Friday, June 13, 2008

How Can You Not Understand

One Drop at Too Sense has a beautifully written and crystal clear explanation of what the Supreme Court of the United States's opinion on habeas corpus rights for Guantanamo detainees means.

This part gave me goosebumps:

It is not an act of weakness to adhere to our own sacred principles. Rather, it is the highest possible expression of strength. Holding fast to our own principles is a clear statement to our enemies, and to the world, that we cannot be terrorized into giving up what it means to be American. That we are willing to fight and die in honor of our deepest political philosophies...because, yes, recognizing that our enemies have civil rights and enforcing those rights does present risks, in that it is always possible that the person we free today will return tomorrow and attack us. Living up to our self-proclaimed ideals in the face of that risk is precisely what it means to be an American.

With regard to the argument that our civil rights only apply to our own citizens, one of the core principles of the Enlightenment, the intellectual movement that spawned our Constitution, is the idea that rights are not granted to individuals by the government, those rights are endowed by the Creator. The Bill of Rights protects rights that already existed according to Enlightenment doctrine, it does not grant or confer any new rights to anyone. Thus the existence of due process rights is not a product of our Constitution, our Constitution recognizes and safeguards what already exists. Stating that Gitmo detainees are entitled to habeas corpus is not granting them new rights, it is protecting the rights that they already posses by virtue of the Creator's endowment.

You should read it.

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