Wayne Root: Fox News TV Live Video

Wayne Root: Fox News TV Live Video: Wayne Root on Fox News Live

Wayne Allyn Root ran for the Libertarian Presidential nomination in 2008 and currently Chairs the Libertarian National Congressional Committee. His best-selling Book ‘The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts.’ is now out in paperback
His web site: www.ROOTforAmerica.com

171 thoughts on “Wayne Root: Fox News TV Live Video

  1. John Jay Myers

    This is really bad, at least Mark Levine was holding the line.

    It doesn’t come down to money, it comes down to rights and the constitution, Wayne shouldn’t be backing a trial in Gitmo, he should be backing removal of Gitmo.

  2. NewFederalist

    This was certainly NOT one of his better efforts. He definitely came off third best. If this was supposed to represent a liberal viewpoint, a conservative viewpoint and a libertarian viewpoint it sure didn’t work to Fox News’ satisfaction. The liberal won hands down.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    Wayne,

    The reason the post-WWII Nazi trials were held in Nuremberg is that Nuremberg was considered the visible seat of Nazi ideology and power (e.g. the Nuremberg rallies, immortalized in Leni Riefenstahl’s “Triumphof the Will”).

    The US Constitution is not unclear on the subject:

    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

    If your 20 friends can’t read and understand that, perhaps Dakota can come home from Harvard for a long weekend and give them a seminar on it.

    You just got your ass whipped on Fox — by a “liberal.”

  4. Robert Capozzi

    Suggesting that “justice” is a function of “being broke” is poor rhetoric. By that logic, are we to suspend ALL trials? Of course not.

    I don’t have a position on what to do about Gitmo and these allegations, but were I advising Root, I would have couched it as a “security” issue, not a financial one.

    The procedural legalities here seem extremely complex. I’d like to hear from some L lawyers on the matter, especially ones with backgrounds in international criminal and/or military law.

  5. Robert Capozzi

    I do believe that trial venues are sometimes moved because of jury prejudice and/or security concerns.

    It’s jurisPRUDENCE, after all.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @5,

    Trials are sometimes moved out of the LOCAL area in question, but never out of the JURISDICTION in question.

    For example, the US trial of Jared Loughner has been moved from Arizona to San Diego, but not out of the United States. In a state case, a trial may be moved from one county to another, but an Illinois trial won’t be moved to Missouri.

    If the 9/11 attacks took place in the US, they are presumably a federal matter (since the crimes took place across state lines and in multiple sub-jurisdictions).

    I guess a case could be made that they are international in jurisdiction, in which case there’s always the International Criminal Court.

    But, the Bush administration alleged that Guantanamo Bay was not within the jurisdiction of the US courts — in which case, the US can’t try them there.

  7. Michael H. Wilson

    Wayne I have no idea who you talked to prior to the show, but it doesn’t sound like much of the advice you received was sound. May I suggest checking in with some of the people in the LP. As you jolly well know many of us on this list are more than willing to share our views. You might consider giving us a try.

  8. wayne root

    These are hilarious critiques…my appearance was a huge hit with every person that matters in this situation– Fox News viewers, conservatives, Tea Partiers, common sense independents and New Yorkers. I wasn’t there to defend or attack Gitmo. Nor did you ever hear me defend Gitmo. I was there to

    A) Call it politics by Obama, which is clearly is.

    and B) Make the point STRONGLY that this is an economic issue. Having the trial in NY would have cost $1 BB. That’s not my number. Thats the media experts’ number all over the NY news. Thats separate from the cost to the federal government. That’s separate from the lost income to New Yorkers and Wall Street.

    NY State has major financial problems. The trial was unaffordable and unrealistic. It would badly damage business in NY for months…tie up traffic so the city would be paralyzed and waste $1 BB.

    Now add in the terrorism risk to New Yorkers. It would make any U.S. city an instant target for every terrorist in the world- but especially New York. Terrorists are already obsessed with New York.

    There isn’t any support from NY taxpayers or voters for having it in NY. Zero. Not from Democrats either. To the contrary normal New Yorkers were petrified of having the trial here. I spoke for their concerns.

    Sorry boys and girls…it’s time for the LP to be a political party, not a debate club. Life isn’t theoretical. This isn’t about some imaginary Libertarian idea. This is the real world. You don’t live in NY. It could never and should never have even been an option. Unless you want to kill business for months on Wall Street- the center of capitalism. There would be no way to conduct business in lower Manhattan for months on end.

    Whether it’s in Gitmo or not…it cannot be in the United States. No city or state can afford the treasure or the security risk. All common sense mothers and fathers agree.

    I turned it into a 100% Libertarian economic issue. Perfect Libertarian response. Just different than you’d have given. Not quarreling with yours.
    Yours is for a debate club…because it repels 90% of the mainstream voters (and all parents.” No one wants a terrorist trial in their backyard. And in the end, I side with taxpayers and business owners whose livlihoods would be threatened.

    There is no one Libertarian way. Sorry if this is only a “civil rights” or Gitmo issue…but it costs multi-billions of dollars to do it your way…and it paralyzes Wall Street…and adds billions in debt to our children and grandchildren…there is nothing Libertarian about that answer.

    Spending another reckless billion is not Libertarian.

    If I’m wrong, why did almost every NY Democratic Congressman and Senator oppose the trials here?

    Having the trials in NY could never happen in the real world. It isn’t a liberal vs conservative issue. It’s a common sense, stop wasting our money, and keep our children safe at night issue.

    And according to every anchor and host at Fox News…and every email I received from viewers…I schooled my opponents and won the day decisively.

    My goal is clear- I want to win converts from conservatives, Tea Partietrs and right centered independents. They are the only voters who support smaller government. They are the way to grow the LP.

    If you disagree go sell your vision. Why aren’t you? As Paulie says all the time…where are the heroes of the LP left on TV and radio? Why aren’t you invited on? I do quite a few liberal talk shows. Why does even the left choose me as the guest?

    Stop complaining and criticizing and get off the couch. I welcome the competition.

  9. Root's Tea Party Customer Base

    Did Root avoid offending the bigger portion of his customer base? (i.e., the Tea Parties.)

    If so, it was a good busine$$ decision.

    Whenever Root is forced to choose between libertarian chumps, or the more lucrative Tea Party chumps, it makes business sense to tell the Tea Partiers what they want to hear, and screw the libertarians.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    You’re right, Wayne. This isn’t theoretical. It’s real life, real world — and either the Constitution matters or it doesn’t.

    What’s the point of “winning converts” to an anti-libertarian position?

    That said, I’m not complaining or criticizing. I’m just pointing out that you got your ass whipped. In public. On Fox. By a liberal.

  11. wolfefan

    No one seemed to worry about the expense of the Moussaoui trial in Virginia not far at all from the Pentagon… and that went off just fine. Of course, New Yorkers are pretty sensitive sorts… 🙂

  12. NewFederalist

    Geez Wayne… lighten up! You got run off the set by a liberal who waved around a pocket Constitution. You might have Cato send you one so you could do it too. Perhaps John Stossel would let you have one of his. BTW, you might take the time to read it.. it has some pretty good stuff in there that just about everybody ignores nowadays. I will give you this… you were gentlemanly enough to let the other two “pundits” make jerks of themselves by shouting over one another while you showed restraint. Other than that, you did not bring your A game.

  13. JT

    Wayne: “Having the trial in NY would have cost $1 BB.”

    How was that figure calculated?

    How much $ does it cost U.S. taxpayers to keep Gitmo open?

    Wayne: “There would be no way to conduct business in lower Manhattan for months on end.”

    Why not? You’re saying that during the trial nobody would go to work there for months? If so, based on what?

    Wayne: “This is the real world. You don’t live in NY.”

    Born and raised.

    Wayne: “If I’m wrong, why did almost every NY Democratic Congressman and Senator oppose the trials here?”

    Because they’re trying to appear “tough.” Why do they oppose cutting spending substantially? Because they’re trying to appear “compassionate.”

    Wayne: “My goal is clear- I want to win converts from conservatives, Tea Partietrs and right centered independents.”

    Right.

    Wayne: “They are the only voters who support smaller government.”

    Wrong.

    Wayne: “They are the way to grow the LP.”

    Um, probably a quarter right. I’d say another quarter is the strong civil liberties/anti-interventionist left. Slight right-leaning and slight left-leaning independents are the other half.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT@13,

    Thanks for bringing this quote up that I missed on the first go-around:

    “There would be no way to conduct business in lower Manhattan for months on end.”

    How much money to you want to bet that I can find examples of business being conducted in lower Manhattan on the afternoon of September 11th, 2001?

    A KSM trial in Manhattan would probably bring many multiples of the trial cost in revenues to lower Manhattan, if nothing else in the sale of bottled water, Nathan’s hot dogs and big foam fingers to all the protesters.

    No, I’m not from New York, and I’ve spent very little time there — but I’ve spent enough time there to know that there’s nothing New York’s entrepreneurs won’t find a way to make a buck on.

  15. John Jay Myers

    I am sorry on this TV show, you just made points, not libertarian points, not principled points, simply monetary points that enforce the Republican stance, that will put you in favor with that crowd.

    But I don’t think you are going to find anyone who is a libertarian thinking that you went on that show and made a single “convert” and if you did that convert would wonder what we were all about once he met us.

    You are getting on TV that is great, but you make us look bad when you do… that is horrible.

    Here are some talking points:
    1. Gitmo is unconstitutional we need to shut it down.
    2. Not trying these guys in New York is unconstitutional.
    3. The war on terror is unconstitutional.
    4. We could move the trial out of New York City, but it shouldn’t be a military trial….especially at Gitmo.
    5. Why can’t even keep our own prisoners in our own country? Why do we bring these guys 5000 miles to have them sit 90 miles off our shores? Are you kidding me?

    The obvious answer to that last question is so that we can torture them and say that it was okay with the 14th amendment since they were not “under our jurisdiction” which is complete crap but…

    Seriously anything is better than this.

    And had you realized that instead of the long reply above, you still could have saved some face, but now you are trying to defend it.

  16. Michael H. Wilson

    Wayne writes; If I’m wrong, why did almost every NY Democratic Congressman and Senator oppose the trials here?

    Because most of them have no idea what is right and what is wrong. Secondly they’ll do just about anything for votes

  17. Jill Pyeatt

    Wayne says @ 8: “my appearance was a huge hit with every person that matters in this situation– Fox News viewers, conservatives, Tea Partiers, common sense independents and New Yorkers. ”

    Wow, look who is NOT in that list of people who matter to Wayne: Libertarians.

    Oh, and Wayne, as far as your list yesterday of the new rules you set down for IPR readers:

    I’ll do as I damn please, thank you.

  18. Jill Pyeatt

    I agree with all the points made by Mr. Myers in 15 above. We are the United States, and we should be the standard bearer for human rights. Instead we have a bunch of haters who are trying to create a whole sub-class of humans: “terrorists”. I can’t believe we’re talking about basic human rights in 2011.

  19. Michael H. Wilson

    The preamble to the Constitution begins with these words ; We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice,…

    It does not place a value on justice and this nation certainly can afford a
    $1 billion to cover a trial in New York. A billion is a small fraction of what has been spent in Iraq and last time I looked I didn’t think I could put a price tag on Justice.

  20. David Colborne

    I propose a compromise: Hold the election in Albany. From what I’ve heard about NY State government, it could stand having business killed for a few months there.

    Another possible compromise: Hold it in Nevada. We could use the $1BB, and nobody does event security like Las Vegas or Reno. Heck, hold it in Caliente in the Million Dollar Courthouse. Lincoln County is always up for anything – they’re the same people that begged the Feds to relocate the nuclear waste depository from Yucca Mountain to somewhere – anywhere! – in their county, much to the chagrin of Nevada’s congressional delegation.

    With that out of the way, I’m going to do something borderline suicidal, politically speaking. I’m going to argue against JJM and his talking points:

    1. Gitmo is unconstitutional we need to shut it down.

    Technically, it’s a naval base. Even the Constitution allows us to have a standing navy, so its existence as a naval base is certainly constitutional. As for its status as a military prison, which is basically what it currently is, the Constitution doesn’t discuss where military prisons can be located.

    2. Not trying these guys in New York is unconstitutional.

    The 9/11 attacks crossed several state lines. If memory serves, the flights that ultimately ended up crashing into the WTC came from Boston. There was also the Pentagon attack and the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. The suspects were trained in flight schools in Florida. This strikes me as the textbook case of a federal crime, in which case anywhere in the United States would have jurisdiction.

    3. The war on terror is unconstitutional.

    I don’t know if it’s unconstitutional or not, though I will happily concede that it’s a bad idea to declare war on an idea.

    4. We could move the trial out of New York City, but it shouldn’t be a military trial….especially at Gitmo.

    Why shouldn’t it be a military trial? They are being tried for committing what amounts to an act of war. Killing over 2,000 people is not “mass murder” in the Charlie Manson sense – it’s mass murder in the “I just bombed Pearl Harbor – what are you going to do about it?” sense. Military courts deal with this sort of scale routinely (well, as routinely as anyone does). Criminal courts, on the other hand, almost never deal with something of this magnitude. I mean, what are you going to charge them with? 2,752 counts of pre-meditated murder?

    5. We can’t even keep our own prisoners in our own country? Why do we bring these guys 5000 miles to have them sit 90 miles off our shores? Are you kidding me?

    I’ll note that Gitmo is substantially closer to New York City than Barrow, Alaska, which is actually in our own country. I also note that Gitmo is technically in our own country, at least as much as my apartment is “mine”.

    I’m willing to change my mind on these issues, which is why I’m bringing them up here – I’d love to hear the counterarguments for these thoughts so that I can consider them. However, I suspect this is one of those areas where there’s a marked contrast between theory and reality, and I think even the theory is shaky. Heck, if you believe the state is illegitimate, it shouldn’t matter if somebody has the sanction of the state or not before committing a war crime – if you intentionally kill (or aid in the killing) over 2,000 civilians in cold blood, that’s a war crime and should be tried accordingly. If that’s not in the jurisdiction of a military court, I’m not entirely sure what is.

  21. Jake Witmer

    I am generally disgusted by arguments that the government can’t afford its core legitimate functions, while it can afford to put us all in debt to afford its illegitimate functions.

    Wayne’s position isn’t quite this bad (he opposes the government’s illegitimate functions as well), but (while I still welcome his frequent televised libertarian defenses on other subjects) I don’t agree with him very much on this topic. I believe that the US Government wants to give the alleged hijackers a non-trial, (not a fair trial) in GITMO.

    We should always view changes in “trial procedure and venue” as the most dangerous precedents a government can possibly set.

    In 1850, the government wanted “a simple change in trial procedure” that allowed it the ability to enforce the Fugitive Slave Law. 161 years later, we still have “voir dire” and now, it doesn’t apply to the trials of fugitive slaves, it applies to trials for speeding, driving without a license, justifiable homicide trials, gun control trials, drug trials, gambling trials, ‘obscenity’ trials, etc….

    In all areas where the State wishes to violate individual freedom, it must first circumvent the immense stumbling block raised by the guarantee of proper jury trials.

    I disagree with Wayne on this issue, (although I usually agree with him, and by no means am abandoning “the Wayne Root camp”). What is to prevent the state from declaring Wayne (or someone like Wayne, who is less connected, or would be missed less) an “enemy combatant”, and giving him a mock trial in a foreign country? …Nothing.

    And what of Wayne’s “finger to the wind” statement that Americans from all across the political spectrum are with him on this issue? (It’s irrelevant to any discussion of principle. Moreover, it undercuts any long term plan for increased relevance of the libertarian position.) And Wayne’s implication that liberal New Yorkers suddenly care about fiscal responsibility? …I call bullshit!

    The core issue here is fear of additional terrorism. (Liberal New Yorkers are simply being hypocritically pragmatic about their perceived threat of terrorism.) But do we seriously let fear of terrorists (acting in concert with Rahm Emanuel’s gun ban) govern our actions? Is that how low we’ve sunk?

    Maybe the unconstitutional and cowardly USSA should experience more and more terrorism until they get serious about the Bill of Rights! Maybe terrorism is a symptom of a country disavowing its core principles. Maybe terrorism is a symptom of a country weakened by collectivism. In the same way that a man near death by starvation sometimes has to worry about vultures and rabid dogs, America now needs to worry about terrorists! The question of returning America to health is not even being entertained at this point. …Sad!

    When the government respects my right to carry a concealed weapon, and encourages gun safety and training courses as a means of making the USA safer, I’ll know that they’re serious about doing all that they can to decrease the risk of terrorism. After that point, maybe I’ll sign up to fight Islamic terrorism. After that point, and only after that point, if the US government wants to make executive decisions that circumvent the Bill of Rights, in order to reduce terrorism in a desperate last act of survival, I’ll listen (as the people in the novel “Starship Troopers” ultimately restricted the franchise to soldiers-only). …But that point will never arrive, because strong and free countries have almost infinite wealth and a corresponding relative ability to defend themselves. Even in our current weakened-state, the USA is vastly more powerful than rogue Islamic nomads, worldwide.

    Until the point that the US government respects individual rights, it is just one more totalitarian regime that pays lip-service to individual freedom when doing so will further its one true goal: increased state power.

    If the Libertarian Party’s minarchist vision is that the government be limited to a proper and constitutional military, court system, and police system, the Libertarian Party (and its candidates) should be synonymous with protecting “proper jury trials”. It is simply too easy for the government to declare US citizens “enemy combatants” or “traitors”. This view has never held any merit with serious thinkers, since the “Alien and Sedition Act”.

    I somewhat agree with one point that Wayne makes in his response to the criticism above: There is no one single arbiter of how the Non-Agression Principle is applied in practical reality. As long as he defends his actions with core libertarian principles (as he has attempted here), he should be taken seriously and ad hominem attacks should be avoided.

    Proper jury trials are a means to the end of justice: they trend toward allowing minority viewpoints to check untrustworthy government power (one in twelve randomly-selected people can stop a prosecution in its tracks, and attract public scrutiny to state prosecutors, and no jury verdict can be overturned).

    While the jury trial itself is not a core libertarian principle, it is a means that –especially in the long term– favors the protection and expanded application of core libertarian principles.

    Well-meaning libertarians and quasi-libertarians such as self-described “objectivists” like Leonard Peikoff occasionally disagree on this subject. They should not be attacked or “run out of the LP” for that reason (although Peikoff has no desire to be involved with the LP, and still holds his mentor’s “party line” on the LP, to my knowledge).

    I think the major difference between the Wayne Root and Leonard Peikoff views and the “orthodox anti-war libertarian” view are that the orthodox anti-war libertarians:
    1) accurately estimate the danger of the US government to individual freedom.
    2) significantly underestimate the danger of Islam to individual freedom.

    This leads to a backlash from people like Wayne who think that something stronger must be done to combat terrorism. In the absence of intelligent suggestions from the LP (because people know they will be hooted down and run out of the LP if they promote anything other than anti-war and anti-retaliation views), such people embrace something in-between libertarian and the often illegitimate status quo.

    This is a shame, because so little of what really effects Americans on a day-to-day basis has to do with the foreign policy of the LP. (Well, it effects them, but only as debt effects them. Were the debt and overspending to be dealt with, foreign policy engagement would be a much more minor issue, and a much less uniformly debated one.)

    And who supports retaliation against an evil? Were someone to have held down the orthodox libertarians and cut their ‘heads off (the male equivalent of radical-Islam-justified female circumcision), they might well have a change in perspective. Were those libertarians to view radical Islam as responsible for 9-11, and to have had a loved one perish in the 9-11 attack, the same might be true. Libertarians do not disavow retaliatory force, and libertarian atheists, historians, and objectivists also fully-comprehend the unfolding tragedy of religious fundamentalism. The general public is very much closer to “objectivist” than they are to “anti-war orthodox libertarian”.

    The trouble is this: pro-defense libertarians have a home in the otherwise prohibitionist and anti-libertarian Republican Party. People such as Christopher Hitchens and RJ Rummel describe themselves as libertarian, yet will have nothing to do with the anti-war Libertarian Party.

    The recent burning of a Koran in Florida has caused a completely insane (and completely anti-libertarian, and anti-enlightenment) reaction from radical Islam, worldwide. This encourages a kneejerk retaliatory response, that though justified in its goals, is probably counterproductive to those goals.

    My view is that a proper jury trial and conviction for the hijackers would only strengthen liberty in the USA. I most closely agree with Mark Levine, who chose to side with western civilization and enlightenment on this issue. I am intimately familiar with the fact that I have vastly more to fear from my own government than I do from foreign terrorists at this point or any point in the foreseeable future. Many reasonable people –such as former MN governor Jesse Ventura– doubt the absence of government complicity in 9-11.

    Being killed by foreign terrorists is also a distinct possibility, made all the more likely by the fact that our government is both incompetent and overextended. I highly doubt anyone will be killed in the next ten years by Quaker terrorists, yet more people being murdered by radical Islam is a virtual certainty. Anti-islam libertarians should not be silenced, or hooted down for their views. They may well become the only flavor of libertarianism that is viable in the mainstream. If that’s the case, I’ll take anti-Islam libertarianism over 100% prohibitionist Republicanism.

    Libertarians can believe in the non-aggression principle and hold good faith differences in how they believe the legitimate (retaliatory) portions of the US government should best retaliate against religious terrorists who draw from a large (and growing) body of dedicated (and utterly insane) mystical adherents.

    Some libertarians disavow the concept of “total war”. But those same libertarians typically have not been on the losing side of the victimizers upon whom a retaliatory “total war” is being waged. Ayn Rand always defended the Union’s “slash and burn” form of anti-slavery for this reason. Frederick Douglass did the same.

    A “total war” violates individual rights. It also allows sociopaths “free reign” for their destruction within a limited time and scope.

    But if I were a slave on a southern plantation, there’s a damn good chance I’d have welcomed the sound of Grant’s troops slashing and burning their way through the plantation that belonged to “my master”.

    When situations decay into war, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and the world is turned on its head, in the pursuit of one single goal: the destruction and humiliation of the enemy. Every human being has a threshold beyond which there is only the desire for revenge. Ask any man whose wife and children have been brutally slaughtered: he wants only revenge. If he is on the side of right, he will not stop until he gets it. If he is on the side of wrong, he may simmer in his own hatred until he dies.

    Perhaps it’s this capacity for war that ensures humanity’s slow march toward individual freedom. (Bees evolved this way, and each individual bee has remarkable autonomy for such a low-level brain. I don’t see much more collective intelligence from human institutions than I do from beehives.) Although Lilburne tried to spare King Charles I from hanging, John Milton defended the hanging as a deterrent to future tyrants. (Who knows who was right? I tend to side with Lilburne, but I have no real proof that monarchs would have been any less capricious if they –as Lilburne proposed– didn’t fear death upon being deposed.) The sociopathic state has the most to fear from revenge parties, whose loved ones rot in prison, and who know that no trial will afford them relief. Again, the idea of “total war against tyrants” is an idea that does not tolerate the worst of tyranny. Such intolerance did –in fact– lead to the elimination of Southern slavery. (There may have been better ways, but there is no proof that such better ways would have definitely been possible in the USA.)

    Likewise, perhaps Islamic tyrants probably do have the most to fear from the current US “war machine”. In my limited dealing with radical Islam followers on college campuses in the USA, I can state that they –whether actively or not– support a philosophy of pure and irredeemable destruction of all that is libertarian and good in the USA. Moreover, they will not willingly cede any ground, except in the face of total physical defeat. Their philosophy worships only force, and needs to be routed in order to be redirected to constructive beliefs.

    The only question is …do US citizens also need to equally fear the same rogue state?

    The answer from the DEA, ATF, and random police agencies everywhere is a clear “Yes”.

    The answer from the few legitimate and talented actors within the US government, and the active military that supported Ron Paul is “No”.

    …I guess we’ll have to wait and see which views prevail.

    I will personally support “true-trials-by-jury-for-all-accused” until my death. I have too much knowledge of mock trials to do otherwise, and too much knowledge of the illegitimate sociopathic state to do otherwise. I am convinced that that position is morally and strategically correct.

    But I will always debate Wayne Root with an immense respect for the amazing and overwhelmingly positive visibility he has afforded the LP and the libertarian movement. A brief look at his media appearances on any given week puts most of the rest of the libertarian outreach world to shame. It’s clear to me by this point that his intentions are good, and his actions are overwhelmingly constructive, on the balance.

    PS: When Paul Butler, who hates Ronald Reagan, begins working with Wayne Root, who loves Ronald Reagan, on the issue of jury rights, there will be a broad movement toward liberty in the USA. The best possible ticket for the Libertarian Party would be a ticket with those two candidates for President and VP, running on a campaign platform of the supremacy of the jury, the fourth branch of government, the people.

  22. Michael H. Wilson

    David there is an argument that suggest that it is wrong to use military tribunals because the U.S. never declared war.

    Also our presence at Guantanamo is questionable because of the way we took it at the end of the Spanish-American War. Long story which I don’t have the time or desire to go into now.

  23. John Jay Myers

    David, I don’t think it’s political suicide, I take that as a complement, as for your points, you are probably close to right in at least your presentation.

    Let me see what I can do to fix my list I typed up far too quickly….

    1. I am going with it’s unconstitutional because we torture people there and keep them without trial. Even those who are not captured on a battlefield.

    2. I will go with TK’s quote above, which also is helpful in backing up number 1 “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” You may have a point in regards to state lines, but it should be held in America… in a court.

    3. Agreed, but I think it’s unconstitutional.

    4. Because like you said, terror is an idea, so who are we at War with? So how can they have a military trial. They need to have a trial, just like other terrorists.

    5. What makes this a talking point, is that it is strange that we bring these people so close to the U.S. but not to the U.S.

    I could be wrong about some of the things on this list, (or at least they might not be the perfect argument) I just think anything would be better than what we saw on this Youtube video.

    Speaking of political suicide, I will be flying to Washington next week to try and get on the LNC, for which I will probably need Wayne’s vote.

    I have been trying to be nice lately, but there is only so much I can do.

  24. David Colborne

    @25: If someone declares war against us, which the people behind 9/11 clearly did, does it really matter if we didn’t bother to officially return the favor?

    Regarding Guantanamo’s official status – our presence west of, oh, the Appalachian Mountains is “questionable” because of the way we took it from the native population a couple hundred years back. Since I don’t live in the Eastern Time Zone, forgive me for not being especially sympathetic to such claims.

    Please note that my stance on this issue does not mean that I’m in favor of torturing the prisoners in the camp, nor does it mean I otherwise approve of violating the Geneva Convention.

  25. Jake Witmer

    NOTE: I freely admit to not being as certain about foreign policy and its implications as I am domestic policy. I do note that I seem like the same individual that I am in the USA, when I am overseas. As such, I don’t want the USA to lose its ability to put legitimate pressure on foreign governments by undermining its moral high ground, here in the USA. Of course, the US government’s exported drug war has exported state-sponsored murder and terrorism to Singapore and many other foreign countries, so maybe a loss of its influence would be a good thing, overall. (And it didn’t save me from rescue when I was kidnapped by the Thai police state in Bangkok, after having overstayed my visa. In short, since I didn’t leave in time, they held me there against my will, until I could borrow enough money to leave: the logic of the extortionist state at work.)

    My strongest criticisms are of prohibitionism here and abroad. No form of libertarianism can tolerate victimless crime prohibition.

    In fact, I’m pretty sure that I favor total war on prohibitionists who claim the right to murder a young woman who attempts to smuggle drugs in her body, as is frequently done in Singapore. Further, I favor airstrikes against them, I favor their total and complete subjugation, before the USA can even slightly be taken seriously by anyone, as a retaliatory force. This means, of course, that complete legalization must precede this event, here at home. As a lesson to the Obamas and Rumsfelds of this world, this would be a clear benefit: “First, do no harm.”

    Upon their pardoning, each of the incarcerated 1.752 million victims of the drug war and other victimless crimes (73% of 2.4 million) could be invited to a Nuremburg trial of Obama, Holder, and his drug warriors.

    How can we support airstrikes in Iraq, when the IRS and DEA’s government buildings have been remarkably free from attack by our miltary’s predator drones? If the military exists to protect US citizens from hostile external attack, then why is this the case? Nothing could be more external to the Bill of Rights than the ONDCP! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_National_Drug_Control_Policy Doesn’t the ONDCP, DEA, ATF, and IRS (to name but a few), as terrorist organizations, do vastly more to terrorize US citizens, with vastly greater reach and certainty, than Islamic terrorists ever have or will?

    …So, maybe that’s all I know about foreign policy. In fact, maybe there’s no difference at all between foreign and domestic libertarian policy. …And maybe that’s somewhat sarcastic, but it points to the underlying truth. Human beings all individually experience pain. There is no collective pain or suffering.

    The US policy that is used to justify the murder of peasants for “drug dealing” or “drug use” is worse than anything Al qaeda has ever dreamed up. In sheer numbers of victims, this is definitely true. The USA can never claim the moral high ground while its prohibitionist policies are still in effect.

    Prohibition is a disgusting stain on the face of humankind. Support for it places one outside the ranks of the human, and into the ranks of the drug-sniffing dog: obedient in its destruction of innocent humanity, and the western value of social tolerance.

  26. David Colborne

    @28: I’m a local chair of the LP, and, if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say half of my affiliate is roughly in line with your positions. Consequently, arguing otherwise must be done very carefully.

    Let’s see if we can help refine our positions a bit:

    1. I am going with it’s unconstitutional because we torture people there and keep them without trial. Even those who are not captured on a battlefield.

    I’ll start by noting that I’m against torture. It’s a violation of the Geneva Convention (the Constitution does declare that all signed treaties are the “law of the land”, so violating it is a violation of US law) and, on a more practical level, it leads to poor intelligence gathering. People will say and do just about anything to avoid it. That’s not a conducive dynamic toward honest, fruitful intelligence gathering. It is, however, quote conducive toward hearing what your prisoners think you want to hear.

    Even so, that only declares that torture-related activities being conducted at Guantanamo are unconstitutional. It still doesn’t affect the constitutionality of Guantanamo in general.

    Regarding those who are not captured on a battlefield, if I was, say, Canadian and our countries were at war, would it matter if you captured me in the Nunavut, far away from the front, versus capturing me somewhere in the Dakotas? It’s quite possible to capture enemy combatants far away from an actual battlefield.

    2. I will go with TK’s quote above, which also is helpful in backing up number 1 “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” You may have a point in regards to state lines, but it should be held in America… in a court.

    Given the actions involved, I believe the procedure for treason would be more apt:

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

    The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

    Note that this does not require us to war them – it only requires them to war against us. I will also note that it only requires two witnesses to convict, not a jury trial.

    3. Agreed, but I think it’s unconstitutional.

    Okay.

    4. Because like you said, terror is an idea, so who are we at War with? So how can they have a military trial. They need to have a trial, just like other terrorists.

    If someone declares war against us, are we required to return the favor in order to treat them accordingly? For example, since we weren’t at war with Japan when they bombed Pearl Harbor, does that mean we were legally required to try any captured Japanese airmen from that battle as civilians?

    My argument is these people declared war (either in a de facto or a de jure capacity) against the United States and, just as importantly, acted accordingly. They may not be recognized as a state entity in the Westphalian sense, but, as sovereign individuals, they do not need our recognition in order to become a de facto state capable of warring against us. I mean, it’s not like we need to require an itemized 1040-WAR from an opponent before we recognize their ability and desire to war against us, right?

    5. What makes this a talking point, is that it is strange that we bring these people so close to the U.S. but not to the U.S.

    It’s a little strange, but, then again, Guantanamo has the advantage of being amazingly well isolated. The Cubans want nothing to do with anybody in the facility and we certainly won’t let them leave voluntarily. Consequently, from a purely logistical standpoint, it makes sense. If we had a location on US soil that was as well suited toward this particular purpose, I’d be happy to encourage their relocation.

    Please bear in mind that my stance is not meant to condone torture, imprisoning people without any due process (military or otherwise), imprisoning people after they’ve been found innocent, or any of the other excesses that have been committed there.

  27. Thomas L. Knapp

    David @ 29,

    You write:

    “If someone declares war against us, which the people behind 9/11 clearly did, does it really matter if we didn’t bother to officially return the favor?”

    If Congress either can’t be bothered to declare war or is confused as to whether or not the situation merits doing so, then why should we allow the federal government to use “we’re at war” as a justification for any given policy?

    Legally/constitutionally, Congress and Congress alone has the power to put the United States into a state of war. It either has done so, or it hasn’t done so. It hasn’t done so since 1941. In the current conflicts, it has not only not done so, but has defeated bills proposed to do so, and in its “authorizations to use force” has explicitly stated, by means of “war powers reservation,” that it is not doing so.

    If they want the ride, let them buy the ticket.

  28. David Colborne

    @32: If you declare war against me and I don’t have a mailing address to send a formal declaration of war to in return, does that mean I have to treat you with kid gloves and due process?

    The trouble here is, if we were going to declare war against anyone, it would probably be al-Qaeda. However, doing so would grant that organization greater official recognition than we’d care to grant at this time; plus, they could just as easily change their names to something else. Consequently, it wouldn’t do any good to formally declare war against them. That doesn’t mean, however, that we’re not at war with them, or, at least, that they’re not at war with us, which is all you need to prove treason anyway.

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    David @32,

    “If you declare war against me and I don’t have a mailing address to send a formal declaration of war to in return, does that mean I have to treat you with kid gloves and due process?”

    Of course not. Your obligation to declare war isn’t nearly as much to the enemy as it is to the people you expect to pay for the conduct of that war and put up with everything from minor inconveniences to outright suppressions of their usual freedoms pursuant to your conduct of that war on their alleged behalf.

    The US Congress has spent (through “emergency appropriations” and other wartime legislative tools) somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.3 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    It has also created whole new departments and agencies and umbrellas — Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration, a new national intelligence directorship, etc. — with extraordinary powers and at great expense pursuant to its “war on terror.”

    It has imposed various inconveniences — some would say outrages — on, and stolen various rights from, the citizenry, from warrantless wiretaps to the airport “porno scanners,” etc., etc.

    Ten years of this bullshit, trillions of dollars spent … but somehow they couldn’t find time to put the official rubber “we’re at war” stamp on any of it.

    “The trouble here is, if we were going to declare war against anyone, it would probably be al-Qaeda. However, doing so would grant that organization greater official recognition than we’d care to grant at this time”

    Hey, that’s just fine. Don’t want to give them recognition by treating them as a foreign power? Then treat them AS CRIMINALS. Arrest them AND HAVE TRIALS FOR THEM. Which, I think, is what we were already arguing about, right?

    “That doesn’t mean, however, that we’re not at war with them, or, at least, that they’re not at war with us, which is all you need to prove treason anyway.”

    Setting aside the fact that there’s no basis for a treason charge (they have no obligation of loyalty to the US to betray), and the fact that treason, like any other crime, has to be proven to a jury in a court of law (the Sixth Amendment was ratified after the treason clause and included no exception for that clause; therefore it amended that clause), how would you prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they were at war with us? “Yeah, some war — you say it’s been going on for 10 years, but somehow your own Congress hasn’t noticed.”

  30. John Jay Myers

    I think what we are ignoring in the conversation 33, 32, 29 etc… is that these wars are wrong.

    That what we need to do to end the war on terror is get out of the Middle East. Could we agree that if no more lives were lost if we just “called it a draw” then we could end it?

    Considering all the terrorists who attack us do so for two reasons:
    1. We are in their countries taking their resources.
    2. Our unconditional backing of Israel.

    I have no use for either of those things, so I would like us to end this.

    We also had to suspend belief for a minute to believe that these wars, and the war in Libya have anything to do with terrorism in the first place.

    They are about oil. I am sorry, sometimes we find ourselves lost in the details, (like we are above) and we lose track of the fact that this is all complete crap.

    I am being serious. We don’t have a war on terror, we have a war for terror:
    http://johnjaymyers.com/styled-3/

  31. whatever

    Having the trial in NY would have cost $1 BB. That’s not my number. Thats the media experts’ number

    It’s a bullshit number based on bullshit fearmongering. Real libertarians question establishment bullshit, not perpetuate it.

  32. JT

    David: “They may not be recognized as a state entity in the Westphalian sense, but, as sovereign individuals, they do not need our recognition in order to become a de facto state capable of warring against us.”

    You’re either a state, or you aren’t a state. If you hold the exclusive power to create rules of conduct over a specific geographic area and physically enforce them, then you are. If you don’t, then you aren’t.

    A war, properly defined, is an armed conflict involving two governments or citizens and their government.

    Any other acts of violence are just that. They’re criminal actions. Innocent people who have been killed by a criminal gang haven’t been killed in a “war” and aren’t “casualties of war.” They’re victims of violent acts. The number of people killed doesn’t change that fact.

  33. David Colborne

    @35: Though I disagree with your premises, especially regarding our motivations the motivations of the terrorists, I do agree with your conclusion that we should get out of the wars we’re in. We can get lost in the details about how each of us got there, but it’s really immaterial at this point.

  34. Robert Capozzi

    tk, yes, and then there’s the quasi-military component of the allegation.

    This doesn’t look like a cut-and-dried situation on many levels. Frankly, I don’t feel like getting into the legalistic weeds on this matter, particularly because it’s a special case, with any luck, one that won’t be repeated.

  35. Michael H. Wilson

    I for one actually believe that the defendants may be better off before a military tribunal than before a criminal court in New York. The courts are subject to the political winds.

    Fortunately a number of the military officers who have been assigned to the defendants have taken their role seriously and had the courage to stand up and take the heat. A couple, as I recall, have even given up the military commissions because of the pressure they got from higher up.

    That still does not suggest that the military tribunal system is the proper place to hold these trials. The proper place is the civilian courts. The New York courts were perfectly capable of holding trials for those who committed the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

  36. Robert Milnes

    Jake@23, Root/Butler the best LP ticket?
    No, I don’t think so.
    Any non -rightist ticket, that probably never appeared on Fox, would be preferable.
    Counterrevolutionary=counterlibertarian.
    Deal with it.

  37. George Phillies

    Obama’s military kangaroo court is is disgrace to America.

    NO Mr. Root, you listen. This is the LIBERTARIAN Party. Not the Republican Conservative = bottom of the Nolan chart party.

  38. LNC Funds Fascist AgitProp

    Because that is what Mr. Obama’s unconstitutional military kangaroo courts are — fascist show trials.

    And when the LNC funds Mr Root’s support of those trials, they are funding agitation and propaganda for fascism.

  39. Thomas L. Knapp

    LNCFFA@43,

    What makes you think that the LNC “funds Mr Root’s support of those trials?”

    I haven’t looked at line-item disbursements on LNC FEC reports lately, but unless something has changed, the LP doesn’t normally pay LNC members to make media appearances, especially when they aren’t claiming to be speaking AS LNC members.

    JJM@35,

    You write:

    “Considering all the terrorists who attack us do so for two reasons:
    1. We are in their countries taking their resources.
    2. Our unconditional backing of Israel.”

    I don’t agree that that’s the case.

  40. John Jay Myers

    TK I should probably take more time to write my responses on blogs, all in all my off the cuff responses normally go okay, but this is a delicate area and I probably should take more time to frame my arguments, that being said, I would probably only add:
    3. We are bombing their people and trying to install democracy through the barrel of a gun.
    4. Because they believe we are at war with Islam.

    Most terrorists claim that the reason they attack us is one of these core reasons. If you are aware of others I am always up for edumucatin.

  41. LNC Funds Fascist AgitProp

    @44

    Go to the front page of LP.ORG. the blog. It’s the LNC web page. They pay a ton of cash to keep it going. That’s the funding. And here they are, funding Mr Root’s support of the trials by Fundung the distribution of Mr. Root’s Fascist AgitProp in video form. Here is what the LNC friends of military kangaroo courts put up on their blog, to which the rest of us do not have access:

    “Blogs
    Watch Wayne Root on FOX News This Morning
    posted by Wayne Allyn Root on Apr 05, 2011

    Wayne Allyn Root, Chairman of Libertarian National Congressional Committee live in New York on FOX News today (Tuesday morning 4/5/11):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_wocpukGX0

    I’d be surprised if they paid Root to open his mouth on camera. It would be like paying an unreformed alcoholic to have a drink on the house.

    George Phillies

  42. George Phillies

    It does not matter whether or not the speaker on that video was identified as an LNC member. Instead of Root, it could have been a member of the National Socialists. The LNC paid to support a web site that directs readers to a video that has someone identified as a libertarian advocating against trial by jury, thus harming our political movement’s good name at the expense of LNC donors.

    It s no wonder that National Party membership just hit another low for the year.

  43. Robert Capozzi

    8 wr: I turned it into a 100% Libertarian economic issue. Perfect Libertarian response. Just different than you’d have given. Not quarreling with yours. Yours is for a debate club…because it repels 90% of the mainstream voters …

    me: As my critique appeared before your rebuttal, I can’t tell if you are addressing my critique or not. My comments are VERY mindful of the 90%. I agree with you that the security costs to NY were prohibitive. I seem to recall talk of conducting the trials at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and perhaps the security costs there might have been manageable.

    I cannot agree with you that justice is a “100% L economic issue.” Justice isn’t just a cost/benefit analysis, as I see it. JurisPRUDENCE is the means to seek justice (at least in the US and UK), and it may well not have been prudent to have the trial in lower Manhattan.

    I’m not sure there is such a thing as a “perfect” L response, but, yes, there can and will be “different” L responses, especially in a complicated case such as this one.

    You were on TV, and TV needs soundbited answers. The implication that justice is purely a matter of dollars and cents, however, plays into a stereotypical L worldview that ALSO doesn’t play with the mainstream. Sometimes, doing the right thing can get pricey, but that it’s still the right thing. Often, however, the right thing is not obvious, and in this case, it’s surely not obvious.

    Yep, that might be too nuanced for TV. Nuanced soundbites might seem oxymoronic, but no one ever said winning back liberty would be easy!

  44. Robert Capozzi

    47 gp: …someone identified as a libertarian advocating against trial by jury, thus harming our political movement’s good name at the expense of LNC donors.

    me: Hmm, when did Root say this? I didn’t hear him say anything like that. Are you extrapolating again?

  45. Aaron Starr

    Folks, I say cut Root some slack here.

    The issue of Gitmo is a difficult one for any of us to handle well on television in such a way that many people will like the answers we give.

    Also, keep in mind the way these shows work. You often don’t know the subject in advance. At best, you’ll have a couple of waking hours to prepare talking points.

    The hosts of the show are not going to tolerate some long John Galt-like lecture. You need to give very short answers or people’s eyes will glaze over.

  46. JT

    I should amend my post 37 to say “two or more governments” instead of “two governments.”

  47. whatever

    The issue of Gitmo is a difficult one

    How is the Gitmo issue any more “difficult” than the Auschwitz issue? Does Mr. Root hold similarly nuanced views on that issue?

  48. Aaron Starr

    Here’s one possible libertarian short answer to the issue that might be positively viewed by a conservative television audience.

    The issue is how to try the accused without incurring needless expense or putting others at risk. There is nothing inherently wrong with holding an accused person in Gitmo, per se.

    You can have a civilian trial by jury with normal due process rights without the security headaches – just handle the trial remotely by video.

    This practice is done all the time in both federal and state courts — prisoners are arraigned everyday from jails by video. The judge is able to talk to them, and they’re able to respond.

  49. Tom Blanton

    Boy, it’s a good thing for Obama that firing missiles from drones at civilian homes in nations that we are not at war with isn’t considered terrorism.

    Anyway, Wayne said all the right things to transform right wing talk radio tea party rubes into Reagan Libertarians and that’s why thousands and thousands of them have joined the LP and donated millions and millions of dollars. And that’s why Wayne will be the next President and leader of the free world.

  50. Tom Blanton

    The issue of Gitmo is a difficult one for any of us to handle well on television in such a way that many people will like the answers we give.

    That’s right! When FOX News has us on TV, fuck a bunch of that libertarian nonsense. The idea is to say things that right wing talk radio tea party rubes will like. You know that they get creeped out when they hear ideas they don’t normally hear on right wing talk radio, so why get them upset with weird libertarian ideas?

    Besides, FOX News isn’t going to invite you back on if you say anything that deviates too far from acceptable right wing dogma.

    Hooray for Root for saving the LP and America!

  51. Aaron Russo Jew

    @ 50

    “Folks, I say cut Root some slack here. The issue of Gitmo is a difficult one for any of us to handle well on television in such a way that many people will like the answers we give. ”

    I’d say Mark Levine did a pretty good job of expressing the libertarian position on trials. Did he have more time to prepare or are his principles more libertarian than WAR’s?

    “Also, keep in mind the way these shows work. You often don’t know the subject in advance. At best, you’ll have a couple of waking hours to prepare talking points.”

    Wayne said he had time to make 20 phone calls to important non-libertarians – like he usually does when Fox has a topic for him to discuss.

    “The hosts of the show are not going to tolerate some long John Galt-like lecture. You need to give very short answers or people’s eyes will glaze over.”

    How about “We should bring the terrorists to justice in front of a fully informed American jury not a secret Stalin like show trial at an alleged military torture facility.”

    That’s a ten second soundbite. Although, WAR, with his unique brand of salesmanship, could probably say it even faster.

    In Liberty, with Eternal Vigilance,

    Jim Duensing

  52. whatever

    @53 – There is a Sixth Amendment right to face your accuser in this country. That means face-to-face. You can’t have the DoD/ standing army interpositioning itself via some satellite uplink. They could be feeding Roger Rabbit cartoons through that thing with no one the wiser.

  53. Matt Cholko

    AS @53 – That has to be one of the worst ideas I have ever heard. You’re right, arraignments are conducted by video quite often, but, leaving aside whether that is acceptable, we’re not talking about an arraignment here. We’re talking about a trial – presumably, one where the defendant(s) are charged with multiple felonies.

    It doesn’t take a whole lot of thinking to see how a video trial would be terribly unfair to the accused. Two GIANT problems that come to my mind are – 1) since juries are comprised of humans, the fact that they don’t need to look at the defendant in person, but they do have to see the faces of the victims and/or their families crying in the courtroom, would almost certainly make the emotional “climate” in the courtroom favor conviction.

    Second, what about the right of the accused to confront his accuser(s)? Think about how much easier it is for you to talk shit about someone behind their back than to their face. Imagine how much easier it would be for witnesses to make condemning statements, that aren’t quite right, when the person they’re condemning to death, or life in prision, or even 10 days in jail, isn’t there.

    I guess you could make a case that this idea may appeal to some people, but it sure as hell doesn’t sound like a libertarian position to me. Even if you could make a really compelling case that it is necessary for the 9-11 suspect for some reason (security, money, whatever), you’d be advocating for the start of a very dangerous precendent.

  54. Aaron Starr

    @57

    Uhhh … It’s called technology.

    Do you think that because the First Amendment says “Freedom of the Press” that it should only apply to newspapers and not blogs?

  55. Aaron Starr

    @58

    I suppose the government could pay for the travel of witnesses to Gitmo to testify for the trial. It would be a lot cheaper than the security needed for NYC.

  56. whatever

    Ashcroft has Zacariaus Moussasoui wear a torture belt at his trial in Alexandria. Whenever he did or might do something out of line during his trial, the Justice Dept. would zap him with his torture belt! I bet it only cost a few thousand dollars. (Cheap!)

    Maybe Mr. Root could endorse the “torture belt compromise” as the new Libertarian position.

  57. Jill Pyeatt

    So, whatever, if Zacarius Moussasoui is found innocent, does Cheney then wear the belt?

  58. Aaron Starr

    Matt @58

    I’m not in favor of military tribunals for the accused.

    I don’t see why we should really care very much about the geography of where a trial is held. It should be possible to conduct a standard civilian trial in Gitmo, just as much as in NYC. It’s the due process that should matter to us, not the location.

    Addressing your issue of emotional climates, if I was a defendant under such circumstances, it would seem to me that I would be far less likely to get an unbiased jury in NYC than many other places.

  59. Aaron Starr

    Jim @56

    How about “We should bring the terrorists to justice in front of a fully informed American jury not a secret Stalin like show trial at an alleged military torture facility.”

    Don’t you mean alleged terrorists? They have to be found guilty first, right?

    🙂

  60. Aaron Starr

    MC @66

    So you’d be fine with conducting the trial at Gitmo, just as long as the jury was also there, right?

  61. Aaron Starr

    Jim @56

    If you were on the show I imagine you would have said:

    “We should bring the alleged terrorists to justice in front of an allegedly fully-informed allegedly American — show us the birth certificate! — jury not an allegedly secret Stalin-like show trial at an alleged military torture facility for a purported crime that was supposively conducted by an allegedly representative government in an allegedly inside job.”

    🙂

  62. Aaron Russo Jew

    @65 No. I mean we should bring ALL the terrorists to justice. We should prosecute ALL the terrorists in front of a fully informed jury.

    By terrorist, I mean those actually responsible for carrying out and covering up the attack. This includes but is not limited too Mahmoud Ahmed, Porter Goss, Bob Graham, Richard Cheney, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry Silverstein, and Marvin Bush. In a court of law, they would be alleged terrorists. They would be alleged terrorists UNTIL they have been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in front of a fully informed American jury for the acts of violence they committed in order to advance their ideology of hatred and oppression. On Faux News, the libertarian position should be that the public trials in front of fully informed American juries will continue until the American people are satisfied that ALL the terrorists have been brought to justice.

    Even the real terrorists deserve their 6th Amendment right to a fair and public trial. Let’s Roll.

    In Liberty, with Eternal Vigilance,

    Jim Duensing

  63. whatever

    @63 – I think they can just add the “torture belt app” ($1.99) to Cheney’s cyborg heart, if necessary.

  64. Jill Pyeatt

    I can think of nothing I’d like better than seeing Dick Cheney, war criminal, with a torture belt on. Now that I have this visual, I can go to sleep and dream well!

  65. Michael H. Wilson

    “Unfortunately, since I made that decision, Members of Congress have intervened and imposed restrictions blocking the administration from bringing any Guantanamo detainees to trial in the United States, regardless of the venue. As the President has said, those unwise and unwarranted restrictions undermine our counterterrorism efforts and could harm our national security. Decisions about who, where and how to prosecute have always been – and must remain – the responsibility of the executive branch. Members of Congress simply do not have access to the evidence and other information necessary to make prosecution judgments. Yet they have taken one of the nation’s most tested counterterrorism tools off the table and tied our hands in a way that could have serious ramifications. We will continue to seek to repeal those restrictions.”

    http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/ag/speeches/2011/ag-speech-110404.html

  66. whatever

    @69 – KSM has the right to take a look at both GWB and Obama’s birth certificates if this were an open society.

    (PS. I also support Mr. Root’s rights to Obama’s Columbia transcripts. )

  67. Aaron Starr

    @70

    No. I mean we should bring ALL the terrorists to justice. We should prosecute ALL the terrorists in front of a fully informed jury.

    Wow, just one jury responsible for all of them. They’ll be busy for a long time.

  68. Tom Blanton

    Since Obama claims the right to conduct extrajudicial assassinations of American citizens anywhere in the world with no explanation, why would evil terrorists form anywhere have any better treatment.

    Obama could do the libertarian thing and save the taxpayers lots of money just by merely assassinating the remaining Gitmo detainees just like he assassinates suspects in Pakistan.

    Obama don’t need no stinkin’ jury trial for these terrorist suspects because the normal conventions of international law don’t apply to America because we are exceptional.

    Wayne should consider this response in the event he is asked about this issue again.

  69. Thomas L. Knapp

    Duensing @70,

    You forgot Elvis. I’m pretty sure he was involved, too.

    I haven’t seen your birth certificate yet, and look forward to finding out which of America’s off-planet colonies you were born in, and how that works with the whole “natural-born citizen” thing.

  70. Thomas L. Knapp

    JJM @ 45,

    I don’t assume that al Qaeda’s propaganda / fundraising /recruitment pitches reflect their actual agenda any more than the US government’s propaganda / fundraising / recruitment pitches do.

    I agree that US intervention and support for Israel are primary motivators in making it possible for al Qaeda to raise money and recruit “grunts,” but I see no reason to believe that Osama is any more honest than Obama.

  71. Aaron Starr

    Duensing @70

    Make sure you also press for the indictment of Obama for allegedly starting all the riots in Libya as a pretense for his invasion?

    Be sure to let Alex Jones know so that he can post it on the Internet, then we will all know it’s true. 🙂

  72. Aaron Russo Jew

    @ 78 I don’t think Elvis was involved, unlike William Shears, Elvis is dead.

    I’ll release my birth certificate before WAR reposts his scrubbed article “How the GOP can get it’s groove back” by nominating the Dream Ticket of McCain / Lieberman.

    @ 80 Israel First Ostrich Libertarians like yourself who refuse to look at, inter alia, Larry Silverstein’s role in the attacks of 9/11 enable the terrorists and the tyrants.

    As WAR’s campaign director, you can dismiss apolitical Americans concerns about the security of our nation at your peril. I choose to run a campaign to actually bring the terrorists to justice and actually win this war on terror. That means the guilty parties must be punished.

    There is already more evidence pointing to KSM’s innocence than to Silverstein’s. Can you tell me what KSM is charged with in connection with the attacks? Silverstein has committed insurance fraud, collecting billions off the murdering of innocent Americans – after over-insuring his white elephant buildings against terrorism.

    As an American, I want the people responsible punished. If we disagree about who those people are, we can settle it through a fair and public trial in front of a fully informed American jury. I’m not afraid of trying the terrorists. I’m not afraid of more investigations.

    Why are you afraid of a public and fair trial if you have nothing to hide?

    In Liberty, with Eternal Vigilance,

    Jim Duensing

  73. Jill Pyeatt

    Thanks for speaking up, Jim. These trials could do a lot toward clearing up the mysteries of what really happened on 9/11. The prisoners at Guantanamo should be tried, and either released or properly imprisoned, based on the results. I believe the trials should be here, and I think the “expense” and “for security” are weak excuses for continuing to violate the rights of those men.

    I also say the trials should be made public. If there’s nothing to hide, the Powers That Be shouldn’t worry about what information is disclosed.

    I don’t care about what the Republicans or Democrats think. I care about what is right.
    .

  74. whatever

    Do we really need an open trial to find out what happened? Didn’t the TV tell us exactly what happened already?

    We know we can trust TV because Wayne Root is on TV, and Root is a good honest Christian and/or Jewish man.

  75. Robert Capozzi

    77 tb: Obama could do the libertarian thing and save the taxpayers lots of money just by merely assassinating the remaining Gitmo detainees just like he assassinates suspects in Pakistan.

    me: Overstated, but, yes, reducing “justice” to “economics” is a place I surely don’t want to see Ls positioned.

  76. From my view

    Do some people on this thread wear tin-foil hats and think that everyone is part of some form of conspiracy?
    LP is full of nuts. Scary to common Joe.

  77. Nicholas Sarwark

    Make the point STRONGLY that this is an economic issue. Having the trial in NY would have cost $1 BB. That’s not my number. Thats the media experts’ number all over the NY news. Thats separate from the cost to the federal government. That’s separate from the lost income to New Yorkers and Wall Street.

    Wayne’s constitution: Guarantees your inalienable rights as long as it doesn’t cost too much.

    I prefer the American one, myself.

  78. Eric Sundwall

    Various municipalities in upstate NY have offered to host the trials based on economic reasoning.

    The Platt Ammendment can be questioned in a sound byte and be perceived as savvy in the context of Gitmo, just not on Fox.

    Media appearances without a specific candidacy are simply debating. Yes, I’ve been on TV and don’t see it as a competition with fellow libertarians.

    I still have fifty bucks ready for when Wayne forms that committee.

  79. Robert Capozzi

    8 wr: My goal is clear- I want to win converts from conservatives, Tea Partietrs and right centered independents. They are the only voters who support smaller government. They are the way to grow the LP. If you disagree go sell your vision.

    me: Yep, I get that. I applaud your efforts generally, and generally my evaluation is your career and stature and standing have come a long way in a short time. Sometimes, however, I think you could reach your target audience just as effectively but with a slightly different approach. This particular venue requires provocative pithiness, and my critiques allow for a fair amount of latitude to accommodate for the medium you play in.

    I would think that when you review your own appearances, there are things about each performance that you might have done differently.

    I have too much respect for you to believe that YOU believe that justice is only about the cost of a trial. I don’t know ANYONE who believes that — L, conservative, Tea Partier, or independent. OK, maybe a few pitchfork-wielding Neanderthals….

    Just because I sometimes offer you constructive criticism does not mean that I mean to tear you down. To the contrary! I want you to be wildly successful as a pundit, in the same league as O’Reilly and Maddow. I’d prefer that you not make Olbermann-like mistakes, or Jimmy The Greek-like mistakes, for that matter.

    Everyone makes mistakes. The A listers make fewer of them, and know how to recover from them gracefully.

    IMO.

  80. Tom Blanton

    If the “media experts” told Wayne Root that a trial in NY would cost $3 trillion, would he believe them?

    Talk about conspiracy theories.

    And what “media experts” are saying a trial would cost $ 1 billion and what do they base this on? And what qualifications does a “media expert” have that enables him to provide this estimate?

    Are these “media experts” neocon PR hacks who shill for the military-industrial complex?

    Could it be that they don’t want the public to hear Khalid Sheikh Mohammed say that after being waterboarded (183 “pours”), and after his children were “renditioned” to an unknown place and held hostage, he told his torturers whatever he thought they wanted to hear?

    Could it be that Holder feared that the tortured confessions of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would not be admissible, therefore requiring a trial under the Military Commissions Act to facilitate a conviction?

    And what difference does a conviction make when Obama claims the power to hold a suspect indefinitely without trial or simply assassinate a suspect?

    The real question is why do libertarians embrace a guy who emulates Sean Hannity and falls for neocon/GOP talking points every time – and then regurgitates these talking points as if they were undisputed facts before national audiences.

    Do these libertarians actually believe this is the way to move America in a more libertarian direction? Do they think that this will help them in the area of electoral politics?

  81. JT

    Blanton: “And what “media experts” are saying a trial would cost $ 1 billion and what do they base this on?”

    I asked that very question at post 13 yesterday afternoon, but so far I’ve gotten no response. I asked how much it costs U.S. taxpayers just to keep Gitmo open and operating, but so far I’ve gotten no response. I also asked why Wayne thinks lower Manhattan would shut down for months during the trial, but so far I’ve gotten no response.

    Of course, Wayne has a right not to answer me or anyone else. But it doesn’t look good if he refuses to substantiate his claims.

  82. JT

    Starr: “I don’t see why we should really care very much about the geography of where a trial is held. It should be possible to conduct a standard civilian trial in Gitmo, just as much as in NYC. It’s the due process that should matter to us, not the location.”

    Why do you think the politicians want the trial at Gitmo? To get around due process. That’s the only reason why the place even exists.

  83. Robert Capozzi

    94 jt: Why do you think the politicians want the trial at Gitmo? To get around due process. That’s the only reason why the place even exists.

    me: Has someone said this publicly? I assume you’re speculating.

    Could be, but I suspect Gitmo was a hasty expediency.

  84. Bruce Cohen Post author

    @94 Actually, JT, there are other reasons to hold trials at Gitmo.

    You may not like them.
    You may not agree with them.

    But there are very good reasons to have Military Tribunals for certain situations and people.

    Is this one of those situations?
    Is Zack one of those people?

    It’s a discussion.

    The idea is that military combatants need to be handled differently than criminals. That they pose special risks and their treatment is governed by different standards.

    To say Military Tribunals should be illegal is nonsense.

    To limit them strictly and have defined situations where and how they can and should be used makes a lot more sense.

  85. Jill Pyeatt

    JT @ 94: “Why do you think the politicians want the trial at Gitmo? To get around due process. That’s the only reason why the place even exists.”

    I completely agree with this statement. I consider Guantanamo a shame on the United States.

  86. Jill Pyeatt

    BC @ 97: ” The idea is that military combatants need to be handled differently than criminals. That they pose special risks and their treatment is governed by different standards.”

    This is neocon propaganda. Learn to think for yourself.

  87. R. Lee Wrights

    Re: #82

    Jill states beautifully:

    “I don’t care about what the Republicans or Democrats think. I care about what is right.”

    Hear, here! Well stated! I am “adopting” this line! 😉

  88. Jill Pyeatt

    Actually, that’s not true. I almost never call people names, because I was raised better than that. I pointed out that you believe neocon propaganda–that’s not calling you one.

    Trust me, there are several other names I would use first to describe you.

  89. whatever

    Could be, but I suspect Gitmo was a hasty expediency.

    LOLz. A “hasty expediency” to GET AROUND DUE PROCESS, genius.

  90. whatever

    @103– As someone who has never read Ruwart’s gospel and finds her a bit of a dingbat, and has no idea who Hinkle is; as a disinterested observer I can assure you Wayne Root comes off as a Nazi scumbag in this TV clip.

  91. JT

    Capozzi: “Has someone said this publicly? I assume you’re speculating.”

    Do you think anyone in the administration would openly say that?

    Cohen: “To say Military Tribunals should be illegal is nonsense.”

    Well, that convinced me.

    Do you realize that the Military Commissions Act was just passed a few years ago? Somehow the U.S. got along without them.

  92. Tom Blanton

    Ray McGovern, who served as a CIA analyst for 27 years and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, has an article out today called “Military Tribunal May Hide 9/11 Motives” that may explain why the Neocons and the Zionists want the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed held as far away as possible:

    http://www.consortiumnews.com/2011/040511c.html

  93. Gains

    Seemed relevant to a some parts of this thread that meander into the psychotic and sociopathic.

    “The author champions his own parents for instilling in him what he calls an “internal pot of gold”—a measure of self-reliance and self-confidence which he thinks is vital for developing empathy. Children learn to consider the thoughts of other people only when the minds of those who care for them are safe places to enter. A child whose mother wishes he did not exist will not want to contemplate the thought, and will fail to develop empathy as a result.”

    http://www.economist.com/node/18483285?fsrc=scn/fb/wl/ar/medicalmalfeasance

  94. Jill Pyeatt

    Lee @ 100: Thanks, Lee, I feel honored! I love everything that you write.

    Tom @ 107: Thanks for the great link. I’ll post it to my Facebook page.

    Bruce @ 103: No comment is necessary from me. Your words speak for themselves.

  95. whatever

    @85 — It is the Obama/Holder government that is pimping a conspiracy theory here. They don’t want to offer the evidence for their conspiracy theory in an open court, where it can be tested and verified.

    Mr. Root supports Obama/Holder’s power to allege conspiracy while not providing a proper open inquiry into their conspiracy claims.

  96. Alan Pyeatt

    FWIW, I called Wayne Root’s office and left a message (due to the time difference, his office was already closed). Hopefully, he’ll call me back tomorrow afternoon so we can discuss this.

    Advocating a violation of the Constitution (as Thomas Knapp pointed out @ 3) is bad enough, but this is what stood out to me: “These are hilarious critiques…my appearance was a huge hit with EVERY PERSON THAT MATTERS in this situation– Fox News viewers, conservatives, Tea Partiers, common sense independents and New Yorkers” (emphasis mine).

    So, Wayne claims to speak for us, but we DO NOT MATTER, in his opinion. That strikes me as being a little odd. Assuming I get to discuss it with him, I will ask what his criteria are for us to matter. I’m also curious what dollar level fair trials should be set at.

    I’m also very disappointed to see this on the LP.org website, and have asked Wes Benedict to have it removed.

    BTW, I haven’t thoroughly read all 111 posts, so I apologize in advance if this has already been pointed out, but the crime these people are accused of was not a military attack, it was mass murder, like Charles Whitman and Efren Saldivar. That means that they should be tried in civilian, not military, criminal courts.

  97. Alan Pyeatt

    Correction: whatever @ 111 has a good point. These people are accused of mass murder and CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT mass murder. Probably a lot of other charges, too.

    My bad.

  98. Robert Capozzi

    106 JT: Do you think anyone in the administration would openly say that? [Setup Gitmo to get around due process]

    me: Hmm, unlikely. So I take it you are speculating about other people’s motives. Could be. But it also could be that Gitmo is a patch. Sadly, I was not blessed with the ability to read minds.

  99. Jim Duensing

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Jim Duensing for President
    http://www.JimDuensing.com

    Obama the socialist sees nothing wrong with secret Stalin show trials.

    Libertarian Presidential Candidate Jim Duensing Calls on the Obama
    Administration to Defeat the Republicans in Congress by releasing KSM from
    Gitmo so he can be tried by a Fully Informed Jury.

    Yesterday, the Obama Administration reversed itself on the issue of bringing the terrorists to justice.

    During the campaign, Obama talked about closing Gitmo and ending the practice of torture. His base and the rank and file members of his party were excited about ending the torture of the Bush / Cheney years. But as
    soon as he was elected to office, he covered up the destruction of torture tapes from the cia.

    Now, Eric Holder, Obama’s Attorney General is blaming Congressional Republicans for – Holder’s decision – to try certain alleged terrorists in a military tribunal where the American people will be unable to witness
    the events or the evidence.

    In December of 2009, Holder publicly expressed his intention to try KSM
    and other alleged terrorists in New York. That indictment, which has now been withdrawn, has also now been unsealed. It charges KSM with being the “plot’s operational leader”, but does not allege any actions by KSM on the
    actual date of the attacks. The indictment leaves it unclear what exactly KSM is alleged to have done on the day of the attack.

    A public trial could have cleared that up. We won’t have that now. Thanks to a cowardly Attorney General who once called the entire nation cowards. Guess it takes one to know one.

    Holder’s excuse: Congressional Republicans have removed allocations of money in the federal budget to pay to transport prisoners from the torture facility at Guantanamo Bay Cuba to America for trial.

    In this way, the Congressional Republicans are showing themselves to be weak on terror. Budgets are about priorities. How many more things should be more important to the United States Congress than preventing another 9/11?

    Eric Holder said this in his press conference to announce that he had decided to remove the case from a real court:

    “Unfortunately, since I made that decision, Members of Congress have
    intervened and imposed restrictions blocking the administration from
    bringing any Guantanamo detainees to trial in the United States,
    regardless of the venue. As the President has said, those unwise and
    unwarranted restrictions undermine our counterterrorism efforts and could
    harm our national security. Decisions about who, where and how to
    prosecute have always been – and must remain – the responsibility of the
    executive branch. Members of Congress simply do not have access to the
    evidence and other information necessary to make prosecution judgments.
    Yet they have taken one of the nation’s most tested counterterrorism tools
    off the table and tied our hands in a way that could have serious
    ramifications. We will continue to seek to repeal those restrictions.”

    If Eric Holder is sincere in his position that the trials should be held in New York, than he should not be so much of a coward in the face of
    Republican opposition. He should call on his President to release KSM from Gitmo so that there would be money in the budget to transport him to trial.

    KSM and any other alleged terrorists, must be brought to trial according to our Constitution – or the terrorists will have won. Our Constitution
    does not just apply in simple easy times. All persons charged with any crime in America have an absolute right to a full, fair, public, and
    speedy trial in front of a fully informed jury. This is as bedrock a principle of American justice as there is.

    Ask John Hancock, William Penn, or William Mead.

    It is simply not an issue that merits any serious discussion. Secret Military Tribunals are for Stalinist Russia not Modern America. And, they
    are part and parcel of what is wrong with Socialism.

    Since Eric Holder lacks the courage to stand up to the Republican House’s political maneuvering, he has shown he lacks the character required to be Attorney General. He should resign or be replaced by a more courageous Attorney General with the courage of his convictions and a healthy respect
    for the traditional American rights protected by our Constitution and secured by generations of American Fighting Men.

    The Obama Administration should use this as an opportunity to keep one of its campaign promises. It should close the torture facility at Gitmo, not start holding secret trials there.

    ——————————————————-
    ———————————————————

    This press release was sent to IPR, as publicly requested. However, neither it nor a previous press release have been posted here.

    To sign up to receive press releases from the Jim Duensing for President campaign – so you can stay informed of what real Libertarian candidates are saying on the issues click here:

    http://mail.jimduensing.com/mailman/listinfo/pressreleases_jimduensing.com

    In Liberty, with Eternal Vigilance,

    Jim Duensing

  100. Thomas L. Knapp

    Alan @ 112,

    I think you’re making a logical error. I’m not certain if it’s an IMPORTANT error or not, but I’d like to work through it with you.

    ROOT: “my appearance was a huge hit with EVERY PERSON THAT MATTERS in this situation”

    You: “So, Wayne claims to speak for us, but we DO NOT MATTER, in his opinion.”

    Root’s “in this situation” makes a big difference.

    “I want it, right here on the on the floor — now!”

    My significant other on one hand, and a carpet installer I’ve hired and who is behind schedule on the other hand, are probably going to have very different reactions to that statement.

    If I’m saying it to one of those two, does the other one matter in that context?

    Wayne may be of the honest opinion that libertarians and [insert demographic here] speak completely different languages, and that when he’s talking to one group the opinion of the other group as to what he says really don’t “matter” … in that situation.

  101. Alan Pyeatt

    Well Thomas, since he claims to be our spokesman, I think we should matter. Conservatives seem to matter. New Yorkers seem to matter (except JT @ 13). Tea partiers matter. Some group called “common sense independents” seem to matter. But the people he claims to speak for obviously don’t matter (since his appearance was not such a “huge hit” with so many of us).

    No, I don’t see how I’ve misunderstood or made any logical error at all.

  102. Thomas L. Knapp

    Alan @ 117,

    All right, then — if you’re satisfied with your opinion, I’ve got no special interest in trying to change it.

    One fortunate (for me) side effect of leaving the LP is that nobody who understands the distinction between the Libertarian Party and ideological libertarianism buys Root as a representative of the latter for more than 30 seconds or so after he opens his mouth. I can see why that’s a problem for the LP though 😉

  103. JT

    Robert: “So I take it you are speculating about other people’s motives. Could be.”

    Yeah, that’s what I’m doing. I’m using evidence and drawing the logical inference from that.

    Robert: “But it also could be that Gitmo is a patch.”

    What do you mean, “a patch”?

    Robert: “Sadly, I was not blessed with the ability to read minds.”

    You don’t need to read minds if you have relevant, credible evidence and the ability to draw logical conclusions. But you have to know that’s possible and want to do it.

  104. Mike B.

    There is no way I can vote for this guy if he becomes our party’s LP presidential nominee in 2012.

    Don’t be a Root_Licker!

  105. Jill Pyeatt

    Jim, I just posted your article, but I made up a title. What would you like it to be? I can edit the article.

  106. Tom Blanton

    What Root reveals about himself in his post is not so much that libertarians don’t matter to him, but rather people in general don’t matter to him.

    What he says or what he writes has nothing to do with truth, beliefs, or any particular political opinion, it has to do with Root winning the acceptance (having a “hit”) with the audience he is performing before.

    He sees himself as a super-salesman with the ability to craft a message using just the right words that allow him to manipulate and manage the perceptions of his audience.

    Like many politicians, used car salesmen, etc., Root is a fastidious groomer and exudes an unnatural exuberance – all of what contribute to his so-called dynamic personality.

    It is because of Root’s superficial persona and his rhetorical tactics that make many people distrust him. Is he genuine? Who knows? What does he really believe? Who knows?

    By his own admission, he says what he thinks people want to hear. Only his target (or “mark”) matters. For all we know, Root is sociopath. Who Knows?

    That he brags about what he thinks is his clever ability to manage the perceptions of others while in reality falling short of that tells me that everything he says in suspect.

    Successful politicians and the most dangerous sociopaths are very good at reading people which allows them to manipulate and control the perceptions of their victims. Root is a rank amateur compared to a Bill Clinton. Root only understands what natural right-wingers want to hear without understanding the emotions and psychology behind why they need to hear it. He seems to be clueless as to what anyone other than knee-jerk conservatives want to hear and he is totally unable to read them.

    This is made evident by what seems to be his befuddlement over why many libertarians aren’t as taken with him as he is taken with himself. Not that this really bothers him. He simply moves on to the next “mark”.

  107. whatever

    I am mistaken – the DoD DID NOT dump a bunch of people in a concentration camp on Cuba in order to keep them out of the hands of the US Justice system.

    I think Rumsfeld just had all this beautiful Caribbean beachfront he wanted to share with people… but the Commie Castro wouldn’t let him put up condos … so… something… get back to me….

  108. LibertyDave

    The reason the War on Terror and Military Tribunals at Gitmo are wrong is easy to understand.

    Lets look at the war on terror first. When the government declares war on an object or idea its the American People that get screwed. In the 1960’s LBJ declared a war on poverty and we end up with the welfare state and poverty levels are about the same. In the 1970’s Nixon declared a war on drugs and we can all see how well that gone. And now Bush declared a war on terror and we get the TSA and other abuses. Are you starting to get the picture.

    As to why Military Tribunals are wrong, it is because terrorist are criminals, and al-Qaeda is a criminal gang just like the mafia. They both use fear and intimidation to get what they want. If we start treating al-Qaeda differently then the government will feel free to start designating gangs as terrorist and locking them up with out trials. Then they start going after the people that say thing the government doesn’t like.

    Our system is not in place to keep the terrorist from justice, it there to protect us from the government.

  109. Bruce Cohen's Winning Personality

    Bruce Cohen: “You and the Hinkies/Takanoogies will shrink the party down with bad manners and rude treatment of others…”

    I presume others too have discerned this statement’s unintentional irony?

    Mr. Cohen’s lack of self-awareness — of how others perceive him — is astonishing.

  110. Jill Pyeatt

    BCWP @126: Yes, he continues to astonish me, although I should be used to it by now. Luckily, I don’t even need to respond because his writing and behavior tells the whole story about him.

  111. Robert Capozzi

    120 jt, a “patch” is like a software patch or patching a tire to stop a leak.

    jt: You don’t need to read minds if you have relevant, credible evidence and the ability to draw logical conclusions. But you have to know that’s possible and want to do it.

    me: Yes, your particular speculation is POSSIBLE. Other logical conclusions are also POSSIBLE. It’s my practice to avoid speculative, conspiracy theories, in part because I found that my speculative abilities were sometimes spot on, sometimes a bit off, and sometimes WAY off. Perhaps your speculation track record is far more accurate than mine was.

    In this case, we will probably never know the full motives behind the establishment of Gitmo. Just like we’ll probably never know aspects of what happened on 9/11, like those suspicious reports about what Cheney said and Mineta heard. And let’s not forget the holes in the Warren Commission report.

    When others speculate with a sense of certainty, they diminish their credibility with me. We have plenty of facts to grapple with without needing to spin out conspiracy theories.

  112. Robert Capozzi

    125 LD: al-Qaeda is a criminal gang just like the mafia.

    me: While I agree with you that the “wars” you cite have been injurious to the American people, I’m not sure this analogy holds.

    AQN seems different to me than organized crime. Organized crimes are essentially businesses looking maximize their income. I’ve seen no evidence to suggest that that’s what AQN is. My working description of AQN is a stateless, cross-border para-military network that employs terrorist tactics.

    How to respond to AQN’s alleged aggressions is not obvious to me. A case could be made for US criminal courts, US military courts, or international courts.

  113. Pingback: Wayne Allyn Root’s Dismal Science « Libérale et libertaire

  114. JT

    Robert: “120jt, a “patch” is like a software patch or patching a tire to stop a leak.”

    That’s obvious. How logically would Gitmo be a “patch”?

    Robert: “Yes, your particular speculation is POSSIBLE. Other logical conclusions are also POSSIBLE.”

    Logically…like what?

    We already know what’s been going on at Gitmo since it was established, the arguments made about presidential war powers from President’s legal counsel, and the pattern of civil liberties abuses that has accompanied the so-called War on Terrorism.

    Robert: “When others speculate with a sense of certainty, they diminish their credibility with me.”

    Oh no! I retract what I said then.

  115. whatever

    This is really one of the most idiotic things I’ve read at this site, and that’s saying a lot.

    You don’t know why these prisoners are in an extralegal concentration camp offshore? It’s a mystery? WTF, dude. There was a danger these people might leak into the justice system where open trials are required… hence the “patch.”

    wikipedia: “After the Justice Department advised that the Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp could be considered outside U.S. legal jurisdiction, the first twenty captives arrived at Guantánamo on January 11, 2002.”

  116. Robert Capozzi

    131 jt: How logically would Gitmo be a “patch”?

    me: From memory, I recall that Gitmo was established because the “enemy combatants” that were being captured fell into legal gray areas. The USG wasn’t sure precisely how they should be treated: criminals, POWs, something else. Gitmo was an expedient solution that grew into what it remains to this day. Even the Obama Administration has not been able to close it down, despite BHO’s expressed desire to do so. Perhaps he was lying then. Or perhaps the messy reality of the situation has the Administration acceding to the momentum set in motion by Compound W.

    Now, it COULD be that Gitmo was a secret plan that the Bilderbergers, New America Foundation, Free Masons, or some other shadowy force had intended all along.

    Perhaps Obama is actually a CIA operative, hand-picked by Bush 41 operatives, which might explain why Obama has followed through on Bush 43’s establishment of Gitmo.

    Scully and Mulder unearthed this nefarious plot, so it’s no surprise that Gillian Anderson has fallen completely off the radar, while David Duchovny has been reduced to playing a self-loathing narcissistic one-hit wonder sowing his wild oats. 😉

  117. JT

    That’s funny, Robert. But there’s no evidence for any of what you said. There’s solid evidence for what I said.

  118. Robert Capozzi

    jt, OK, I understand what you’re saying, but I do think there’s LOTS of evidence for the serious part: “rom memory, I recall that Gitmo was established because the “enemy combatants” that were being captured fell into legal gray areas. The USG wasn’t sure precisely how they should be treated: criminals, POWs, something else. Gitmo was an expedient solution that grew into what it remains to this day.”

    You are assuming motive. “Solid evidence” of motive requires a first hand account.

  119. JT

    Robert: ““Solid evidence” of motive requires a first hand account.”

    That requires being inside someone else’s head?

  120. JT

    I think if you find a cookie missing in a cookie jar, your kid has cookie crumbs on his face, and he tells you that he didn’t take it, you can logically conclude he did and is lying so he won’t be punished for it–even if you’re not in his head.

  121. Robert Capozzi

    JT, yes, that would be a reasonable inference in your highly imperfect analogy.

    It completely doesn’t rule out other explanations for the motive of establishing Gitmo. Using your own analogy, though — I’ll play along — the kid might say, Hey, I was hungry and you never told me I couldn’t have a cookie. Mommy told me I could have one! Or, you never told me I could NOT have one. Etc.

    Note that I am taking no position on Gitmo; I’m not justifying it. It may well be a bad idea. I’m not a lawyer. I would say that what I’ve seen it’s existence is not open and shut either way. You may think that it’s a slam dunk, to borrow a phrase from George Tenant. Based on results, Tenant was incorrect.

    I did and do oppose the Iraq War, just to be clear where I’m coming from.

    And, no, a first-hand account does not require mind reading. Other smoking guns like documents or eyewitnesses would help your case. That’s different than what you are maintaining, which is to infer motives when other motives are equally plausible.

  122. JT

    Robert: “That’s different than what you are maintaining, which is to infer motives when other motives are equally plausible.”

    I haven’t heard one yet that’s plausible. Federal courts in the U.S. are able to try anyone thought to have ties to terrorists. They have before. Why Gitmo?

  123. JT

    Btw, you completely missed the point with the analogy. The point was that based on the facts I provided, you could logically conclude the kid did eat the cookie (action) and is lying because he doesn’t want to be punished (motive).

  124. Robert Capozzi

    138 jt : Federal courts in the U.S. are able to try anyone thought to have ties to terrorists. They have before. Why Gitmo?

    Me: Most/all Gitmo detainees were captured on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. Alleged terrorists caught in the US indeed are tried in federal courts. It’s plausible to me that Gitmo detainees a different class of detainees than terrorists apprehended in the US.

    My working theory is the Gitmo detainees should have been deemed POWs. Attempting to create a third class of detainee on the fly was not cool (i.e., imprudent). Going back further, I thought the Iraq War was a colossal mistake. Afghanistan had some justfication, but was horribly handled. Of course, we could go back to Adam and Eve as the original mistakes if we really wanted to get to the root of things. 😉

    If a child is caught at home with cookie crumbs on his/her face and cookies are missing and the rule is: No cookies, that fact set does lead one to think it’s highly likely that the child ate the missing cookies. An alternative explanation IS possible, though. If, however, cookies are missing, but the child is at a neighbor’s house, the fact set gets far more complicated. The parent goes next door and sees cookies on his/her child, alternative explanations increase dramatically. Perhaps the crumbs are from cookies he/she got there, given by the neighbor parent, for ex..

    The parent may have not accounted for the cookies at home properly. Someone else might have eaten them. Etc. etc.

    So, if the kid says he/she didn’t eat cookies and there are crumbs on his/her face, the case is strong that he/she is lying. If the parent has established a track record of being erratic in his/her rulemaking and excessively punitive, the lie is an understandable defense mechanism. The reason the analogy is so weak, however, is that no one denies the existence of Gitmo (the cookies). The justification for Gitmo is the issue, and the justification (the rules surrounding the eating of cookies) may be weak…in my judgment, it is weak, because my working theory is that the detainees should have been treated as POWs.

    Multi-variable fact sets don’t always lend themselves to pat answers. Isolating the salient facts as best we can and then making assessments is something we all do, but leaping to simplistic conclusions with no possibility of alternative explanations is not my practice.

    Rand and Rothbard attempted to reverse engineer evaluation of human action. They developed a (similar) construct through absolutistic deontological means, and then evaluated behavior based on this (simplistic) precept. That tradition is still to this day strongly present in the LM. It’s one of the reasons why Ls largely remain on the fringes, IMO. We often want to address current events by making black-and-white evaluations, making stark right/wrong statements about the insubstantial pageant unfolding in front of our eyes. This sense of simplistic certainty has an appeal in this increasingly complex, nuanced world. It IS a different approach, I’ll grant that. I don’t happen to believe it’s the only path to liberty, however.

  125. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 140,

    “Most/all Gitmo detainees were captured on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq.”

    You seem to regard this as a fact. How did you come to “know” it?

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the subject of this particular argument, was arrested at a home in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Or at least that’s the official claim at the moment. There were previous iterations of the official account that differed — but the differences were concerning whether he was captured or killed and whether it happened in Rawalpindi or Karachi. I’ve never heard it claimed he was taken in arms on a battlefield.

    Ramzi bin al-Shibh was arrested in Karachi, Pakistan.

    Mustafa al-Hawsawi was arrested in Pakistan and transported to Afghanistan for handover to the US.

    Ammar al-Baluchi was arrested in Karachi, Pakistan.

    So was Walid bin Attash.

    Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was arrested in the United Arab Emirates.

    That’s all the names I noticed in the Wikipedia article except for that of David Hicks, who was allegedly captured in Afghanistan — but not by the US, and not on the battlefield.

  126. Robert Capozzi

    tk, thanks for clarifying. My research did not get to that level of granularity. Is “most” incorrect, based on your research?

    I share your skepticism about the circumstances for apprehension and detention at Gitmo. The “War on Terror” looks like an international The Crucible being played out. One big cluster fuck, starting with the Iraq War, if not the Afghanistan War.

    Still, is the purpose of Gitmo 100% to end run due process? Is any other motive 100% a “lie”? If yes, how do you know?

  127. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 142,

    My “research” consisted of going to0 the Wikipedia article on Guantanamo Bay’s detention operation and then looking at the articles on the detainees named in that article. I didn’t run through all the known names at Gitmo to determine where or how they were captured or anything like that (although I believe a writer by the name of Andy Worthington has done that kind of research in book form).

    So, this is definitely anecdotal. But when “anecdotal” comes up with “six not captured on the battlefield, one allegedly captured on the battlefield,” it at least calls into question the claim “most captured on the battlefield” — which is a claim I recognize you were accepting because it’s been frequently cited as fact.

    “Still, is the purpose of Gitmo 100% to end run due process? Is any other motive 100% a ‘lie’? If yes, how do you know?”

    100%? I’m seldom that certain about people’s motives or honesty.

    If you look at the official justifications over the years, they seem to come down to two:

    1) “We want to avoid giving these people due process” (for various reasons); and

    2) “Having them on US soil represents a security risk” (e.g. al Qaeda will assault the Supermax prison at Florence, Colorado to free them or whatever).

    The second justification rings rather hollow, if for no other reason than that Arab terrorists have a habit of attacking indirectly. They’re more likely to take 100 hostages on an airplane 3,000 miles away from the people they’re trying to free than they are to attack the place those people are actually being held.

    I’m not sure that nobody believes (2), but it seems to me that (1) is the justification that makes the most sense — and it certainly is one that’s cited.

  128. Robert Capozzi

    …more…

    Like the 9/11 Truth theory, theories about THE motive for Gitmo’s existence are circumstantial.

    Troofers seems to say…Cheney said this…Mineta said that…no footage of the airliner hitting the Pentagon…WTC 7 fell too fast…people heard explosions: Therefore, the whole thing was a gigantic false flag operation designed to whip up a war frenzy to subjugate all Muslims, especially those who pose any sort of threat to Israel. I hope that’s a reasonably fair shorthand.

    A more sober stance is to say, Hey, interesting facts. Worth looking into. Conclusion? Not winning. I do believe that’s your shorthand take, more or less, and I do believe I share it.

    Same deal for me with Gitmo. Lotta bad ju ju there. Whether W and BHO are just modern day versions of Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan, bent on brazen, lawless world domination, for me, not winning, too.

  129. Robert Capozzi

    143b tk, yes, I agree #2 is weak. Do you have a quote for #1, or is that your interpretation? I’d like to see some credible proof that Genghis and Kublai WANT to avoid due process.

    (It would be easier to just be proven incorrect by the pat answer that’s hiding in plain sight!)

    My working theory is that Genghis and Kublai are both utterly confused, actually. Yes, they’d likely like to extract information from the detainees. They may not in their minds say that they can completely avoid due process…I’d put THAT as likely, too. They are overwhelmed with an array of countervailing facts and legal and “geopolitical” opinions, as well as electoral and public relations considerations.

    It’s all a bit scary, actually. In some ways, the “they are evil” Khans incarnate is easier and oddly comforting. They are really, really confused is more frightening in some ways, since deeply confused people are prone to do really unfathomable things.

    It could be that the Black Helicopters will be picking people like you and me up any day now as known enemies of the State. 😉 Perhaps we’ll be re-educated in the ways of the Great and Mighty Khans, all knowing, all powerful.

    Or it could be that these confused actors on the world stage will stumble and bumble along, wreaking havoc, and yet somehow or other, civilization survives.

    Stay tuned.

  130. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 145,

    You write:

    “Do you have a quote for #1, or is that your interpretation?”

    House Speaker John Boehner wants to deny KSM due process because he’s afraid there might be an acquittal:

    The possibility that Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his co-conspirators could be found ‘not guilty’ due to some legal technicality just blocks from Ground Zero should give every American pause.

    US Senator Joe Lieberman wants to deny KSM due process because he’s afraid KSM will use a trial as a recruitment platform and because, well, he just thinks due process is a crazy idea for people whose guilt he’s already decided on:

    Putting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a public courtroom in full view of the public gives him a better platform than any member of al Qaeda has been given to recruit new members …. To try them as common criminals, giving them the constitutional rights of American citizens in our courts, is justice according to Alice in Wonderland …

  131. whatever

    I’m not 100% sure Joe Lieberman is a scumbag. I mean, Wayne Root likes him! Joe’s disgust for the Constitution? Seems it could be just an honest mistake.

    It would be imprudent for us as political enemies to attribute his actions to anything but saintly intentions. Interesting. Too early to draw any conclusions. Needs a few more decades of study. Would be rash to come to any conclusions before 2525.

  132. Robert Capozzi

    tk, congress talks a lot of trash, and are generally not the policymakers in such matters. Has the Genghis or Kublai administrations ever made such a statement?

    btw, I can’t say Boehner’s and even Lieberman’s point is without merit. If jurisdictions clash — where the military takes a military action and then a detainee is transferred from a military context to a civilian, criminal one, of course the procedures that supplement 4A (Miranda, for ex.) create jurisdictional challenges. Changes the groundrules midstream seems off to me, too.

    One big mess.

  133. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 148,

    You write:

    “congress talks a lot of trash, and are generally not the policymakers in such matters.”

    If that’s the case, then please explain why the other day the Attorney General of the United States announced the cancellation of KSM’s trial in New York because Congress wouldn’t allow it.

    “Has the Genghis or Kublai administrations ever made such a statement?”

    On pretty much a daily basis for the last ten years, including before the Supreme Court in Rasul v. Bush, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, Boumediene v. Bush.

    Jesus. Where the fuck have you been for the last decade?

  134. Tom Blanton

    Jesus. Where the fuck have you been for the last decade?

    Good question. Lots of people should ask themselves this. It is fairly hard work to stay informed about what is going on. In fact, it is nearly impossible to keep up with. Regardless, I am often appalled at how misinformed libertarians are regarding issues that they claim are important to them.

    I’m afraid that a majority of libertarians just don’t know what time it is. Things aren’t like they used to be. There may be reasons why some of us are radically opposed to government that just weren’t covered on Good Morning America, the Hannity Show, or even Wayne Root’s latest rant.

  135. Robert Capozzi

    148 me: “congress talks a lot of trash, and are generally not the policymakers in such matters.”

    149 tk: If that’s the case, then please explain why the other day the Attorney General of the United States announced the cancellation of KSM’s trial in New York because Congress wouldn’t allow it.

    Me: Notice the word “generally,” kind sir. I’m aware of Congress’s intervention in a legal jurisdictional disagreement. As I understand it, Holder made this decision in part under jurisdictional protest. On that narrow point, I find Holder persuasive.

    149 tk: On pretty much a daily basis for the last ten years, including before the Supreme Court in Rasul v. Bush, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, Boumediene v. Bush.

    Me: I’m not a lawyer, and no single lawyer will have the definitive legal opinion on the many takes on the cases you cite. The summaries of the cases indicate that the Supreme Court decisions were themselves not unanimous. Personally, I find jurisprudence to not be the optimal means to obtain a rule of law, but it’s what we have in the US, so I’m dealing with it.

    I’m curious, Tom, whether you believe that the legal opinions are “right” when you agree with them, and “wrong” when you don’t? That seems the more important inquiry. Again, we’re probably talking from an entirely different paradigm, since as a relativist, I’m sure I don’t have all the answers and I’m sure my opinions lack the benefit of omniscience. Do you – as an absolutist – believe that your research of a few S Ct decisions makes you omniscient and capable of holding the DEFINITIVE take on the messy circumstances surrounding Gitmo?

    My feedback is that there are legal scholars who’ve spent lifetimes studying legal theory and practice who’ve not attained that level of knowledge. Good for you if you think you have!

    150 tb: I am often appalled at how misinformed libertarians are regarding issues that they claim are important to them.

    Me: I feel your pain, Brother Blanton. Had I not once been a simplistic absolutist, deeply mired (I’d even say “confused”) by absolutist thinkers like Rand and Rothbard, I might still share your view.

    Having an encyclopedic knowledge of “facts” does not necessarily lead to truth. Liberal and conservative wonks may have a more comprehensive grasp of these sorts of facts than even you do, and yet you would likely disagree with them, yes? Based on your set up, how do you conclude that they are “wrong” and you are “right”?

    Facts and truth are not the same thing. Facts and “morality” CERTAINLY are not the same thing. I suspect we agree here.

    Let’s stipulate that you and TK have a “deeper” well of the facts surrounding (in this case) Gitmo than I do. I totally grant that I’ve not followed every twist and turn of the story. Frankly, the whole thing sickens me, so doing forensic inquiries on the subject doesn’t seem like the best use of my time.

    Based on my (limited) grasp of the Gitmo issue, it appears to involve a number of legally gray issues. Near as I can tell, your (less limited) grasp of the Gitmo issue, is that there is a pat, black-and-white “correct position” on the matter.

    If correct, how do you know that there is a correct position on Gitmo?

    As an amateur (yet full time) observer of the world, I do entertain a number of takes on the issues of the day. I do my best to suspend judgment, consider them, evaluate them, conduct thought experiments on occasion, and sometimes I offer my take. Sometimes I don’t, as I consider the matter further.

    It appears you have a different approach. Hope that’s working for you.

  136. Robert Capozzi

    150 tb: I’m afraid that a majority of libertarians just don’t know what time it is. Things aren’t like they used to be.

    me: OK, what “time” is it? And how do you know?

    tb: There may be reasons why some of us are radically opposed to government…

    me: Yes, there “may be.” Then again, there may NOT be, too, according to your construction. There MAY be reasons to roll the State back, too, I’d say the case for doing so is strong, compelling, actually, IMO. There may NOT be reasons to “radically” “oppose” ALL government, too. Can you cite any for us?

  137. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 151,

    You seem to be mistaking my citation of Supreme Court cases as citations of the rulings in those cases. Re-read for comprehension, please.

  138. Robert Capozzi

    153 tk, thanks, I do believe I get that. ANY legal proceeding involves the facts and the interpretation of the facts by the judge or jury.

    In the cases involving Gitmo, legal minds line up on various sides of the issue, as do laypeople.

    For us lay folk, being up on the legal wrangling may or may not be useful…apparently, you find it useful. In my case, I don’t especially find it useful beyond knowing that Gitmo has created a wrinkle in US and international law that is sorta interesting, but I view as pretty much a sideshow.

    What is torture and what isn’t? Which law applies in this case or that? Perhaps delving deep into these weeds may be helpful for some.

    I prefer to spend more time thinking about the grander sweep of things in a more holistic manner. The details are important although in my experience some get too mired in them and lose sight of the big picture. I’d delegate these details to lawyers, myself, although I’d prefer it be delegated to lawyers whose focus is on liberty maximization, while maintaining a sense of proportion.

  139. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I’ll try one more time.

    You asked me if the Bush or Obama administrations had made statements to the effect of X.

    I answered yes, and pointed out that said administrations had made such statements through their Solicitors General before the US Supreme Court in various cases.

    I don’t see how whether or not X is correct has any bearing on your question or on my answer to your question.

  140. Robert Capozzi

    155 tk, the effect of X, if I’m reading this thread properly, is “the purpose of Gitmo 100% to end run due process.”

    We live in some off-the-hook times, but I really doubt an SG has said this. They may have said things that effectively end due process if one assumes that “due process” is the due process that US citizens and residents (generally) receive in the US.

    Again, this looks like a jurisdictional quagmire.

    If an SG said, “You know what, we just don’t care which procedures apply here, we’re just going to hold KSM for 20 years at Gitmo because we say so.” Now THAT would be a violation of due process.

  141. WorBlux

    You have an 8x greater chance of being killed by a cop than by a (Islamic) terrorist.
    Most of the recent “terror” plots that have been uncovered were entirely or in large part instigated by government-paid provocateurs.

    Every extraction made by the IRS is ultimately made under threat of death for non-compliance. So as April 15 approaches let us not forget who the real terrorists are.

  142. Tom Blanton

    Me: I feel your pain, Brother Blanton. Had I not once been a simplistic absolutist, deeply mired (I’d even say “confused”) by absolutist thinkers like Rand and Rothbard, I might still share your view.

    Having an encyclopedic knowledge of “facts” does not necessarily lead to truth. Liberal and conservative wonks may have a more comprehensive grasp of these sorts of facts than even you do, and yet you would likely disagree with them, yes? Based on your set up, how do you conclude that they are “wrong” and you are “right”?

    Huh? The fact that NATO invaded Libya is a fact and it is also the truth. I might not agree with with this action, but it is true. Not based on ideology. It has been widely reported. I’ve seen video and pictures. All involved have attested to the truth of the invasion.

    The US has even admitted the CIA was on the ground in Libya weeks before the invasion – as Obama claimed there would be “no boots on the ground”. Facts. Truth. Not opinion. Not a conspiracy theory. The facts are the same whether liberal or conservative.

    When I wrote:

    I am often appalled at how misinformed libertarians are regarding issues that they claim are important to them.

    I simply meant that many libertarians, as well as most people, are misinformed or uninformed because they don’t keep up with current events.

    This should have been clear to a moron because immediately before that I wrote about how hard it is to keep up with what’s going on.

    You are one that could stand to read the damn newspaper before you form your opinions, or rather a lack of opinions. Being willfully ignorant of actual events that are in fact true is a prerequisite of having sufficient knowledge about a given topic to have a meaningful opinion or discussion.

    If you are unaware of actions your government is taking, you have no context in which to place unfolding events – if you are even aware that certain events are unfolding. Morality, “truth”, opinions, etc. have nothing to do with being informed.

    Vague generalities regarding the fine points of epistemology have nothing to do with how Congress voted or how the NATO invasion of Libya affects China, or the incarceration rate in America, or any number of things that should concern you.

    But, I guess ignorance is bliss. Not knowing what the government is doing is a sure fire way to avoid being upset about it. It is also very easy to dismiss the concerns of others over matters which you know nothing of. It is much easier to label people as unsophisticated conspiracy theorists when they discuss information that has been widely reported when you have no knowledge of it.

    Instead of reading between the lines of a simple statement in order to provide a psychological profile of those whose opinions don’t fit your narrow and limited world view, why don’t you go read a damn newspaper, Capozzi?

    You might be shocked to learn some of the things that are actually going on in the world that you so often seem to know nothing about.

  143. whatever

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  144. Robert Capozzi

    159 tb, yes, facts can be true. When I say “truth,” I use is in the context of a wider interpretation of facts, such as this cite in the dictionary:

    “in truth, in reality; in fact; actually: In truth, moral decay hastened the decline of the Roman Empire.”

    “In truth” is used here as an opinion of what happened to Rome. “Moral decay” is an opinion, IMO. 😉

    Accumulating isolated facts may or may not lead to a wider understanding, IMO. Assembling a well of facts can be a useful exercise, but in my experience it seems to have a kind of point of diminishing returns.

  145. Tom Blanton

    Capozzi opines:

    Accumulating isolated facts may or may not lead to a wider understanding, IMO. Assembling a well of facts can be a useful exercise, but in my experience it seems to have a kind of point of diminishing returns.

    Well, Capozzi, of what use is your opinion if it is simply based on part or none of the relevant information regarding any given subject?

    I’d say your opinion would be worthless. Or are you now basing your opinions on your opinions of what reality is? I guess that saves a lot of time you would otherwise be wasting by reading the news.

    On the other hand, if you are seeking to win over the muddled minds of the dumbed-down rubes that are so often attracted to politics, perhaps it best to be dumbed-down yourself. No sense letting facts get in the way of a perfectly good emotional appeal.

    Look how well it works for Mr. Wonderful.

  146. JT

    You’ve been sucked into the black hole of extreme Capozzian skepticism/subjectivism, Blanton. Get out before it’s too late 🙂

  147. Robert Capozzi

    165 tb: …of what use is your opinion if it is simply based on part or none of the relevant information regarding any given subject?

    me: All opinions are based on partial information. Or do you claim to have ALL information?

    JT may see that as a “black hole,” but I dunno, it seems kinda obvious that no one has ALL the information, and what is “relevant” is a subjective determination.

  148. JT

    What I call a “black hole,” Robert, is engaging you as far as your incessant attack on knowledge as such, as though valid logic applied to known facts doesn’t yield true conclusions. It always does. That’s how knowledge is gained in any subject. But I know you don’t want to be “mired” in simplistic absolutism.

    I don’t want other people get “sucked into” trying to reason with you given your fanatical attachment to philosophical nonsense, but that’s ultimately up to them. In any event, my black hole analogy in this context is a good one. I’m gonna use it more 🙂

  149. Robert Capozzi

    169 jt, let me come at it another way. The question of “valid” logic is an interesting question.

    Let’s stipulate for a moment that Blanton has “a lot” of “knowledge” about world events. He draws conclusions based on his knowledge.

    Let’s also stipulate that Bill Kristol has MORE “knowledge” about world events. He gets paid to have this knowledge, after all, and he does it full time, with Blanton doing so as a hobby.

    I would think you’d say that DESPITE Kristol’s encyclopedic “knowledge,” Blanton’s conclusions might be more “logical.” I might agree with Blanton more than Kristol, despite having fewer facts stored in my head.

    More facts stored in one’s head can be useful, but how those facts are assessed is a different process. This seems self-evident to me and not a “black hole.”

    Or are you saying that Kristol’s conclusions are superior to Blanton’s based on Kristol’s deeper knowledge base?

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