THE DAILY BLADE: Governing While Republican
Two segments towards the end of the one-on-one interview Chris Wallace conducted with Vice President Dick Cheney on “Fox News Sunday” caught The Stiletto’s attention. In this first snippet, Cheney defends the Bush administration’s open-ended detention of enemy combatants at Gitmo, and the military tribunals:
CHRIS WALLACE: You also pushed to strip enemy combatants of any ability to challenge their status in court and also denied them any protection under the
DICK CHENEY: [F]irst of all, you've got to remember that what we did after 9/11 was make a judgment that the terrorist attacks we were faced with were not a law enforcement problem, they were, in fact, a war. It was a war against the
And in a war, you capture the enemy and you hold them until the war is over with. You don't capture German prisoners of war and then put them on trial in World War II. That's not what we had to deal with here. But in terms of what kind of rights these folks had, they were not covered by the Geneva Convention. They were unlawful combatants. … this was the decision we made at the time based on the precedent that was available. They were not citizens of a state that was a party to the Geneva Convention. They did not adhere to the laws of war. They spent all their time trying to kill civilians for their - to achieve their political ends.
They didn't wear uniforms. I mean, by any definition that was available to us at the time, the Geneva Convention does not traditionally apply to terrorists. …
WALLACE: In the first big test case, which was against Osama bin Laden's driver, Salim Hamdan, the military jury in the end - military jury ended up acquitting him of all the major charges against him. The government asked for 30 years to life. The judge ended up deciding that he should be released based on time served. The question basically is this: Even the government can get things wrong sometimes. … [D]on't Salim Hamdan, whomever, have a right to have some independent person judge and say, this person is being held based on legitimate evidence or not being held based on …
CHENEY: Well, remember the situation here. We had hundreds of people that were held at Guantánamo. And the majority of them have been released. And they were released based upon reviews of their cases, and determinations that were made that there was no longer a need to hold them because they were no longer a threat, or they no longer had any intelligence value. They're all guaranteed an annual review of their case at Guantánamo.
And when you do get ultimately to trial, they'll be tried by military commissions. They will have representation. And military commissions is exactly the way, in World War II, that we treated those handful of individuals that - like, for example, the German saboteurs who landed on Long Island, were captured, were tried by military commission, and subsequently executed. And those commissions were upheld in a Supreme Court decision after the war. We follow that same basic fundamental precedent here. [Emphasis, contextual link added by The Stiletto.]
WALLACE: Let me ask you about the Supreme Court. In the last few years, I think you'd agree the Supreme Court has sharply undercut the powers of the executive branch. It has said -
CHENEY: I think that's an overstatement.
WALLACE: Well, it has said that all detainees have a right to challenge their status. It said you have to go to Congress to get approval of military commissions. And it said, in fact, even enemy combatants have protections under the Geneva Convention. …
CHENEY: [W]hen we made judgments, for example, about military commissions, we followed precedent. We did exactly what was done by FDR in World War II, subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court, in a decision the Court made.
WALLACE: Then what do you make of what the court ended up -
CHENEY: The court changed. The court changed its mind, obviously, and evolved over time, and there are a different set of judges now than there was then.
WALLACE: Does that mean you were wrong?
CHENEY: No, I don't think we were wrong. We have to follow whatever the court determines. Sometimes, the court makes bad decisions, or decisions we disagree with.
WALLACE: Was that a bad decision?
CHENEY: I think it was. I think -- we did go and get congressional authorization from the Congress for the military commissions. But I think that, frankly, the basic decision they made was wrong. But it's their authority. The vote was 5-4. It was different than the one that had prevailed after World War II that was available to us at the time that we put all of this together.
Cheney’s miscalculation is that, as a Dem FDR was given far wider latitude by The New York Times and other newspapers than he and Bush would ever be given by the MSM today – that military trial to which Cheney refers was conducted in secret, the Supreme Court turned down the defendants’ habeus corpus petition and the executions took place less than two months after the saboteurs were captured. And what to make of the MSM’s FISA hysteria when FDR herded Japanese-Americans, German-Americans and Italian-Americans into concentration camps for the duration of the war?
The second snippet is revealing, not because of what Cheney said but because of how he said it. When you read the following exchange it seems blandly innocuous, but the plainly derisive smirk on Cheney’s face spoke volumes. Clearly, he does not believe that diplomacy is the answer to tamping down
WALLACE: You have been very honest in this discussion today. And so I'm going to ask you, in your heart of hearts, do you believe diplomacy can solve this?
CHENEY: That's the policy of the administration, and I support the policy of the administration.
WALLACE: But you're not prepared to say that you believe diplomacy can solve this?
CHENEY: Well, I hope it can. That's clearly what we've tried.
WALLACE: Over your objections, sir?
CHENEY: No, not over my objections. I've supported the efforts to try to put in place sanctions, which I think have had significant impact on the Iranian economy, to support the efforts going through the U.N. Security Council. We've tried a broad range of possibilities here to try to slow down the Iranian operation.
WALLACE: They haven't worked.
CHENEY: Not yet.
Lawyers Defending Terrorists: Gotta Do It, But Don’t Gotta Like It
The Washington Post reports that Mumbai terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab, 21, is having trouble getting the legal representation he is entitled to under Indian law, while a debate rages over whether he “deserves” an attorney and “the home of a noted criminal lawyer who offered to defend Kasab was pelted with stones”:
Kasab has asked for legal aid from the Pakistani consulate, said Rakesh Maria, joint police commissioner in Mumbai. But
Some civil rights advocates say the debate about Kasab's right to a defense shows how angry society is about the attacks, which targeted several symbols of
Some lawyers have slowly started to come to Kasab's defense, arguing that a mature democracy must have a court system that tries suspects in the courtroom, not through public opinion.
"It should not matter whether he is Pakistani or Muslim or Indian or Hindu," said Gyan Mitra, a lawyer who has defended terrorism suspects. "As a human, he should get all his legal rights, and it is a fundamental right in our country for a suspect to be able to defend himself. A lawyer cannot refuse to represent a suspect on the grounds that he is guilty."
While Indian lawyers can be counted on to do their duty - however reluctantly (“we also have to look at the human rights of the innocent victims as well," per the Metropolitan Magistrate Court's Bar Association in Mumbai) - it often appears that white shoe firms in the U.S. are falling all over themselves to defend terrorists and jihadists who have killed American civilians and soldiers and will do so again in a nanosecond. Case in point: Covington & Burling partner David Remes, who left his lucrative job to represent 15 Yemeni detainees at Gitmo full time (you know, he’s the one who famously stripped to his tighty-whiteys to demonstrate how prisoner body searches are conducted).
The Wall Street Journal’s William McGurn wishes things were different:
In the popular mind, the 200 or so
Against these 60 attorneys are arrayed some of our nation's most prestigious private firms. Last year, at a dinner at
Now, nothing against those who simply want to ensure those at Gitmo have access to a good lawyer. And if Seton Hall Law School wants to hold teach-ins featuring the poetry of these men - one of whom murdered more than a dozen people in a suicide bombing in Mosul after his release - well, that's the school's business. But with all these top-flight lawyers providing separate defenses for each detainee or detainee group, the good men and women at the Department of Justice might stand a little outside help. …
[H]elping out Justice would be a service to both the country and the rule of law. And it might even protect Barack Obama from the last thing he will want to do as president: setting jihadi terrorists free on American soil.
Libs Don’t Give At The Office, Either
In an op-ed that covers the same ground Washington Post columnist George Will trod back in March (second item), The New York Times' Nicholas Kristoff discovers that libs like spending other people's money to support their bleeding heart causes, but are loathe to put their hands in their own pockets: “Democrats, who speak passionately about the hungry and homeless, personally fork over less money to charity than Republicans — the ones who try to cut health insurance for children.”
In that one sentence, Kristoff shows that he doesn’t get it and never will: Yes, Repubs do not want to expand government programs to provide assistance that individuals and charities should be providing. And they put their own personal time and money where their principles are, by Kristoff's own admission:
This holiday season is a time to examine who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, but I’m unhappy with my findings. The problem is this: We liberals are personally stingy.
Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.
Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals.
Other research has reached similar conclusions. The “generosity index” from the Catalogue for Philanthropy typically finds that red states are the most likely to give to nonprofits, while Northeastern states are least likely to do so. …
Conservatives also appear to be more generous than liberals in nonfinancial ways. People in red states are considerably more likely to volunteer for good causes, and conservatives give blood more often. If liberals and moderates gave blood as often as conservatives, Mr. Brooks said, the American blood supply would increase by 45 percent.
So, you’ve guessed it! This column is a transparent attempt this holiday season to shame liberals into being more charitable.
Note that Kristoff’s definition of liberal “compassion” is to push the responsibility for giving onto someone else (or, collectively, society). As long as this remains the case, libs will never feel personally obligated to help those in need – which means their consciences never bother them, which means they cannot be shamed.
Is This One Of Those Jobs That “Americans Won’t Do?”: Part XI
Several teams of American marine biologists are trying to determine why the orca population of WA’s
Oh, and it also turns out that unemployed U.S. born Hispanics, in particular, are only too happy to do the jobs that used to go to their forged-documented Mexican and Central American competition, reports perennial illegal immigration proponent, The Wall Street Journal:
For the first time in a decade, unskilled immigrants are competing with Americans for work. And evidence is emerging that tens of thousands of Hispanic immigrants are withdrawing from the labor market as
"We see competition from more nonimmigrant workers," says Abel Valenzuela, a professor at the
Growers across the country are reporting that farmhands are plentiful; in fact, they are turning down potential field workers. "For the first time since 9/11, we have applicants in excess of our requirements," says Bob Gray, chief executive of Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc., a grower, packer and shipper based in
In particular, Mr. Gray has observed an influx of U.S.-born Latinos and other workers who previously shunned field work. "These are domestic workers who appear to be displacing immigrants," says Mr. Gray.
A similar situation has emerged in
Editorial Note: You’d be amazed at some of the jobs Americans are doing. To read previous posts in the “Is This One Of Those Jobs …” series, click here (third item), here (second item), here (fourth item), here (second item), here (third item), here (third item), here (second item), here, here and here.