Lefties Primed For War?
Elliot Cohen writing at Democratic Underground, raises the issue:
According to this Act, an "unlawful enemy combatant" is to be defined as:As Buffalo Springfield once sang, "Paranoia runs deep, into your mind it will creep."
"an individual engaged in hostilities against the United States who is not a lawful enemy combatant."
This basically means that if a person is not a soldier in the service of a foreign government, but is nevertheless engaging in "hostilities" against the United States, then this person is an unlawful enemy combatant. Notice that this definition does not require that such a person be an "alien," which accordingly leaves open the possibility that this designation could also be applied to an American citizen. ...
According to the definition approved by the Senate, you don't even have to be part of a terrorist organization. Nor does your "hostile" act have to be done to aid such a force; nor do you have to have supported such acts. Nor do you have to be in violation of the "law of war." Nor is there anywhere in the act where the term "hostilities" has itself been defined. For example, is an anti-war activist an unlawful enemy combatant? What about an American journalist who publishes leaked information damaging to the Bush administration? What about an anti-Bush blogger? In short, the definition is broad (and vague) enough to include any American citizen who is acting in a way the President deems "hostile" to the United States. As such, it is difficult to imagine a single piece of legislation with greater potential to undermine freedom and democracy in America.
There are obvious benefits to having a broad definition of enemy combatant, and to having the word "alien" nowhere to be seen. Has Cohen missed the fact that the London subway bombings were carried out by non-aliens? Or that the foiled airline bombings in July were planned by a number of non-aliens? Or that we have foiled plots in the US planned by non-aliens?
To date, our resident non-alien terrorist-wannabes have not been shipped off to secret prisons in Transylvania for interrogation, so Cohen's paranoia is deep, multi-layered deep. He can only reach this conclusion by ignoring the will of the enemy to destroy us. And he does:
Ironically, in the ongoing, gradual process of tearing down our internal system of checks and balances, we face a much more ominous and identifiable threat, one that has just, with the passage of this Act, become even more ominous.The most popular drumbeat of the Left -- theoretical losses of freedom of a tiny, anti-American minority are worse than real, stated, documented plans to kill the rest of us.
Am I crazy for thinking that assaults by a nuke-hungry al Qaeda are more of a threat than a sufficiently broad definition of "unlawful enemy combatant?" Shame on me.
Related Tags: War on terror, Terrorism, Elliot Cohen