Should Osama Have Basic Rights?


The Bad Side…LIVE! (November 23rd, 2009)

When asked whether al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden should have the right to remain silent and be given a lawyer, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) told reporters that everyone who is accused of a crime should have the same “basic rights” afforded by the U.S. Constitution.

On Capitol Hill on Nov. 19, a reporter asked Kucinich, “If and when the U.S. captures Osama Bin Laden, should he have the right to remain silent and be given a lawyer–told he can get a lawyer?”

Kucinich said: “I think that America does best when the values that we want other nations to share that we profess and stand by, and I think that every one who is accused of a crime should have the basic rights that are afforded. I mean, that’s what America’s about.”

My Response:

Does this sound right to anybody? Lets think about this.  The self proclaimed mastermind behind the most notorious terrorist group in the world today.  A man that claims responsibility for over 10,000 deaths.  A man who would no sooner spit on the Constitution or in our faces than to be tried by that Constitution…and this ear wax of a human being (Kucinich)  suddenly gets behind the Constitution by saying it’s what we are all about?

(BUZZER)

Look, I have always said I will defend this Constitution, but only when it comes to those that it is designed to protect.  Lets forget (if at all possible) the fact that Osama Bin Laden is whom he is as far as being a terrorist.  Lets take the most important thing into consideration.  He’s not a US citizen to which this situation would apply.

And that brings me to another thing.  Kevin, in Colchester dropped me an IM this afternoon, asking about the new time slot.  He also wanted to know what my thought was on some of the media heads calling Gitmo unconstitutional.

Kevin?

The media has merged two different situations happening in the same place. Guantanamo (or Gitmo as it is known by Marines stationed there) is a US Navy/Marine base that was forcibly taken in time of war. While the question of whether or not we should still occupy this position is up for debate. Keeping control of territory that was “legally” taken in a war is completely constitutional. It may have fallen out of favor in modern times, but it is not illegal.

The other issue that has been morphed into the same situation is the fact that the US government has used the fact that the base is located in a foreign country for (what the PCrs like to call) dubious reasons. Since it is a military base, things that seem normal in the continental US, don’t apply. There is no free access for the press. Or even the basic human rights that a prisoner could expect being incarcerated in say Florida.

Kevin says:

“After the 9/11 attacks, which the US government used to its advantage in every possible way, the accused terrorists were held at this facility. The key point to that statement is accused. There are still people being held there almost 8 years after the fact that still haven’t even been charged yet. The last time I heard we didn’t subscribe to the Napoleonic law code. By our laws you are innocent until you have been found guilty. Not held in captivity until enough evidence can be found to convict you.”

Even though a US military base is considered American territory, it is still outside our borders, Kevin. Since Gitmo is a hostile base the rules are different.

Humiliation, torture, and religious persecution can all happen and be covered up by that all powerful “top secret” stamp that the military and the government can use.

There are some that will say what has happened at the base are wrong, unconstitutional, and against the concepts that Americans claim to live by. I pose this fact.  What has taken place there and to whom it has affected, has nothing to do with the Constitution.  Those incarcerated there do not hold any US citizenship.  They have been accused of war crimes in many instances, which takes time and effort to clarify.  But again, there is no right to a speedy trial here.

If I were in charge, I’d say “whoa there, Achmed, yer not goin anywhere until I know you are not going to strap a bomb to your balls and walk into a crowded Macy’s screaming ‘Allah Akbar’, ya dig?”

The tree you should be barking up is the Geneva Convention laws and even then, the torture tactics that were used (successfully I might add) at Gitmo are not even covered by the Geneva Convention. The press has made these actions synonymous with the military base. Curse the actions that have taken place there and the officials that order and condone them, but don’t confuse it with what Gitmo is and what it has done to protect out land, interests and most importantly, our citizens.

For whatever reason you choose to believe in or disagree with, we have kept the area of the base and not returned it to Cuba. That is not unconstitutional. The two are not interchangeable just because as of late the same name is used for both situations.

So the military base of Guantanamo is a perfectly legal aspect of the US military. That makes the question of unconstitutionality easily answered and this is one more reason I say we don’t give up so easily on this.

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