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  #1  
Old 09-05-2008, 01:49 PM
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Some help with interpreting The Fifth Amendment

There is a part of the Fifth Amendment that I'm not totally sure on how to interpret. I was wondering what the general consensus may be.

Quote:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived to life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
My question is directed towards the part in bold, does this passage remove those fitting within that description from the rights and protections of the Fifth Amendment? And any other Amendment that would inhibit that statement?
 
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Old 09-05-2008, 02:03 PM
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That would be my interpretation of it.

(You have to be really careful with the "in time of public danger" portion, though)
 
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Old 09-05-2008, 02:08 PM
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Yes but that is how the Fifth Amendment is worded. Interpreting this though you have to admit that the Supreme Court was then wrong to give those that are enemy combatants protection under this amendment.
 
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Old 09-05-2008, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by thegamerslink View Post
Yes but that is how the Fifth Amendment is worded. Interpreting this though you have to admit that the Supreme Court was then wrong to give those that are enemy combatants protection under this amendment.
Classifying people as enemy combatants doesn't make them so.

I swear, people give the gov't to much credit. I expect it from welfare statist Liberals, but damn man, remember your roots. Small government, less government, rule of law to protect the individual rights.
 
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Old 09-05-2008, 02:39 PM
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First, I think there's a difference between being wrong and going against the constitution.
Because the Supreme Court decided not to adhere to the constitution in this case, it doesn't automatically follow that they were wrong. Perhaps a better word can be used here.

Second, it sounds to me like the sentence that you bolded only would apply to American Service men and women. I don't think it applies to foreigners.

And, if you are a party to the Geneva Convention, for example, then those rules would supercede the rules of your own country. That principle helps to keep American POWs in reasonable condition when captured by an enemy that doesn't have a constitution as kind to the individual.
 
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:02 PM
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What I'm meaning, and I know I wasn't clear enough, being that I was in the military I was already aware that our own military members do not enjoy the protections of the Constitution while they are on active duty. Especially at a time of war. They adhere to the system "Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

I'm not saying the government has carte blanche in charging whoever they want anytime they want for whatever they want.

But those that are caught in the act so to speak such as those captured on the battlefield or those captured in the process of a terrorist act should not be afforded rights above and beyond the rights we provide our own military members but allow them perhaps the same system they have. Not a system of the civilian courts but the system of the military courts.

And Zap, I don't remember where it states in the Geneva Convention that those of an opposing side be afforded access to a countries civilian court system or rights of the countries constitution as if they were citizens of that country. Could you point that out please?

This doesn't blanket everyone in Gitmo. There are those there that I am sure are guilty only by association, or not guilty at all but were targets of someone else's misdirection tactics or whatever the case may be. But in the case of those that the case can be made for such as those captured on the field of battle or in the act or planning stages then I think it is correct that the military handle their disposition, this is how it should be according to our Constitution, and it is how it is supposed to be according the the Geneva Convention.

Last edited by TechWizard; 09-05-2008 at 03:11 PM.
 
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Old 09-05-2008, 04:29 PM
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remember your roots. Small government, less government, rule of law to protect the individual rights.
My definition of "enemy combatant" doesn't mix with my definition of "person of interest".

In the event that someone is captured on the field of battle or is wearing the uniform or symbol of a known enemy they are an enemy combatant. If they are caught in the act of terrorism, seeing as the current war is a war on terror, then they are an enemy combatant.

If someone is suspected of having ties with others that are enemy combatants. Or having donated money to charities that support terrorists, or a multitude of other things then I would place them in the category of "person of interest" and should be afforded the rights of any other individual until it is proven they fit the category of enemy combatant. Then the military should take over jurisdiction.

That I think is the line that should be drawn and the line that should be adhered to. I haven't read the Patriot Act, or at least at the moment don't remember the details if I have, but it was my understanding that it was drawing a similar line but including some special circumstances i.e. wiretapping without first attaining a warrant for calls going over seas to suspected terrorists(enough probable cause to support a warrant which is still required to be obtained, just not before the beginning of the tap).

What steps are acceptable to allow for a reactive defense to terrorism versus a reactive response to terrorism?
 
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegamerslink View Post
And Zap, I don't remember where it states in the Geneva Convention that those of an opposing side be afforded access to a countries civilian court system or rights of the countries constitution as if they were citizens of that country. Could you point that out please?
No. That wasn't what I was saying. I was actually saying something completely different. The Geneva Convention affords POWs a certain set of rights that have nothing to do with the capturing country and their laws. That's one of the main points I was trying to make.
If the US (as an example) was at war with China, you wouldn't want captured American soldiers to be subject to the laws of China. The Geneva Convention protects them by granting them certain rights outside China's internal laws because China is a party to the Geneva Convention.
 
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:44 PM
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Exactly, the Geneva Convention actually states if not mistaken that POW's are not to be held to civilian laws of the capturing countries. And it is a direct violation of the Geneva Convention to hold them in civilian detention facilities. They are also to be held in an area that is safely distanced from the area of conflict. This supports even more my stance that the Supreme Court was in actuality incorrect with it's ruling. Not only were they over riding the Fifth Amendment but interfering with the Geneva Convention as well. Unless there is a clause in their ruling that states those that have been captured from the field of battle or in the act of terrorism in compliance to as it is defined by the "War On Terror", do not fall within this ruling.

To do it any other way is not only a huge concern towards national security, an insult to every citizen that enjoys the protections of the Constitution, but a major slap in the face to every man and woman serving or ever having served in the United States Military.

Not defending every act that has taken place in Gitmo, I'm not privy to everything that has transpired in the past or what has been done to rectify any wrong doings if any. But I do propose in the absence of those accused wrong doings, the existence of Gitmo and the detention of the actual "Enemy Combatants"(POW's) is in compliance of the Geneva Convention.
 
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