Ross Balano (7/26, Opinion, “U.S. wars with Barbary pirates offer lesson”) writes of the Barbary pirates and draws parallels to the current “War on Terror” and to Guantanamo Bay prisoners. There are important differences.
First, the Barbary Pirates were pirates, on pirate ships, attacking U.S. ships. At Guantanamo, we don’t know what many of these prisoners may or may have not done.
Second, the pirates were attacked in a military manner. They were not captured and tortured or interrogated for years.
Thirdly, Thomas Jefferson and Congress’ debates were held in a legal, constitutional manner. No violations of existing treaties, no signing statements, no deals with warlords.
I commend Mr. Balano for recognizing the similarities between the current situation and the pirate situation. But we have been dealing with similar problems for 200 years, and our lesson is to be very wary and concerned when told that this is a new world, with new problems, and that the old laws, principles and paradigms don’t apply. They do. They always have.
Once again we are treated to the tortured logic of one Ross Balano in the Midwest Voices column. Somehow he makes a connection between the Barbary Coast pirates, al-Qaida, and the prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay.
It’s not until the end of the article that we finally get to the real issue at hand. Once again, it’s the liberals on the Supreme Court who voted in favor of habeas corpus, not the pirates, who are the real cause of Balano’s wrath.
Well, let’s see about those liberal justices. We know four of them are as far to the right as you can get and still remain on planet Earth. So only one of the remaining justices would have to vote against habeas corpus to make Balano happy.
It seems that Justice Souter was appointed by George H.W. Bush. I know he’s not a liberal. Then there’s Justice Kennedy, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan. Heavens, I really don’t think you could describe Reagan as a liberal.
What on Earth is wrong with this picture? Are you sure it was the liberals who caused your angst, Mr. Balano?