Thursday, June 12, 2008

Corpses don't have rights

There is a reason that "life" precedes "liberty" in the Declaration of Independence's famous preamble. The U.S. Supreme Court doesn't get that:
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts. . . .
[T]he court ruled 5-4 that the government is violating the rights of prisoners being held indefinitely and without charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. The court's liberal justices were in the majority.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said, ''The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.''
What Kennedy et al. can't seem to get:
  • These are foreigners;
  • They were captured outside the U.S.;
  • They were armed terrorists, who wore no uniforms and did not belong to any legitimate national military force; and
  • They were killing or attempting to kill U.S. forces.
It is the action of these terrorists -- and not the action of U.S. forces -- that has created this extra-legal limbo, where we have in custody men who are neither soldiers, nor spies, nor criminals by any standard definition.

What these Taliban/al-Qaeda thugs really are, from the standpoint of traditional law, is pirates. And despite the recent glamorization and Disneyfication of piracy, God help any 17th- or 18th-century pirate who ever fell into the hands of the British Royal Navy. A pirate was owed nothing but a speedy, violent and painful trip to Davy Jones' Locker, and no admiralty court was ever going to hear an appeal.

Our troops, in response to Justice Kennedy's wisdom, ought to stop pussyfooting around with these al-Qaeda pirates. Hencerforth, instead of capturing terrorists, interrogating them and transporting them to Gitmo, our troops should summarily kill them all, without question.

Corpses don't have rights. Or, at least, they don't file lawsuits.


  1. I guess they will just have to dispatch them where they are instead of hauling them to Cuba for rest and relaxation. That will be much cheaper for US taxpayers anyway.

  2. As I wrote on my blog, McCain could - if he goes further - win the election on this issue alone. All he has to do is say that if he is elected, he will ignore this Supreme Court decision. He could use the spectre of Osama Bin Laden and his lawyers in Federal courts to beat Obama like a rented mule.