Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Scaremongering

It’s not often that I get a chance to agree with some hard-core conservatives, but when they’re right about something, I don’t have a problem with it.

Former Republican Congressman and Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr, David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union and Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, have teamed up to urge the Gitmo detainees be taken to the U.S.

“The scaremongering about these issues should stop,” Barr, Keene and Norquist wrote.

“Civilian federal courts are the proper forum for terrorism cases,” they wrote. “Civilian prisons are the safe, cost effective and appropriate venue to hold persons in federal courts.”

“Likewise the federal prison system has proven itself fully capable of safely holding literally hundreds of convicted terrorists with no threat or danger to the surrounding community,” they wrote. “We are confident that the government can preserve national security without resorting to sweeping and radical departures from an American constitutional tradition that has served us effectively for over two centuries.”

I sincerely doubt that Messrs. Keene, Norquist, and Barr have suddenly become enamored of Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, but I also know that quite a few true conservatives were appalled at the over-reaching of the Bush administration’s attempts to circumvent the constitutional protections and viewed the USA PATRIOT Act with great suspicion. (Mr. Barr has even come out in favor of repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, a law he once supported, as government intrusion into the private lives of citizens, both gay and straight, and the rights of the states to make their own laws.)

What it comes down to is the we should trust the Constitution to provide the means of protecting us and our rights, and that’s one thing we can agree on whether we’re liberal or conservative.