Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Real Threat To Civil Liberties

From Victor Davis Hanson:

But at least the Patriot Act passed both houses of Congress with wide public support. In contrast, there are a variety of other assaults on personal freedoms, due process, and the sanctity of the law that leftwing moralists not only ignore, but often seem to endorse--as if the liberal ends should justify illiberal means.

There's good stuff in there. I'd recommend you go take a read.


Ellen K said...

So I guess the failure of the Senate to uphold the rights of people who report suspected terrorists, as on U.S. Air flight 300, is just another notch in their belt. Why is nobody afraid of what these people can do if they have both houses and the White House? I envision something similar to what France endured under Chirac. And even the French realized, albeit too late, that their blindness on immigration and their stupidity in negotiating with terror states has put them on the map for even more civil disturbance and terrorist threats. Unfortunately, the media in the meantime is too busy trying to catch Britney going commando. I guess we are getting the government we deserve. I think I will move to New Zealand.

Anonymous said...

Ah Yes. Professor Hanson points to some interesting recent examples of what happens when we substitute philosophy for reasoned judgement based on the Constitution. Therein is our problem. Many of those so quick to hyperventilate over supposed violations of civil liberties such as the Patriot Act share three essential characteristics: (1) They really don't know the text of the Constitution; (2) They believe that the Constitution is a "living, breathing document;" (3) They see themselves as possessing all virtue, therefore whatever they feel is right is right, whatever they feel is wrong is wrong, and nothing should stand against their absolute moral authority (certainly nothing as ephemeral as the Constitution).

For example, the Consitution does not prohibit all searches and seizures, merely unreasonable searches and seizures. The Constitution does not require a warrant for every search; there are exceptions to the warrant requirement. The protections of the Constitution do not apply to every human being on the planet, but only to American citizens.

While faulty thinking and a cavalier attitude toward real liberty is not reserved for any single political party, no party has laid claim to that attitude so often, loudly, proudly and obviously as the Democrats, particularly during war.

Anonymous said...

The protections of the Constitution do not apply to every human being on the planet, but only to American citizens.

Actually, that's not quite accurate. The Constitution pretty much applies to anyone within the jurisdiction of the United States, citizen or not.
But I sympathize w/your point. Wanting to grant full constitutional protections to anyone around the world is beyond daft. Amazing that leftists clamor about the Geneva Conventions, but they want to outright ignore the plainly worded specific provisions regarding terrorists/illegal combatants, just to name one.

allenm said...

Mike, all you need is number (3). (1) and (2) are redundant as they spring from three. I'll expand on (3).

(3) They see themselves as the intrinsic leaders of mankind. Qualities to make the claim to be produced if required, although it shouldn't be.