of course, a bitter and cynical mode of humour. No, we don't have internment camps where the only requirement is race - we have internment camps where the only requirement is religion. Stop me when that starts sounding familiar.

The "enemy-combatants" are in Gitmo for a reason.
Let's explore that, shall we?

From this article on Slate ( and yes, it's the "librul media". You guys think every corporate-owned media outlet save Rush Limbaugh and Fox News is part of the "librul media" - and Rush and Fox don't talk about this):

The data suggests that maybe 80 percent of these detainees were never al-Qaida members, and many were never even Taliban foot soldiers.


So why are they there? Glad you asked:

Most detainees are being held for the crime of having "associated" with the Taliban or al-Qaida—often in the most attenuated way, including having known or lived with people assumed to be Taliban, or worked for charities with some ties to al-Qaida. Some had "combat" experience that seems to have consisted solely of being hit by U.S. bombs. Most were not picked up by U.S. forces but handed over to our military by Afghan warlords in exchange for enormous bounties and political payback.

But weren't they all proved guilty of something at their status review hearings? Calling these proceedings "hearings" does violence to that word. Detainees are assumed guilty until proven innocent, provided no lawyers, and never told what the evidence against them consists of.

Read the full article, with the associated studies, then come back and tell me how hard-core those falafel vendors and taxi drivers we're torturing are.

If you aren't a terrorist, there shouldn't be anything to worry about.
Okay, then. I suppose you don't mind if the cops start searching every house in your neighborhood looking for drugs. Who needs a warrant? After all, if you're innocent, you have nothing to worry about. Be polite when they kick in your door at three AM - they have guns.

Do they not teach civics anymore? Is the bare concept of "rule of law" so alien to you? Do you really want to live in a United States where the powerful can do whatever they want, whenever they want, to whomever they wish and your only recourse is that they decide that you're innocent?

And what, precisely, is "conservative" about that vision of America?

Oh, for readers that are interested, Brian can be found at superacidjax.blogspot.com. Enjoy.

5 comments:

Brad said...

If you're for torture (and gay pedophilia, of course), vote Republican!

jay said...

Right on!

Kickstand said...

Dually noted.

PrivatePigg said...

1. Saying "FDR" did it is not to say "He did it so we can to." It's to merely point out that it's been done before (worse), therefore you are hypocrites for calling out Bush. Call out FDR, too. Writing a little "if FDR jumped off a cliff..." analogy and comparing an FDR comparison to a 5-year old's attempt to rationalize is typcial liberal-speak... Right down the end of your nose to anyone stupid enough to disagree with you.

2. Dismissing claims to FDR's racist internment camps by stating "we have internment camps where the only requirement is religion" is ridiculous. And glib. Is every Muslim in the US down in Guantanamo? Not even hard-core lefty's make that argument. The argument is the holding of enemy combatants. No one claims "Muslims" who are also Americans are being held for no reason other than being Muslim. However, every Japanese-American on the West coast was put in an FDR internment camp merely for being Japanese. They were Americans. Not caught overseas. Don't be a hypocrite. Disagree with Gitmo all you want, but call a spade a spade. FDR had Gitmo times two.

3. As for who lives at Gitmo these days, your own article starts with "Most detainees are being held for the crime of having "associated" with the Taliban or al-Qaida." Association with a terrorist group killing thousands of Americans is good enough for most people, just like being associated with the Nazi's during WW2, is more than enough during a time of war. Besides, FDR's little interns weren't "associated" with anyone, other than their ancestors.

4. Your little 4th Amendment argument about "I suppose you don't mind if the police start searching your house for durgs" is completely irrelevant. How do you go from the conclusion that terrorists are being monitored to "it's like" the police illegaly searching your home? The first requires a magistrate, the second is obviously a breach of the law. Just another "I'm smarter than you" quip that probably impresses a lot of people who don't know any better, but really is nothing but garbage.

History lesson. http://publicfiguresbeware.blogspot.com/2006/10/george-w-bush-and-our-civil-liberties.html

PrivatePigg said...

PS - I won't be looking for your blog later to see if you've responded. I try not to patronize these types of sites.