In this short clip, FOX’s Judge Napolitano argues with Bill’O over whether the 9/11 conspirators should be given a fair trial in a NYC civilian court, or prosecuted in a military tribunal.
(I especially love the part where Bill’O admits he doesn’t care about the constitution)
From good ol’ Bill’O’s point of view, Bush declared a war on terror, therefore terrorists are enemy combatants, therefore the rights in the constitution do not apply.
If the government declares a war on terror, and that means “terrorists” are enemy combatants and thus subject to military tribunals, regardless of what the constitution demands, the extreme danger is that anyone the government declares a “terrorist” would be immediately stripped of all their rights. Bill’O has no problem doing this to some Arabs, but what if the government started prosecuting white supremacists and abortion clinic bombers in the same way? “Terrorism” does have a legal definition, and it applies to these groups as well.
Napolitano sees this, but Bill’O will have none of it. After all, Bill’O and his mindless followers are infallible, patriotic, god fearing Americans. They don’t need to be bothered by some document written hundreds of years ago.
But let me ask this: Suppose we adopted Bill’O’s view, that combatants in a war on an idea or condition (not a country) should be stripped of all rights, what would we have? What about the war on poverty? Are poor people enemy combatants? What about the war on hunger? Drugs? Crime? What about the war on Cancer?
This is where conservative readers will object: “Oh that’s ridiculous. This would only apply to terrorists! Don’t you hate terrorists?”
Yes, I hate terrorists, but if you disregard what separates us from them out of fear and hate, namely the rule of law and the constitution, then they have already one. You destroyed yourself without them firing a shot. Congratulations. No, as horrible as terrorists are, we must be better than them. We must abide by the constitution we claim to defend, even when it is most difficult and painful.