Friday, June 26, 2009

NPR versus Patrick Henry

We doon need no stinkin' rights.

Gen. Juan Peron: A template?

On today’s Morning Edition the "Proposal Offers Specifics On Preventive Detention" by Ari Shapiro was beyond the usual NPR FOX-lite hackery, it represented a full assault on the founding principals of the American Constitution.

Ari fawningly, interviews Benjamin Wittes, but he fails to mention the Mr. Wittes is fellow at the Hoover Institue, noooo he's from the Brookings Institute and one of those special “serious people” that the Beltway reveres. Mr. Wittes also has contempt for the fundamental principles of our Constitution.

"Effectively, Wittes concedes, someone could be locked up forever as long as a court approves of the detention twice a year." -Ari Shapiro, NPR

Shorter Wittes: Because Bush has already suspended the Bill of Rights and ignored domestic and international law with his chain of secret prisons and instituted torture as policy, then its OK, so let’s write laws documenting these policies, that will put a nice patina of legality on classic authoritarian techniques. Wouldn't that argument justify the legalization of the Japanese American interment, Jim Crow, the Trail of Tears?

Mr. Wittes you see, has written that he believes "the absurdity of the Eighth Amendment" for you kids out there, the Eighth Amendment (Amendment VIII) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights which prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines or cruel and unusual punishments. The phrases employed are taken from the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Yep, limiting cruel and unusual punishment, is absurd.

Now that NPR has succeeded in normalizing torture as US foreign and domestic policy, it’s proceeding to the next logical step: promoting the FOX/Right Wing meme that fundamental human rights make America weak and must be eliminated.

Wittes is adovcating an authoritarian chief executive that can suspend habeas corpus with the approve of a secret Star Chamber court system: What could possible go wrong? NPR isn’t concerned about a President that's reading the mail of their political opponents, since it ignored this story so what’s a little indefinite imprisonment without charges or trial based on hearsay evidence between friends?

While growing up attending the Grumpy Consolidated Independent School Districts, in Grumpyville, Illinois I was taught that the American government was comprised of three co-equal branches of government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) that provided checks and balances to each branch. Apparently my teachers were wrong, according to Wittes when we're afraid, we only have one branch of government, the Executive.

Thanks to NPR and this think-thank genius, I’ve learned that our government is really a Unitary Benevolent Authoritarian Strong Man who can revoke anyone’s rights at his or her whim (nice template see: Chile under Pinochet, Argentina under Peron, Cuba under Fidel). I guess we weren’t endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights after all. It’s not like anything could go wrong.

Patrick Henry: Give me liberty or give me death.

NPR and the Right: We’re afraid of death, take our liberties.

US Citizen, enjoying Wittes' proposed law.

Has anyone (reporter, editor, clerk, intern) at NPR ever bothered to read the Constitution or Declaration of Independence? Based on Mr. Shapio’s cheer leading, er “reporting” during the Bush/Cheney regime and this report, it’s clear he hasn’t. As a public service, I would suggest Ari start with this document , something that he and his colleagues seem to have no passing familiarity with.

NPR and Ari Shapiro when it comes to the Bill of Rights, not smarter that a fifth grader.

Mr. Shapiro, NPR's legal correspondent who over looked (missed? ignored?) the DOJ scandal (yeah which one?) report has numerous other problems. The least of all is that Shapiro claims, with out any evidence, the Mr. Wittes' gutting of the Bill of Rights is getting "serious consideration" by the White House. Yet based on Wittes' Hoover Institute bio, he's neither a lawyer or has attended law school.

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