Lawfare, and whose side are you on, anyway?

It is the war within. Some cite the cost of fighting terrorists as a significant and unnecessary burden. A good part of that cost is involved in countering the enemies within our own society. Rowan Scarborough describes the problem in The Al-Qaeda Bar:

Some of the nation’s wealthiest and most powerful law firms have donated hundreds of millions of dollars in free legal services to terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

The army of lawyers, number over 500 by some counts, tied up the commission system in series of law suits and appeals, making it impossible to put any of the war criminals on trial for years. They have used the courts to assault the commission system as unconstitutional, even though there is a history here and internationally of trying war criminals such as KSM in special tribunals.

In the process, some American lawyers have helped the image of radical Islamists.

Andrew Walden provides a different facet of this issue in The ACLU’s Terror Lobby.

The civilian trial of a leading terrorist is the culmination of a years-long campaign by the ACLU to handicap U.S. efforts in the war on terror. … the ACLU and CCR lawyers having long claimed that the failure to provide constitutional rights to terrorist captives is a crisis for the United States,

A large part of this effort involves state of mind and values. Those who support such pleasant sounding ideas like “individual liberties” and “day in court” for terrorists caught on the battlefield seem to loose perspective as well as forget the lessons of history. This is why the Washington Times editorializes about The United Socialist States of America by Cal Thomas.

Not all revolutions begin in the streets with tanks and guns. Some advance slowly, almost imperceptibly, until a nation is transformed and the public realizes too late that their freedoms are gone. … Such is the revolution now taking place in America. The ’60s crowd has emerged from the ideological grave … Great horrors don’t begin in gas chambers, killing fields or forced famines. They begin when there is a philosophical shift in a nation’s leadership about the value of human life.

Thomas was describing the health care issue, not the fight against terrorism. The fundamental issue is the same. The fact that it surfaces in terrorist lawfare, government health care, or climate research only shows how widespread the problem really is. All of these issues follow the bases Thomas describes. They are ideologically blind to reality, history, and precedent. They sound ‘oh so nice’ when removed from the context of reality to an ideological platform. The all remove the ugliness of personal control and responsibility. There is much to worry about.

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