Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

“No western government has ever claimed the power to do this,” said Judge Andrew Napolitano, on Fox’s The Plain Truth. “Not the King of England, not Hitler, not Stalin, not even the Russian and Chinese Communists.”

Hitler comparisons are a dime a dozen these days, but Napolitano was not referring to something minor. He was talking about the power to hold someone for the whole of his or her natural life, even after being acquitted in a U.S. court of law.

By a jury.

Yes, on March 7, 2011, Barack Obama, President of the United States, signed an executive order detailing how detainees will be held. Key word: “continued” — which is code for Indefinite.

The president’s supporters squirmed. Obama had promised to close the Guantánamo Bay facility during his campaign. On AlterNet the story was covered as a “step forward.” The Washington Post, on the other hand, quotes Republican Representative Peter T. King saying the order vindicates George W. Bush, whose administration had established the practice of indefinitely holding suspected terrorists at the site.

The order does affirm the right of habeus corpus for detainees. But its aim is to merely provide a review of cases. It doesn’t question “the executive branch’s continued, discretionary exercise of existing detention authority” — which is what rightly bothers Judge Napolitano.

The order is legalese; non-lawyers may nod off. It’s hard to see the Hitlerian element.

But that’s what the “banality of evil” is all about.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

12 Comments

  1. Tom says:

    We aren’t holding pickpockets indefinitely. We are holding “illegal enemy combatants” in time of war. We can hold them at least until the end of the war, but since they don’t have the status of “prisoners of war”, and are equivalent to saboteurs, we should clean out our jail and execute each and every one of them, in accordance with the laws of war.

  2. 2WarAbnVet says:

    We should have followed the Geneva Convention which states that those taken on the battlefield without uniforms or an identifiable rank structure are subject to execution. Problem solved!

  3. Glenn Neal says:

    So, Mr. Jacob. You have people who have sworn eternal enmity to us; they were captured on the battlefield trying to kill us; the people who are released are unrepentent and still want to kill us–and some do! What do you suggest we do with them?

    Personally, I like 2WarAbnVet’s solution. It is in keeping with the traditional laws of war–they can be removed to a rear area where they could have a court-martial panel hear evidence and decide if indeed they are unlawful combatants; if they are, summarily execute them.

  4. Paul Jacob says:

    First, I believe all people are endowed with certain fundamental rights. ALL PEOPLE. Ignoring this fact and treating even our worst enemies as sub-human is not only un-Christian, it will also hurt, not help us, in winning.

    Secondly, there are many different just and legitimate methods of dealing with “prisoners of war” or with terrorists or criminal bands or even with some combination of the three. But any method our free Republic adopts must provide some check on the actions of our military or the civilian government to make certain that an innocent person cannot be captured and held for the rest of his or her life not only without access to the justice system, but even AFTER such access (whether in a military tribunal or civilian court)has produced a NOT GUILTY verdict!

    In a related note, one of the problems with the “War on Terror” is that it is designed to be a never-ending war (in classic Orwellian fashion). Wars, just like other government programs, need to have clear, measureable and acheiveable goals. We owe that much to our country and especially to the men and women who are risking their lives to wage those wars.

  5. […] Paul Jacob rightly applauds Judge Andrew Napolitano’s public objection to Pres. Obama’s ….  Candidate Obama was right to criticize Pres. Bush for claiming such power; Pres. Obama is wrong not to follow candidate Obama’s counsel. […]

  6. […] Paul Jacob rightly applauds Judge Andrew Napolitano’s public objection to Pres. Obama’s ….  Candidate Obama was right to criticize Pres. Bush for claiming such power; Pres. Obama is wrong not to follow candidate Obama’s counsel. […]

  7. John Ken says:

    If a person has been acquitted of any crime, he or she should be released immediatly. It is moraly wrong to keep these people locked up in a nasty place like Gitmo.

  8. These are not accused criminals whose guilt is to be determined by a trial. These are enemy combatants, captured on the battlefield. Their “guilt” is already established. They were making war against us, yet not abiding by the Geneva Conventions. They don’t even rate POW status. We have every right to imprison them (under humane conditions) until the war is over, just as we held German and Japanese POWs until WW II was over.

  9. Art says:

    I am not totally certain what your complaint here is, but if you are joining with Napolitano, it must certainly be nefarious. You both seem to be more ‘form over substance’ which adversely impacts your original position on voter initiatives. Unless you and ex judge Napolitano would like to ‘endorse’ each of these terrorists and take them into your homes and support them socially and financially, you both need to button up a bit. These people are terrorists who have tried and succeeded in killing Americans, and given the opportunity, they would kill both of you as well. You two guarantee they won’t ever try or kill Americans or anyone for that matter ever again, and then you can talk about fairness and due process. Justice delayed is normally justice denied.

  10. Bo Zimmerman says:

    The people at Gitmo are *not* “enemy combatants” just because the government says they are. Just like the people in jail are not “robbers” or “murderers” just because the police say they are. Especially considering that most of those people were picked up off the streets of Europe, not pulled out of a bunker after waiving a white flag.

    Think I’m wrong? PROVE IT! At a Trial! Detaining people just because the government says ago is tyranny.

  11. Bruce Fancher says:

    “In a related note, one of the problems with the ‘War on Terror’ is that it is designed to be a never-ending war (in classic Orwellian fashion)”

    The “War on Terror” will be over when the aggressors (hint: not us) decide to stop making war against us. Nothing Orwellian about that.

  12. mike from tuccson says:

    The cities and counties of the US have always had vagrancy and Jim Crow laws that can serve the same evil function. An infraction can be anything an officer says it is and can be repeatedly used to keep an undesirable incarcerated and powerless until he’s old and harmless. We may call ourselves free and in most respects we are, but don’t ever forget that the garden of freedom demands constant weeding.
    The peril of Getmo style justice is that the people who police the system are the same folks who ‘own’ the system. IE a government of men and not of law.

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