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John McCain Doesn’t Understand How Civil Liberties Work (Citizens Property of Government)
New York Magazine ^ | 3/7/2013 | Jonathan Chait

Posted on 03/07/2013 11:07:20 PM PST by nickcarraway

John McCain, understandably distraught to see most of his party suddenly embracing the libertarian view of drone warfare, took to the Senate floor to pour contempt on Rand Paul. What particularly raised McCain’s ire was Paul’s use of an extreme hypothetical case: the government murdering Jane Fonda during her visit to North Vietnam. Sneered McCain:

To allege that the United States of America, our government, would drop a drone hellfire missile on Jane Fonda — that brings the conversation from a serious discussion of policy to the realm of the ridiculous.

Of course it’s ridiculous. This is one way of understanding the point of civil liberties. They're designed to prevent the government from doing ridiculous things. If your view is that we’d never do terrible things like that because we’re the United States of America, then you don’t need civil liberties. But the whole construction of the Constitution is premised on the possibility that elected officials might abuse their power.

The Wall Street Journal has an editorial today, which McCain quoted in his speech, attempting to allay Paul’s fear but serving only to spread confusion:

Calm down, Senator. Mr. Holder is right, even if he doesn't explain the law very well. The U.S. government cannot randomly target American citizens on U.S. soil or anywhere else. What it can do under the laws of war is target an "enemy combatant" anywhere at anytime, including on U.S. soil. This includes a U.S. citizen who is also an enemy combatant. The President can designate such a combatant if he belongs to an entity—a government, say, or a terrorist network like al Qaeda—that has taken up arms against the United States as part of an internationally recognized armed conflict. That does not include Hanoi Jane.

Right. The government can’t just go assassinating American citizens. There’s an intermediate step of designating them an enemy combatant. The concern is that a president might be tempted to misuse the power of declaring somebody an enemy combatant.

I’m willing to be persuaded that a process like this could be designed. But the Journal seems to assume that the declaration of enemy-combatant status is tantamount to the real thing.

In 1972, Jane Fonda traveled to North Vietnam for a propaganda mission, and even posed on an anti-aircraft battery. You could at least argue that she “belonged to an entity” that was at war with the United States. Now, Richard Nixon never tried to assassinate Jane Fonda, in part because she was a powerful propaganda weapon for his policies. He did order the firebombing of the Brookings Institution, though his henchmen didn’t carry it out, probably in part because they knew it was illegal. Imagining a president who orders a bombing of the Brookings Institution is even more absurd than imagining a president who orders the murder of Jane Fonda. The absurdity of the case is precisely its value.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 03/07/2013 11:07:21 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Much more than you say here...

Both McCain and Graham have lost a lot of credibility (if they had any anyway) here but with their attitude and statements, they have lost their way. To put down the filibuster was the last straw! They have no idea what the people think... Out of touch is just a silly statement to them.

It’s nice that these two creatures of Washington seem to be hand in hand with their attitudes, it makes it much easier to get rid of both in the next election - about time! It is good that they expose themselves this way! Way past time to replace them with actual representatives of the people!


2 posted on 03/07/2013 11:17:00 PM PST by Deagle (quo)
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To: nickcarraway

Juan McStain doesn’t CARE about civil liberties! He is the author of the law, struck down in part by the SCOTUS, that banned free speech for specified periods before elections. McStain is the traitor how shut down investigations into POWs in Vietnam. At the same time he struck down provisions in new legislation to help find POWs in the future making it harder to find them. McStain is bought and paid for by Soros.


3 posted on 03/07/2013 11:32:26 PM PST by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: nickcarraway
John is, in my opinion, is suffering from a delayed reaction to “Agent Orange.
Been there done that!..... US ARMOR draftee “66-68”. Volunteer at Edgewood experimental station at Aberdeen MD. Just found out that my records have been scrubbed by DOD. Got my congress representative looking into why. They can't scrub Kansas records! They used LSD, etc,etc, on us. Edgewood has been flattened and covered over. Thousands of issues. Used depleted uranium on some of us.
They even gave my SSI number to a female.
I AM GOING TO GET ANSWERS. ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE, THAT WAS THERE, STILL ALIVE?
4 posted on 03/08/2013 12:02:12 AM PST by primatreat ("gimme me "Obama EBT free money card I can pick boogers and flick them at white folks on the bus!!)
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To: nickcarraway

Given the nature of his pronouncements throughout the past few years, it’s pretty clear that McCain doesn’t understand how much of anything works.


5 posted on 03/08/2013 12:05:54 AM PST by Jack Hammer
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To: Jack Hammer
Given the nature of his pronouncements throughout the past few years, it’s pretty clear that McCain doesn’t understand how much of anything works.

Senator McCain was Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee for, I believe, ten years.

Then, when he ran for President in 2008, he admitted that he still didn't know how business worked.

It's not for nothing that he graduated last in his class at Annapolis...

6 posted on 03/08/2013 12:29:31 AM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: primatreat

Good luck. But watch out, McCain and Obama might send a drone after you.


7 posted on 03/08/2013 1:20:56 AM PST by nickcarraway
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To: Jack Hammer
Given the nature of his pronouncements throughout the past few years, it’s pretty clear that McCain doesn’t understand how much of anything works.

McLaim is the worst of the worst. He is the main reason we have numb nuts for our president.
War Hero? PPPPPLLLLEEEEAAAASE because he got caught and was a POW?
Don't get me wrong I am a veteran and I am thankful for the sacrifices our military makes. I also believe in fairness. NO OTHER PERSON got to fly that finished last in their class at the Naval Academy. Several sailors are dead because McLaim crashed on a carrier when he should have NEVER been a Navy Pilot. . . . .

8 posted on 03/08/2013 1:29:00 AM PST by DeaconRed (I owe my life to ZERO. I am taking good care of myself so I can see the SOB marched off to JAIL)
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To: DeaconRed

DeaconRed, McCain did not deck crash a plane. The USS Forrestal was result of deck crew, man-jackin’, rockets and bombs. He also did not finish as “goat” at USNA, but was third from the bottom. How he became a fighter pilot is due to being a legacy, by his father and grandfather. A travesty, you bet- uncommon, absolutely not.


9 posted on 03/08/2013 2:00:30 AM PST by RedHeeler
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Well, it looks like Juan has squeezed the last ounce of his “war hero” routine and I think he can simply be referred to as a traitorous POS. Maybe his fluffy daughter thinks killing American citizens without a trial should be part of the “big tent” GOP too? Think of the 10s of thousands of guys who didn’t make it home from VN and yet this traitor did. That’s a double tragedy.


10 posted on 03/08/2013 2:17:19 AM PST by Hayride
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To: RedHeeler

Actually the Lieutenant John McCain who was my instructor at Meridian wasn’t a bad pilot. Not a very effective instructor because he was feared by students as a screamer. But His flying skills were demonstrably good. This was at VT-9 in 1967.

TC


11 posted on 03/08/2013 2:22:47 AM PST by Pentagon Leatherneck
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To: Hayride

Nah, he ain’t half done, yet. He works the “crowd” in AZ, like a water station coyote. That’s alright, good e’nuf. Hell ain’t half full yet, either.


12 posted on 03/08/2013 2:31:35 AM PST by RedHeeler
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To: Deagle

McCain and Junior are upset for one reason and one reason only: the attention of the public, for just a few hours, was focused on something bigger and more far-reaching than their lame publicity-seeking stunt to “save the republic” via their dinner with the king.


13 posted on 03/08/2013 2:38:40 AM PST by Real Cynic No More
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To: Pentagon Leatherneck

Well, Marine, a good student will always overcome all obstacles, be they perceived or unobserved.


14 posted on 03/08/2013 3:05:01 AM PST by RedHeeler
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To: nickcarraway
"But the whole construction of the Constitution is premised on the possibility that elected officials might abuse their power."

A premise validated by the entire course of human experience.

15 posted on 03/08/2013 3:14:23 AM PST by circlecity
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To: nickcarraway
"we’d never do terrible things like that because we’re the United States of America"

Prime evidence of groupthink.

16 posted on 03/08/2013 3:19:32 AM PST by tbpiper
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To: nickcarraway

Here is a major point he doesn’t get (one of many). No, I seriously doubt anyone would have sent a drone after Jane Fonda in Viet Nam. Because she is famous. But if you or I had been in her place, all bets are off.

When you hear about prosecutorial “discretion” remember that it generally means special treatment for the friends of the prosecutors, or those with whom they agree or feel sympathy. They won’t get charged or jailed, but you will.


17 posted on 03/08/2013 4:30:39 AM PST by generally (Don't be stupid. We have politicians for that.)
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To: generally

Jane Fonda isn’t worth the cost of a drone, even one made up of an RC helicopter.


18 posted on 03/08/2013 5:01:58 AM PST by Venturer
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To: nickcarraway
My note to Lindsey Graham this morning.

Your recent criticism of Rand Paul is unforgivable...and while he was trying to get Obama to say "no" to drone strikes on Americans at home (and could have used your support for liberty and freedom), you were having a friendly dinner with Obama plotting the next Republican cave-in to his Socialist agenda. You have gone too far left this time. I WILL be doing everything I can to see that you are defeated in the coming primary as you do not represent me, nor most of the people of South Carolina.

19 posted on 03/08/2013 5:10:20 AM PST by ThePatriotsFlag ( EVERY DIME Obama Spends is given to him by the Republicans in the House.)
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John McCain Doesn’t Understand How Civil Liberties Work

Hey McLame!

Never mind "civil liberties" let's pay attention to our Constitutional RIGHTS.

If you're worried about "civil liberties" get the TSA the hell out of our face.

20 posted on 03/08/2013 5:16:15 AM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Hey RATS! Control your murdering freaks.)
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To: ThePatriotsFlag

NICELY PUT!


21 posted on 03/08/2013 5:33:50 AM PST by New Jersey Realist (America: home of the free because of the brave)
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To: nickcarraway
The President can designate such a combatant if he belongs to an entity—a government, say, or a terrorist network like al Qaeda—that has taken up arms against the United States as part of an internationally recognized armed conflict. That does not include Hanoi Jane.

Looks like she's taken up arms to me.


22 posted on 03/08/2013 5:39:19 AM PST by Sirius Lee (All that is required for evil to advance is for government to do "something")
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To: Venturer

The other thing to note is that she was never prosecuted. So not only was there no attack on her as a US citizen, there was also no prosecution of her. No charges were ever brought.

Because she’s famous .... ya think?


23 posted on 03/08/2013 5:43:15 AM PST by generally (Don't be stupid. We have politicians for that.)
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To: generally

Rich and Famous.


24 posted on 03/08/2013 7:01:44 AM PST by Venturer
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