Wednesday, January 24, 2007

No Habeas Corpus? Really?

It is amazing to consider the lengths that people will go to justify unjustifiable positions.

On January 18, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales questioned the right of U.S. citizens to Habeus Corpus. In a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gonzales said, "There is no expressed grant of habeas in the Constitution; there’s a prohibition against taking it away."

According to Robert Parry, writing in the Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinal, "Gonzales’s remark left Specter, the committee’s ranking Republican, stammering." I'll bet it did. Parry goes on to say that "Applying Gonzales’s reasoning, one could argue that the First Amendment doesn’t explicitly say Americans have the right to worship as they choose, speak as they wish or assemble peacefully. The amendment simply bars the government, i.e. Congress, from passing laws that would impinge on these rights."

When we sacrifice our principles for momentary gain, we lose more than the moral high ground. We lose the justification for our identity as a nation. Gonzales' approach is not just morally wrong, it is dangerous for our country. Perhaps not so oddly, that was my argument against the war in Iraq.

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