McCain: Habeas Corpus a Privilege not a Right

By now, it is widely known that the Supreme Court has weighed in on the debate over the rights of the prisoners at Gitmo. The court has stated that the detainees’ habeas corpus rights (the protection against an indefinite detention without charges and a trial) ought to be respected.

Referring to the human beings who are still being detained at Guantanamo Bay, McCain stated, “These are people who are not citizens. They do not and never have been given the rights that citizens in this country have” (emphasis added).

So our rights are given to us? Interesting.

I might ask McCain at the out-set, since you apparently believe that only citizens have rights (presumably “given” to them in the Constitution) where exactly in text of the Constitution does the Constitution give this right the right of habeas corpus?

You won’t find it. The Constitution only puts limits on the removal of habeas corpus, which implies that human beings possess this right naturally, and that habeas corpus is not some peculiar civil privilege, such as welfare, or some right that only citizens have, such as voting in our elections.

Similarly, human beings possess the rights in the Bill of Rights naturally, and as such, government is prevented from infringing upon them in the first ten amendments to the Constitution. But the rights are not granted by the government or the Constitution; we already had the rights as human beings!

I recommend that McCain read the Declaration of Independence. He has admitted that he is ignorant of economics, so perhaps he needs to brush up on his political theory and History, as well.

The Declaration of Independence declares the self-evident truth that God gave us our rights and that we are “endowed by our creator” with “unalienable rights,” such as, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Unalienable. Can’t be taken away. God-given natural rights. This is extremely important. Pay attention.

You see, if governments have “given” you “rights,” well then guess who can take them away at their will. Governments! McCain’s dangerous philosophy of rights as privileges is a recipe for tyranny. Government gives us our liberty? Is he serious? Well then that makes the state our god.

In reality, when something is granted, it is not a right at all. Something that is granted is, by nature, a mere privilege that can be revoked upon the whim of the entity which granted it–in this case, government…a scary notion, indeed.

A right, on the other hand, is unalienably possessed by somebody because he is the rightful owner of his life, liberty, and property. His own body, his thoughts, his decisions to move about, his money and possessions, etc.

These rights are his naturally. They are his property.

Rights are rooted in ownership of the property in question, and this very concept is God-ordained, thus we say that our rights are “God-given.”

They are NOT granted by government. They are NOT merely a privilege of citizenship.

Under the American philosophy of government where our rights are natural, or God-given, we have the power of free action that is limited only by the equal rights of others. And only when we impede upon the rights of others can government legitimately intervene to punish the criminal aggressor…and it can only do that through due process (they have to prove your guilt in a fair, speedy, jury trial).

The right of habeas corpus has been recognized as a basic right since the Magna Carta.

McCain is reversing the progress of human rights 800 years.

It doesn’t take the great mind of an ACLU liberal to figure this out.

As Ronald Reagan said, “The very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.” McCain, once again, betrays conservative values of limited government and God-given property rights. His is the view that the state is supreme.

Liberty and justice for all. But for McCain…just the privileged few. Just pray that you stay in the good graces of an arbitrary McCain government, because where the government grants “rights,” it can take them away. So watch yourself dissenters…especially because McCain has a “volcanic temper.” Will the American people let this man be the next ‘decider’?

[Scott Ritsema teaches Economics, Government, and Advanced Placement U.S. History at a Christian high school, and possesses a master’s degree in those three disciplines. Visit his new site CIVICS …news with a conscience.]

Scott Ritsema
Saturday, June 14, 2008

Source: Prison Planet

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.