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Thursday, June 19, 2008

For the Unpopular Side

Once again, I welcome the opportunity to be on the unpopular side of acontroversy. After all, what positive change ever came from arguingsomething popular?

The Supreme Court recently made a ruling acknowledging that enemycombatants, or whatever you want to call them, have certain rights.Many proud Americans are outraged at the idea that foreign terrorists are tobe afforded the right to counsel, the right to trail, etc. I'm not.

When the Declaration of Independence acknowledged that ALL men (not just allAmericans) are created equal, and when the Bill of Rights spelled out someof the things that "governments" should NEVER be allowed to do, it wasn'tfor the purpose of protecting murderers and thieves. It was for the purposeof protecting people ACCUSED of being murderers and thieves. The point is,if you let "government"treat people like dirt, simply because it has DECLARED them to be bad guys,all limitations upon "government" power and any notion of individual rightsare toast.

If someone really IS a terrorist, who kills innocent people to further apolitical agenda (which, incidentally, describes a lot of people who workfor the United States government), then I don't care much what is done tothem. Trouble is, I don't KNOW who is a terrorist and who isn't, and neitherdo you. Furthermore, I would NEVER trust those in "government" to tell thetruth about it-- assuming they even know either. Having myself been thetarget of defamation, demonization, harassment and terrorization by thefeds, I wouldn't for one second take their word for it when the Americantyrants declare someone to be an "enemy combatant." (For any who would, Irecommend not only the movie "Rendition," but the documentary found on theDVD of that film.)

(On a technical/legal note, how exactly can there be enemy combatants andwar criminals when there isn't a war? Under the Constitution, only Congresscan declare war, and they have not done so. So what is happening in themiddle east is an undeclared military occupation of a foreign country, andit doesn't surprise me that lots of people in that country--including goodpeople-- aren't thrilled about that.)

So do people ACCUSED of being terrorists, or "enemy combatants," orwhatever, deserve to be treated as innocent until proven guilty?Put the shoe on the other foot. (That's often a good way to test that thingcalled "principles.") If Chinese troops came over here, and did randomsearches of homes without warrants or probable cause, and arrested hundredsof people based on nothing more than guesses or suspicions, would you thinkit was okay? In other words, do you ACTUALLY believe in freedom, or do youjust believe that YOU should be free? Personally, I even believe that peoplewho don't look like me and don't think what I think still deserve freedom.(I'm funny that way.)

When politicians whine that they need more power, NEVER assume that theywant that power to use against bad guys--though that will ALWAYS be whatthey claim. Instead, assume that they want to use that power againstYOU--because that will always be the truth.("Governments" will always be more afraid of the good people than they areof the bad guys, because good people are a far greater threat to tyranny.)Imagine that they intend to use their power against you. Then decide whetherthere should be limits on what they can do.


Larken Rose

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