Sunday, January 07, 2007

NY Times despairs over plight of our enemies (again)

I rarely comment on the many thousands of column inches (yards? miles?) wasted by all the liberal media outlets fretting over the ghastly manner in which the enemy is treated by the current administration. The reason for my near-silence is simple: I'm not a lawyer. I have no clue if the various surveillance programs are legal or what the legal status of a detainee at Guantanamo Bay might be. But Roger Fraley at XDA is a lawyer and presumably has some knowledge of these topics.

Today's New York Times has a typical hand-wringing, bed-wetting editorial on the topic which Roger thoroughly eviscerates.

On the topic of our "unconstitutional" treatment of jihadis captured on the battlefield:
Illegal foreign combatants (like spies and saboteurs) do not have constitutional rights; they do not have Geneva like rights (our Supreme Court's idiocy there in Hamden v. Rumsfeld notwithstanding); they are like pirates--you can execute them upon establishing they are indeed pirates. They don't get to go to court--a military tribunal or commission is just fine. Has no one at the NYT read Ex Parte Quirin ?
On steaming open Osama's love letters:
Has no one at the NYT read the thousands of cases which establish again and again exceptions to the 4th Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches (sometimes defined as searches without warrants) for exigent circumstances particularly in cases involving foreign intelligence collection? It seems the NYT is deliberately ignorant here--I mean you have to be a real legal moron not to know that exigent circumstances have nearly always negated the need for a warrant.
On electronic eavesdropping "on calls and e-mail between the United States and other countries.":
This is really old news and a perseverance in ignorance [I love that phrase! --ed.] that continues to stun me. Has no one at the NYT read In re: Sealed Case No. 02-001? The quote is also poorly stated--the calls apparently originate from or go to known or suspected foreign terrorists and involve a person who is located in the United States but whose citizenship status is almost entirely unknown. The calls could well be between a foreign illegal combatant here in the United States and one in Pakistan. Again, however, the NYT supports giving 4th Amendment rights to foreign illegal combatants.
On the "shameful" practice of holding unlawful combatants at Gitmo and other military prisons:
This is a daily double call for American civil rights for foreign illegal combatants--civil rights for captured illegal combatants and court trials for each of them. But the Supreme Court said the military run hearings to establish the status of the illegal combatants were fine in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld. Shouldn't the NYT be criticizing the Imperial Supreme Court?
Roger closes by saying:
I know it's a a harsh statement, but the NYT has here crossed the line between ordinary pig ignorance and gone into actively helping our enemies.
Actually, they crossed that line a long time ago when they first chose to publish details of classified counter-terrorism programs. But I'm not going to argue with a lawyer.


alison said...

Thanks for this link as i had seen and read this NYT piece and dont get the ins and outs of it all but the very fact they acknowledge his dealings and recorded calls stands for something so quite why on earth they are rushing to his defence in this is beyond me. It stinks - so its great to see someone have a go at it. Both the US and the UK are having a dreadful time of responding to these situations in legal terms precisely because it is unprecedented, complex and our enemy knows how to play us for fools. Quite depressing.

Urban_Infidel said...

The good news is, that the NYT is losing money. FAst.

alison said...

as are the Guardian and the Indy, always encouraging.