Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 15, 2011

Some Republicans Lose Their Marbles Over Somali Terrorist Trial In US

(Some things are lost on the GOP. This is one of them.)

Mitch McConnell: ‘ The Administration Has Purposefully Imported a Terrorist into the U.S.’

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell just doesn’t get it. According to the Associated Press, the Kentucky Senator delivered a scathing rebuke of the president’s decision to try the Somali citizen — Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame in a New York Federal Court on charges of terrorism.

“The administration has purposefully imported a terrorist into the U.S. and is providing him all the rights of U.S. citizens in court,” said McConnell on the Senate floor. “This ideological rigidity being displayed by the administration is harming the national security of the United States of America. Why? Why? Why is a man, who is a known terrorist and enemy of the United States, being afforded these protections? And now, he is in the hands of the civilian authorities and will be given all the rights accorded to a U.S. citizen in a civilian court.”

Since the Senator seems incapable of comprehending some very basic things about the ideology of our nation, I’m likely wasting my time here, but I’m going to give it a shot anyhow. Firstly, the Constitution of the United States is not merely a document protecting our citizenry. It is based on an ideology that says that humans should be treated a certain way and that on our watch, under our care, they will be treated properly.

We don’t just believe in due process for Americans. We believe in due process for all people. In short, what the Senator fails to comprehend is that the thing he calls “ideological rigidity” is the glue that holds our diverse union together. Our entire system of government is based on ideological principles that if subverted are always weakened.

“Why, Why, Why? Is a man who is a known terrorist and enemy of the United States being afforded these protections?” Simple. Because we are American and in America we believe that all people are innocent until proven guilty. In America we believe in things like due process, Miranda rights, and habeas corpus. That’s why.

If that’s not enough, (and it should be) there is another reason. We conduct military tribunals in cases of war. Just calling the war on terror and using the military to conduct it, doesn’t make it a war. Name the nation state that we are fighting that resulted in the arrest of Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame. Not possible. These terrorists are two-bit thugs, and to treat them with the status that we afford detainees from wars with nation states is to elevate them to a position beyond their true status.

I’m not exactly sure what McConnell is worried about here. It’s not as if the United States doesn’t have the highest prosecution and incarceration rate in the world. The so-called land of the free incarcerates more people per capita than any other nation in the history of the world. I feel pretty certain that if there is enough evidence on hand to assert that he’s a terrorist with the conviction displayed by McConnell, that Warsame is never going to walk free.

Furthermore, if there isn’t, then we have no business detaining him. Again, this is America. That means something. We don’t hold to ideological rigidity for sport. We hold to it because if in fact, we are superior than other forms of government, it is true only on the basis that our ideology is sound, consistent, and yes, rigid to the point of self-endangerment. The president made the right call.

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