Monday, December 22, 2008

The ACLU & Guantanamo

Over at Stop the ACLU there's an post up called, "ACLU Whining About Gov’t Charging Jihadi Involved In USS Cole Bombing." It points out that
the American Civil Liberties Union is providing lawyers to represent an Islamic jihadist who was involved in the bombing of the U.S.S Cole a little over 7 years ago

I'm not normally an ACLU-basher like many on the right. In my opinion, it is useful to have a civil rights watchdog organization, and I appreciate the ACLU's vigorous support of the first amendment in particular. In this case the ACLU has specifically created something called the John Adams Project to provide

defense teams to be available to assist in the representation of those Guantánamo detainees who have been charged under the Military Commissions Act.
They named it after John Adams because he provided legal services for British soldiers prosecuted for the Boston Massacre. This makes little sense as a comparison with the Guantanamo situation, since the Boston Massacre trials were in 1770, when the American colonies were still part of the British Empire.  So John Adams, a British subject, served as a lawyer for British soldiers, not foreign terrorists.

From the ACLU's main mission statement:

the ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.
What does that have to do with defending hostile aliens during wartime? Their actions in this case have nothing to do with the rights of U.S. citizens. I could understand if an international human rights organization such as Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International wanted to take up the case of the Guantanamo detainees. But why is a U.S. organization dedicated to defending the rights of Americans instead defending enemies of America? In the words of Stop the ACLU
the ACLU wonders why those of us on the right question their patriotism and protection of America.
In some cases that might be over-the-top criticism of the ACLU. Not this time.

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