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Weak Constitution?

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  • Weak Constitution?

    Last night on comedy central's "daily show" host jon stewart went on attack against fox news hosts for some of their comments regarding terrorism, and radical islamists. He pointed out how their comments were hypocritical in terms of our Constitution provides for individual's rights and protections. I can't say that I disagree with mr. stewart's observations, however I think American citizens who commit acts of terror should forfeit their Constitutional rights. If we have to deny immigration, and access to our colleges to a specific group of people in order to reduce acts of terror, then which is at greater risk, our Constitution, or the American citizens killed and maimed by terrorist bombings? I don't believe my Constitutional rights are in jeopardy if terrorists are denied those same rights! We are at War, and we either take steps to protect our way of life, our freedom, our Constitution, by addressing the treat or we risk losing these things. Frank

  • #2
    Re: Weak Constitution?

    Jon Stewart's Daily Show is a scripted comedy show with liberal overtones, all network news channels have their political leanings one way or another but the Constitution is a very serious document. I really don't think we should consider altering even a single word in the Constitution based on anything that is said on a comedy TV show or reported by the biased news media.
    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Weak Constitution?

      One of the questions I would have regarding Constitutional Rights is where would you suggest we draw the line. I'm of the impression that we've already distorted the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" definition, as a means to classify much lower anti-personnel weapons and thus bring about "law" and "penalty" in a much more stringent manner. WMD in the past has meant massively destructive weapons like chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons which can devastate large portions of populations. Even conventional HE bombs, artillery and mortar shells were not classified as WMD, nor was a tank or even a fighter/bomber unless it was delivering the before-mentioned CBR types of weapons.

      Today however, even an automatic hand gun, grenade, or homemade bomb is defined as a WMD when it comes to charges against a civilian.

      The other concern is the Conservative enthusiasm for denying "Constitutional Rights" to anyone it determines is an "enemy of the state". While these two, blinded-by-political extreme, carried out a most heinous crime against the innocent, still appear to be "citizens"... as defined by current laws and the naturalization process.

      The flip side of that however is this, IF you are a citizen, you get read your rights under the Miranda Act, an attorney represents you, and then you get tried in a civilian "criminal" court with a jury of your peers. And, if you are found guilty, as the case would be here... you could very well get the death penalty and have the Right to appeal.

      However, if you are indeed declared to be an "enemy combatant"... then what does that do for you? I surely am weak here, but by all that I know, an "enemy combatant" would be treated much as an "enemy soldier"? And if that were to be the case, all that he would have to admit too, under the articles of war defined by the Geneva Convention, would be his name, rank, and serial number. He would not be subjected (nor could he be) to any kind of trial, civilian or military. He would have to be housed, fed, clothed, and treated well. He would not be subject of torture, to work, or any kind of maltreatment, per the terms of the Geneva Convention. And, when hostilities seize he would then have to be returned to the government of his native country! The question though, is what actually is an "enemy combatant" and how do you define "terrorism". Is "terrorism" in fact an act of offense against a proclaimed enemy by a proclaimed political group or country? Has there actually been a recognized declaration of war between some group of which these individuals are "soldiers" in that declared offense?

      The answers to the "enemy combatant" question would open up a huge problem with our desire to see justice done; and the penalties that may be exacted against a recognized 'enemy' would be far more lenient I think. The only advantage perhaps is that an "enemy combatant" would have no "Constitutional" Rights, because they are NOT citizens. As such they can be detained and imprisoned as "prisoners of war" up to a time when hostilities would be declared over and a treaty signed between the conflicting sides. But since the particular "enemy" is not politically defined or represented (as is the case with most terrorism) any detention would be subject to the World Court under the jurisdiction of the United Nations. If we don't wish to recognize that (which seems where we're at with the Taliban prisoners and the like), then we, the United States, become the outlaws and that simply spawns more terrorists organizations and acts.

      Bottom line, this "Boston" event really needs to be treated as a criminal act and prosecuted, under the Constitution, in a criminal court of law.

      CWS
      Last edited by CWSmith; 04-25-2013, 02:08 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Weak Constitution?

        "however I think American citizens who commit acts of terror should forfeit their Constitutional rights." They do, once they are convicted. Until then, they have them. Other wise, someone could come along and say it wasn't them, it was Frankie--I saw him. What would Frankie do then--with no rights.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Weak Constitution?

          CWS, maybe there needs to be a redefining of things to accomodate home grown American citizen terrorists?
          Kid, while I agree it is a very slippery slope of denying Constitutional rights to an American citizen, in this case for example there was no mistaken identity. There was an opportunity to gain more information from this terrorist, and if he had been denied any rights afforded to an American citizen not involved in terrorism, perhaps lives could be saved going forward.

          These terrorist events will most likely not stop. I beleive it is in the best interest of saving American lives, to treat these terrorists in a different manner than regular murderers. We do not have to trample on our Constitution in order to preserve lives, and in my opinion we don't have to extend Constitutional rights to people who are trying to destroy them.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Weak Constitution?

            Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
            CWS, maybe there needs to be a redefining of things to accomodate home grown American citizen terrorists?

            Franki,

            I understand your concern and desire to see this kind of thing dealt with very quickly and done so in a manner that gets all the lawyers and politicians (AND the pundits perhaps) the hE!! out of the way and off the News channels, so that justice is swiftly carried out. BUT (and it's a very big "but"), we have to be ever careful that things don't get set in some twisted fashion that will come and get any of us at the whim of someone in power.

            For example, if we declare that the use of any such kind of weapon is an act of terrorism, how far can it be before the posession of any of these materials might be defined as objects of terrorism? Does that then lead to background checks for the posession and sale of fireworks? Electronic components? Pressure Cookers? Does that make the possession of too many ounces of gunpowder not only a federal offense, but also perhaps by some politician's thinking, one also becomes a terrorist? And suppose someone commits a crime, sort of something like sticking up a liquor store, and they use a semi-automatic in the process or perhaps are found in possession of fireworks. While that robbery surely is a crime (even if they don't pull the trigger), does someone in the political or justice system then state that because there were three customers in the store, it was an "Act of Terrorism" because that weapon was deemed a WMD, is some other case, where a terrorist happened to use such a weapon in thier attempt to get away; and therefore it applies to the robbery too?

            Surely we have laws that exist that, all by themselves, could send any perpetrator to jail for a very long time. But do we need to have someone, anyone, somehow push "everyday" crimes into the zone of "Terrorism"?

            These kinds of things can be very, very slippery and before you know it, "Terrorism" becomes the easiest of labels under which Constitutional Rights can be bypassed. One finds themselves so classified, and you get arrested and detained without legal counsel, and without the common "rights" that we are afforded in this country. You can be detained for immeasurable time, interrogaded to a point where you'll admit to anything. Not only is that a violation of our Constitutional Rights, but it is also a violation of the Geneva Convention's rules of war and conduct.

            We must realize that some things used under law in this country are strickly forbidden under the "rules of war". For example, while it may be at times necessary to use "Tear Gas" to chase a culprit from a hostage situation, the use of any kind of gas is forbidden in warfare, even "C2-Riot Gas". We train for it, we have it at our disposal, but we aren't supposed to use it. Another fairly common "convention" is the use of soft-nosed ammunition. I'm not sure how wide that usage may be in police situations or even whether it is used at all, but it is strickly forbidden in warfare. (Unless that has somehow changed in the last 20 or so years!)

            The point is that (and the point I was trying to make before) we shouldn't approach "citizens rights" lightly, and think as some politicians have cited, that we can avoid some of our laws by applying "terrorism" and "enemy combatant" labels arbitrarily. In some case, there's actually more rights under military law than there are in civilian law. The difference is that for the latter we can detain a "combattent" without trial, without attorney's, and without any short-term time period. POW's don't get to make a phone call to thier attorney and they don't get their Rights read to them before interrogation. But they also don't have to admit to anything other than their identification criteria. The Rules defined by the Geneva Convenition are there to assure that "prisoners" are treated humanely (though we all know that many violations take place... but that falls within "war crimes".

            CWS
            Last edited by CWSmith; 04-25-2013, 06:05 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Weak Constitution?

              CWS, I'll repeat once again that I am not a conservative, I think for myself and if some of my conclusions are seen as conservative in nature so be it. I understand your argument but disagree when you refuse to keep it within reasonable parameters. We don't need to outlaw pressure cookers and fireworks, but we had better decide to handle terrorists swiftly, in the harshest of manners and without the rights they are determined to destroy. I do not take "citzen's rights" lightly, I do not take bombings, the loss of life and limb lightly either.
              New crimes require new laws. The advances in electronics required new laws to address videotaping, and other invasive behaviors. Terrorist acts require new laws to "strip" immediately any Constitutional rights from those "clearly" identified as planning or carrying out such acts against America. I don't see such a response to terrorism as a wekening of our rights, or principles but rather a common sense approach to a growing problem. The British learned a painful lesson when fighting colonial militias, they could not stand in neat rows and fight like gentlemen. We must learn that our freedoms should not be extended to those who are clearly looking to kill us and destroy our precious rights by hiding behind them when caught! Sell the pressure cookers, fireworks, bullets, guns and remote controlled toys without restrictions, but make crsytal clear that anything used in the commission of an act of terror will immediately cause the accused to lose their rights, not OURS!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Weak Constitution?

                Franki, have you forgotten the Newtown shooting already? Was that kid a terrorist? No. Why? Because he is a citizen, as such had he lived, would suffer the justice system like every other criminal. Same holds true here, we have a US CITIZEN suspected of detonating a bomb in a public gathering. That is a crime, not an act of terrorism.
                Don't forget, a terrorist performs the same acts, however, a terrorist does so to further a cause, be it political, profit, or personal gain. For example, a civilian in Afganistan, plants an IED on the side of a road to destroy a US supply convoy, with threats of more if such reinforcements continue This action renders him a terrorist being a non-military member waging warfare on his own. However, this act in Boston did not have any claims for responsibility, any gain, or cause to support. They blew up a bomb, with no cause, nor claim. But the person apprehended is a suspect, as such, being a nation of laws, such citizens are innocent until proven guilty. It is our greatest strength. To do so otherwise is a step closer to a power over us to have the means to label citizens terrorists when it is convienent to do so and ultimately render citizens guilty until proven innocent. Remember it is impossible to prove innocence.

                Franki, you are smarter than this.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Weak Constitution?

                  Originally posted by tailgunner View Post
                  Franki, have you forgotten the Newtown shooting already? Was that kid a terrorist? No. Why? Because he is a citizen, as such had he lived, would suffer the justice system like every other criminal. Same holds true here, we have a US CITIZEN suspected of detonating a bomb in a public gathering. That is a crime, not an act of terrorism.
                  Don't forget, a terrorist performs the same acts, however, a terrorist does so to further a cause, be it political, profit, or personal gain. For example, a civilian in Afganistan, plants an IED on the side of a road to destroy a US supply convoy, with threats of more if such reinforcements continue This action renders him a terrorist being a non-military member waging warfare on his own. However, this act in Boston did not have any claims for responsibility, any gain, or cause to support. They blew up a bomb, with no cause, nor claim. But the person apprehended is a suspect, as such, being a nation of laws, such citizens are innocent until proven guilty. It is our greatest strength. To do so otherwise is a step closer to a power over us to have the means to label citizens terrorists when it is convienent to do so and ultimately render citizens guilty until proven innocent. Remember it is impossible to prove innocence.

                  Franki, you are smarter than this.
                  Thanks for the vote of confidence but allow me to prove I am not so smart. The scumbag who killed the children and adults here in CT was looking for fame, just like the scumbag who killed the folks in the movie theatre massacre. They did not have a agenda like these religious fanatics. These terrorists were on their way to Times Square, they had a mission of terrorism, they were not misguided or mentally ill Americans. They were terrorists, plain and simple. At least the older brother did make clear his thoughts and hatred on social media sites. I'm sure he would have taken responsibility and made statements to embolden others of similar thinking. I understand and respect your apprehension and that of others here, but I do not agree. Right now these incidents are few and far between in being successfully executed, but what if they become common place? That's not as much of a stretch as your assertion that our rights will fall first. A few similar attacks at shopping malls could severely impact millions of lives across our nation.
                  I think a clearly identified case of terrorism such as this along with the discovery of the accused and their background makes for a good argument to suspend any opportunity for Constitutional rights, and the immediate intervention of a military process. I may not be right, but these are my thoughts given the events. Regarding those scumbags who killed school children and folks in a movie theatre, or college campus for no reason beyond seeking some kind of fame, I don't care how or where they are brought to justice, but for the love of God, make it illegal to mention their names, ever! That's right, no freedom of speech when it concerns the names of such murderers. Let the killers die their names unspoken, their graves unmarked. I think that might prevent more deaths than guns in schools, or outlawing firearms.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Weak Constitution?

                    Frankie, Either you don't remember or haven't heard of Joe McCarthy. What you are advocating is no different--and look how many lives he destroyed. I can just see some politician off on a terrorism rampage and no one has any rights.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Weak Constitution?

                      Originally posted by Pipestone Kid View Post
                      Frankie, Either you don't remember or haven't heard of Joe McCarthy. What you are advocating is no different--and look how many lives he destroyed. I can just see some politician off on a terrorism rampage and no one has any rights.
                      Kid, while you are off speculating about a repeat of McCarthism, real live terrorists are planning future devastating attacks on U.S. soil! There is in my opinion a great difference between the imagined fear of what communism could do to America and what terrorism has done and will do. We are ripe for more attacks and to make known that future terrorists will be denied Constitutional rights is in no way, shape, or form the same as what "blacklisting" did. You can't seriously draw a comparrison between the two, this is not history repeating itself, this is something very, very different.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Weak Constitution?

                        Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                        Last night on comedy central's "daily show" host jon stewart went on attack against fox news hosts for some of their comments regarding terrorism, and radical islamists. He pointed out how their comments were hypocritical in terms of our Constitution provides for individual's rights and protections. I can't say that I disagree with mr. stewart's observations, however I think American citizens who commit acts of terror should forfeit their Constitutional rights. If we have to deny immigration, and access to our colleges to a specific group of people in order to reduce acts of terror, then which is at greater risk, our Constitution, or the American citizens killed and maimed by terrorist bombings? I don't believe my Constitutional rights are in jeopardy if terrorists are denied those same rights! We are at War, and we either take steps to protect our way of life, our freedom, our Constitution, by addressing the treat or we risk losing these things. Frank
                        They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Weak Constitution?

                          Its a slippery slope taking ones rights away even a terrorists rights for one day for any reason it could be you or me no we civilized societies have give them every right that we expect for ourselves give them their rights give them a cicvilian trial show the world that we are better and that our democracies are strong and cannot be broken by these loosers but once the trial is over and hopefully the accused has been found guilty no appeals should be allowed and the death penalty should be carried with 24 hours

                          Tony

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                          • #14
                            Re: Weak Constitution?

                            Originally posted by killavolt View Post
                            They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin
                            I could not agree more, however I don't see denying liberty and Constitutional rights to those identified as terrorists as giving up our liberty.
                            I see it as protecting our liberty and refusing it to those who are on a mission to destroy it for the rest of us. There needs to be realization that extending such liberty is like turning the other cheek to be struck by someone who has no respect, no intention of backing off, regardless of how civil we behave. Our Constitution is precious to me, so precious that I refuse to believe it should be extended or wasted on terrorists. That's my opinion.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Weak Constitution?

                              Frankie, If we give up essential liberties to those terrorists as you propose, what is stopping the government from declaring you a terrorist and taking away your inalienable rights? You cant give up your rights to protect or persecute others.

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