Saturday, June 09, 2007

Keith Olbermann is a Hypocrite

In response to Maximus' post below:

Does Olbermann, et al, make a good point about habeas corpus? Yes. However, his perspective on this issue is completely at odds with his political belief system. Here's how:

Generally, there are two types of rights, rights that are protected by the Constitution and rights that are granted by the Constitution. As an example, the Constitution grants Congress has the right to coin money. This is not a right that is inherent to Congress or any group or individual, but rather is a right that is granted by way of the social contract that we call the Constitution. As a people, we have agreed to allow Congress the right to coin money. However, the Constitution protects our rights to freedom of speech and religion. These rights do not derive from the Constitution, but rather are rights endowed on us by the Creator.

Typically, liberals think of the Constitution as granting rights to individuals, when in reality it merely protects them from being infringed by the government. An excellent example of this is every liberals interpretation of the 2nd amendment. They believe that the 2nd amendment only grants rights to militias to carry weapons, but in reality, it is designed to protect our inherent right to protect ourselves from aggressors, be they individuals or in government, from infringement by the government.

Now, apply this to the habeas corpus issue. Olbermann seems to make a fundamental, inherent rights argument by claiming that the government is infringing on the rights of a non-citizen by not allowing them habeas corpus proceedings. Since someone apprehended in Iraq who is not a US Citizen would not be subject to the US Constitution, his argument would mean that the rights associated with habeas corpus (confront accuser, know the charge, speedy trial, etc.) would derive not from the Constitution, but from the Creator. The problem is that you can't pick and choose which rights the Constitution grants to individuals and which it protects from government. Our rights as individuals do not derive from government, but exist as a consequence of our humanity. This makes him, and all others who attack this issue on these grounds while not having respect for other Constitutional protections, a hypocrite. Check out this link for a hysteria based commentary on the disbelief that the Constitution grants the right of habeas corpus. A telling line for my point is the last line of the essay.

There is something a little more nefarious going on here, though, and it is the reason why I can't agree completely with Keith that all of the enemy combatants should be allowed to utilize habeas corpus. For the last 50-60 years, liberals have realized that they cannot change policy to match their views through the political process. As a result, they have appointed sympathetic judges, who have lifetime appointments, and similar political beliefs. These judges also have no qualms about ignoring the text of the Constitution to achieve a political end, as evidenced through Roe, Newdow, and many other cases in recent memory. These are the judges who would be hearing the habeas corpus claims, and Olbermann knows it. This means a great many individuals who pose a danger to this country, or who have information about pending terrorist plans or the locations of terrorist leaders will be released because it furthers the political agenda of the liberals.

Finally, if Bush had gotten a declaration of war from the Congress, this may be an issue for debate, but the Constitutionality would not be up for discussion, since during a time of war, the President has the power to suspend habeas corpus almost without oversight.

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