"Once abolish God and the government becomes the God." -G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Dangerous Precedent: KSM Trial Puts Our Civil Liberties at Risk

The Obama administration's devastating decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a drawn-out civilian criminal trial instead of a military tribunal raises a lot of concerns about the security of our nation, but perhaps one angle being overlooked is the danger it does to our civil liberties. No one states this better than Shannon Love at chicagoboyz.net:

For over two hundred years we were careful to keep a firewall between civil and martial law. We did so because civil and martial law are polar opposites. Civil law is focused on protecting the rights of the accused against the overwhelming power of the state. When there is doubt, the accused walks free. Martial law is focused on imposing a minimal order on bloody chaos. It was focused on allowing the military to complete its mission and win wars. When there is doubt, the accused is presumed guilty.

Now, Obama wants to bring martial law into a civil court room in Manhattan. In order to let a civil conviction of KSM stand, the higher courts will have to overturn almost all the current constitutional protections of the accused.

The Founders were smart enough to draw a distinction between civil and military trials, providing the language to create exceptions during times of war. By ignoring or eliminating that distinction, Obama and Holder have blurred the line between civil and martial law, creating the precedent to hold all Americans captive without due process. Shannon continues:
Our system of justice relies on precedent and equality of procedure. The same rules apply to every civil trail. We can’t say that it’s okay to deny the right against self-incrimination in one person’s trial while saying it’s okay in another. If the courts overturn the rights of one individual accused, it must overturn the rights of all of them.
In other words, if we overturn these rights for KSM (and they'll have to or he'll go free), they can technically be overturned for anybody. Our Constitutionally guaranteed rights are being put in jeopardy to legitimize the rights of enemy combatants and terrorists never meant to be protected as the Fifth Amendment explicitly states. In a way, this is similar to the Left's desire to overturn our right to bear arms in order to prevent criminals from owning guns, only in reverse. Time and time again we see that the only liberties the Left and ACLU are concerned about are those of our enemies. This proves the true motive of the Left has never been about protecting civil liberties. It's about weakening America.

Shannon summarizes:
Obama has unleashed something in America far, far more dangerous than any excesses Bush might have committed. He has taken all the horrible compromises we must make in war and driven them into the heart of the civil legal system.
This is a dangerous precedent. Read the whole thing.


  1. Thanks for bringing this to the forefront, this is definitely new to me, and of course the "news" (ha that's a joke), will never report on this from this perspective. There is a phrase I read/heard once.....hmmmmmm.......how does it go again....oh yes, I remember, "Beware of wolves in sheeps clothing." Unfotunately, it's too late, we already voted the wolf in.