Many people who read Freedom's Phoenix are now aware of the press release sent out by Dr. Rand Paul's campaign.
"Foreign terrorists do not deserve [emphasis
mine] the protections of our Constitution," says Kentucky Senatorial
candidate Dr. Rand Paul, son of Dr. Ron Paul. Right out of the King
George handbook of "do as I wish and say."
Precisely what the Constitution is ostensibly there to prevent ---
unlimited, unrestrained government trespassing on individual Rights.
These Rights are not conferred upon individuals via government
benevolence and assurance, they exist before government and are our Rights as human beings to exist, and the manner in which we choose to exist. "Deserve" has got nothing to do with it.
They are the Rights that the Declaration of Independence and many of the State's Constitutions spell out as the SOLE justification for why governments are created: To protect individual Rights. Deserve means government gets to choose when and where not to protect individual Rights. And when is that? When it is convenient to government? When it is not embarrassing to government? When the cost is not too great? When they feel like it?
These Rights are universal of any human being on the planet. And the United States government was created to protect those Rights of anyone whom resided within it's borders and by necessity whomever comes under their control.
"Terrorists" deserve protection of the same Rights they possess as we do. And if the United States' government fails in its stated reason for existence for the terrorist's Rights how much more are we to expect this government will protect our Rights?
"Foreign" makes no difference. The Constitution makes no distinguishment between citizens and non-citizens in protecting Rights and for good reason. The government did not confer Rights upon us, it was created ostensibly to protect those Rights. If Rights only existed for citizens and not being a universal property then they must have been conferred by government --- and as easily discarded when they become inconvenient to governing.
If the Constitution does not protect "foreign terrorists" who come under the umbrella of the U.S. government, then the Constitution protects nobody.
Dr. Paul is further quoted: “These thugs should stand before military
tribunals and be kept off of [sic] American soil. I will always fight to keep
Kentucky safe and that starts with cracking down on our enemies.”
Pat Buchanan recently wrote an excellent column
enunciating the grave mistake of trying the "terrorists" in a federal
courthouse. He makes some great points without using the cartoonish
sophistry of reducing the motivations of "foreign terrorists" to
"thugs." Where we part is his fundamental question, "Are we at War or
not?" If not, then try them civilly. But if so, then try them in a
My problem is historical with the Bush Administration -- who started
this mess -- going to great lengths to keep from designating captured
enemy as soldiers, instead calling them "enemy combatants" and/ or
terrorists so as to deliberately skirt our government's obligations
under the Geneva Conventions of captured P.O.W.'s. Which is why we
focus on the hundreds held at Guantanamo while many thousands of
P.O.W.'s and innocent men and boys (women and girls too apparently) languish at overcrowded Bagram Air Base detention camps in Afghanistan.
The problem is terrorism is not a military crime, it is a criminal
one. By its definition, terrorists specifically target civilian
populations to effect changes in those population's (and their own)
government, while guerrillas target government facilities, personnel
and collaborators of their "own" government. Big difference. While
military's, including our own, can and do frequently act as terrorists in targeting civilian populations with aims of bringing about changes in those whom govern them, they also target those governments for destruction. It is the captured or losing side of those military's that are brought to trial in front of a military court.
It is important to emphasize that terrorists do not attack outside
of their own borders without perceived cause. They are enemies of
those who try to govern them, and are trying to repel or defeat them.
The only reason for a terrorist to look to attack outside of
their governing body would be if those they attack are perceived to be
attacking the terrorist's interests. Otherwise they wouldn't take
their time and efforts to bother.
It is for this reason why the U.S. government and its supporters want to make sure either trial setting is contained behind closed doors so the motivations behind the terrorists actions are not broadcast. Their list of grievances will not be made public if at all possible. But the U.S. government will supply the list containing the reasons the government wants you to believe are the motivations to its propaganda outlets. Because no government wants a terrorist's complaints to be understood by that government's population whereby they might start asking if the claims of the terrorist are true. Did we really bomb that village? Did we really interfere in that commerce? Did we really have a hand in installing that dictator or murdering their mayor? Did we really steal that land? Oh, hell no! The truth might set you free.
Dr. Paul's statements are followed up in the press release by this ditty: Dr. Paul believes in strong national defense and thinks military spending should be our country’s top budget priority. He has also called for a Constitutional declaration of war with Afghanistan.
If Dr. Paul has a rational reason to believe Canada, Mexico or Russia represents an eminent armed invasion of our borders he should share. Otherwise he is simply intensifying the myths and fears generated by the military industrial complex used to justify robbing the earnings of those who are compelled to pay taxes in this nation.
And the last time I looked we not only were at peace with the Afghan government, we installed our government's puppet there. I believe Dr. Paul meant to say a declaration of war on the previous recognized Afghan government, the Taliban. As to what context the declaration would take it is a pity Dr. Rand left it completely open to interpretation. And most -- but not all -- of the interpretations I can come up with are not good for peace, prosperity or the good of the people of either nation.
His press release taken in any part or as a whole it is now hard to imagine Rand Paul represents anything but more of the same. I imagine more than a few disappointed activists around the nation are wondering where they can go to get their money and their time back. Whether Dr. Paul is elected or not clearly he is not the next Ron Paul. Not even close. He is just the next politician. Pity.