Tuesday, November 17, 2009

‘I Don’t Care About The Constitution!’

Think Progress, links at site.

Since Attorney General Eric Holder announced his decision to move five Guantanamo Bay detainees — including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad — to New York for civilian trials on charges related to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, Fox News personalities have been up in arms. Karl Rove called it a “long-standing plot” by the Obama administration’s “left-wing lawyers who do not love America.”

But last night on Fox, the network’s top legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano — who has been known to disagree with Fox’s right-wing narratives on legal issues — disputed that view, citing the constitutional right to be tried in the place where the crime has been committed. “I don’t care about the Constitution!” host Bill O’Reilly responded. The debate continued:

O’REILLY: So why is he entitled to come to New York City to be tried in the civilian criminal court if he’s arrested in Pakistan?

NAPOLITANO: Because the document you don’t want me to talk about says when the government is going to prosecute you, it must do so in the place where the alleged harm was caused.

Yep. Says so right in the Sixth Amendment.

The wingers lurves them some Constitution when it goes their way. It's 'just a goddamned piece of paper' when it doesn't permit them to commit crimes and atrocities, or just generally dump on the populace. Which they then go ahead and do anyway.

The Onion has a related piece today:

Area Man Passionate Defender Of What He Imagines Constitution To Be

Mortensen told reporters that he'll fight until the bitter end for what he roughly supposes the Constitution to be. He acknowledged, however, that it might already be too late to win the battle.

"The freedoms our Founding Fathers spilled their blood for are vanishing before our eyes," Mortensen said. "In under a year, a fascist, socialist regime has turned a proud democracy into a totalitarian state that will soon control every facet of American life."

"Don't just take my word for it," Mortensen added. "Try reading a newspaper or watching the news sometime."

All too true.


I've actually read The Constitution, and that's the reason I believe in it as a 'living document' that needs to be re-interpreted and changed from time to time.

I offer Article 1, Section 9 as one example:

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

That's ten bucks a head on slaves you bring in, folks.

And Article IV, Section 2 as another:

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

That's 'state's rights' - when ya ketch one o' them uppity three-fifths of a persons who got away, ya gotta return him to his rightful owner.

Anybody who claims to be a 'strict constructionist' is a racist, or someone who has never read the document but thinks the Founding Fathers must have thought the way Rushole and Hannity and O'Rally and Miss Becky etc. tell you to think.

The 13th Amendment about half cleaned that up in 1865 after the Emancipation Proclamation:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

So, slavery's actually still permitted under the amended Constitution, but only if a judge OKs it. Whew, what a relief! There's never been a corrupt judge who would do that for money or on orders of the local KKK. Yeah, right.

Fixer and I and millions of others swore an oath to defend The Constitution, and many have died doing so. I never un-swore that oath and would like to think I am still defending a document that benefits everybody and not just a few.

I do care about The Constitution. Fuck you, O'Reilly.

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