Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Defend it by ignoring it?

I thought congressmen and senators took an oath to uphold the Constitution and the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens? Then why are GOP senators advocating that the Times Square car bomb suspect be denied those right and subjected to enhanced interrogation (you know...what non-politicos commonly refer to as torture)?

Yes, Faisal Shahzad apparently confessed. Yes, if he's guilty, he should be put away for a long, long time. But it's a scary step to consider NY Rep. Peter King's statement about denying Shahzad his rights by stating "I know he’s an American citizen, but still..."

The Constitution is a brilliant document designed to help guide our country and establish the rights of and protections for its citizens. But is it actually possible to defend and uphold the Constitution by ignoring it or tossing it aside for the purposes of expediency or political posturing as "tough on terrrorism"?

I have my doubts.

***May 5th Update***

I highly recommend Emily Bazelon's analysis of the Miranda issue and how law enforcement worked within the law to gather a wide range of valuable information legally. She also excoriates Senator Joe Lieberman for pushing a new bill that would permit the government to strip you of your U.S. citizenship if you are even accused of being involved in a foreign terror plot, not even convicted. No word on what Lieberman would do to people involved in domestic terror plots...

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