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That Meddlesome Constitution

12:00 PM EST on November 17, 2009


Last week, the Obama administration announced that it would be prosecuting people alleged to have involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the cases would be heard in the state of New York.  Oklahoma's senior senator is not pleased.

Jim Inhofe immediately released a statement to the press accusing the President of insulting "memory of every American we lost on that catastrophic day as well as every member of our military who has fought so hard to defeat terrorism."  Unlike his normal modus operandi, Inhofe actually listed out why he came to that conclusion:  Obama is abiding by the Constitution.

Seriously.  The first bullet point offered by Inhofe suggests that we should not prosecute the alleged terrorists because of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.  Instead, he would prefer that we ignore that amendment, as well as the fifth, sixth, eighth, and (likely) ninth.  Or as I look at it, essentially ignoring the document that Inhofe pledged to uphold every time he has been sworn in as a United States senator.

He also goes on to include a litany of other rights given to the accused, whether it be shoplifting at Wal Mart or a assisting to plan an event so catastrophic that the psyche of the entire nation has been irreparably damaged, that makes it a huge risk to give them a trial.  Those are definitely concerns, but I cannot believe that Inhofe, as a U.S. legislator, is actually putting it on paper that he wants them ignored.  He really wants a precedent of piece mealing when the laws of the land apply and when they can be overlooked.

And if the nation were to do Senator Inhofe suggests, we would basically be acting just like the dictatorships that our country has long felt superior to because of our democracy.  Our country has always held itself above people like Saddam Hussein who could arrest people with or without evidence of doing anything that he considered to be a crime and prosecute them with sham trials.  Of course, in that case, Inhofe suggested that the leader's abuse of personal freedom was justification for invasion by the U.S. military.

And what would the benefit be for forfeiting our high moral ground and creating an awful precedent?  I'm not sure, because it isn't like these guys are going to be getting an actual fair trial.  THEY ARE BEING TRIED IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK.  If they manage to get acquitted, that will be a serious indication that there were no grounds to hold them in the first place.

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