The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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U.S. Citizenship No Longer Of Value

Posted by ALmod on July 7, 2005

Today I read about five U.S. citizens being held in Iraq without being charged and without access to a lawyer. They are not being held by terrorists or the Iraqi government. They are being held by the U.S. military. According to the article linked above, “one was identified by his family as Cyrus Kar, an Iranian-US film-maker and US navy veteran.” So not only is this guy a U.S. citizen, he has also served our country in the military.

The last time I checked, the fifth ammendment to the Constitution stated the following:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

This is followed up by the sixth ammendment:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Keep in mind that the interpretation of the Bill of Rights has been altered by certain presidents and Supreme Court justices. Does anyone else notice something horribly wrong with what is happening to these detainees? They are U.S. citizens who have not been charged of any crime. They are not war criminals, either. Something is horribly, horribly wrong. I’d rant, but this pretty much says it all.

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3 Responses to “U.S. Citizenship No Longer Of Value”

  1. Independent said

    I can’t let this one pass. I would agree with you if these were “normal” times. But London yesterday served to reiterate 911. The free world has to recognize the “kill or be killed” mentality and thus, extraordinary measures must be taken. I would much rather my government error on the side of caution than risk being blown up. That’s what the Patriot Act is all about and if it saves lives, then all the better. In the meantime, this Iranian-US filmmaker rides in a taxi full of lethal components. Coincidence? Maybe. But if you were over there, would you want to take that chance?

  2. The Alabama Moderate said

    I can see where you are coming from, independent. Trust me when I say that I really can. The problem is that any U.S. citizen (white, black, Asian, or Middle Eastern) could have been put into that situation. (Keep in mind, Oklahoma City was bombed by a couple of white guys.) The Patriot Act has thus far done nothing to stop terrorism at any greater level. While Bush bosts that over 400 people have been detained and half of those have been convicted, he is telling a half truth. Only about 30-40 of those crimes were terrorist related, while the rest were misdemeanors. The 30-40 may sound impressive to you (better than 0), but also keep in mind that this keeps in average of the number of convictions we had before 9/11. And more suspected terrorists are captured by local police than by the FBI. The terrorists who attacked on 9/11 and in London had one purpose: to frighten us into giving up our way of life. Considering that the Patriot Act has taken away civil liberties that we would not have given up had we not been scared out of our minds, I’d say that they have succeeded in doing so. When we can stop being afraid and acting out, we can finally get our lives back. But I think I’ll save that for my next post…

  3. Independent said

    Yours are good comments Jen. I can see where civil liberties have been usurped by the Pariot Act. Unfortunately, government is far from perfect. I think from 911 on, everything has kind of been like a little trial and error and some things obiously haven’t worked: no WMDs, an insurgency that wasn’t anticipated, etc. And I have no doubt that our government is feeding us half truths on a myriad of subjects. That said, I think a balance is in desperate need. I know where you are coming from when you say “US Citizenship no longer of value,” but compared to everything else it’s still the best deal out there…

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