Monday, January 03, 2005

Some In Congress Feel This Nomination Isn't Quite Right 

The story by Reuters, as re-printed by the Washington Post, says that at least two members of Congress recognize that even prisoners in the "War on Terror" have rights:

A leading Republican senator yesterday condemned as "a bad idea" a reported U.S. plan to keep some suspected terrorists imprisoned for a lifetime even if the government lacks evidence to charge them.

"It's a bad idea. So we ought to get over it and we ought to have a very careful, constitutional look at this," Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on "Fox News Sunday."

Sen. Carl M. Levin (Mich.), senior Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, cited earlier U.S. Supreme Court decisions. "There must be some modicum, some semblance of due process . . . if you're going to detain people, whether it's for life or whether it's for years," Levin said, also on Fox.

In times like these it is a good idea to go back to First Principles. In our Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson wrote that men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." What he meant is that all men possesses certain rights simply because they are men. Any government (including ours) does not grant these rights since they have already been granted (according to Jefferson by God). In the most important paragraph of political philosophy ever written in the history of the world, and in his perfect attempt to spell out the Founder's view of Natural Law, Jefferson continued, "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Perhaps the other 98 senators need a refresher course.

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