More anti-Trump nonsense on Gitmo

I came across this piece by Sean Colarossi, of, whining about how Donald Trump may want to try American citizens in Guantanamo.

What Trump is saying, Colarossi reminds us, isn’t legal. That’s technically true. The military commissions (trials for terrorists) are not for U.S. citizens — even if they’re jihadis caught fighting overseas.

The writer seems to be thinking that this is a violation of some ancient principle. It’s not. He may have forgotten that these military commissions were set up by Congress only ten years ago. They’re not for American citizens because they designed it that way at the time.

It’s as though Trump’s critics keep looking for things they can point to as stupid, ignorant and unconstitutional. This is none of those things.

The military commissions were originally set up by the Bush administration. They used the post-WWII Nuremberg trials as a model. What could be wrong with that? Most people would think that’s fine. Even lefties like to say they’d have been tough on Nazis. (I could argue that depends, but that’s an argument for another time.)

The Supreme Court decided (Hamdan v Rumsfeld, 2006) that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions applies, and that meant they could only be tried in “a regularly constituted court.” The Court further decided that meant it needed to be set up by Congress. Note that this was the Geneva Conventions of 1949, which came after the Nuremberg trials.

But most of that was just details to the left. Of what I’d just written in that last paragraph, the lefties mostly just heard that the military commissions were illegal, and had violated the Geneva Conventions. The lefties didn’t seem to understand that all the Bush administration needed to do was ask Congress to pass a law authorizing the trials, which is what happened.

And that’s basically where Trump would be if he decided it was important to try jihadis who were U.S. citizens in Guantanamo military commissions. He would have to ask Congress to pass a law similar to the one they passed before, with one minor change. Would Congress do it? They will if it becomes important.

August 15, 2016

A number of critics point out that it would violate the Bill of Rights to try U.S. citizens in a military commission. The Sixth Amendment says:

“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 defense.”

Elura Nanos at writes: “In Ex Parte Milligan, an 1866 case that is still good law today, the Supreme Court specifically held that trying civilian citizens in military courts is unconstitutional when civilian courts are still operating.”

Nanos raises some good points, but neglects to mention Ex Parte Quirin (1942), where eight German saboteurs were convicted in a military commission. Two of those Germans were legally U.S. citizens, and yet the Supreme Court ruled that the military commission was legal under the Constitution, despite their citizenship.

While people can argue with the differences between WWII’s Quirin and the Civil War’s Milligan cases, I’m just going to leave it at this. Trump isn’t really likely to want to do this anyway unless the war takes a hard turn for the worse.


Ace of Spades on Political Honesty, and the Pro-Amnesty Wing of the Republican Party

Like many of us, Ace of Spades is fed up with the #NeverTrumpies and the GOP’s basic dishonesty.

But first, let’s start off with Peggy Noonan at the pay­walled WSJ, who recognizes that the elites are, well, elite:

From what I’ve seen of those in power throughout business and politics now, the people of your country are not your countrymen, they’re aliens whose bizarre emotions you must attempt occasionally to anticipate and manage.

In Manhattan, my little island off the continent, I see the children of the global business elite marry each other and settle in London or New York or Mumbai. They send their children to the same schools and are alert to all class markers. And those elites, of Mumbai and Manhattan, do not often identify with, or see a connection to or an obligation toward, the rough, struggling people who live at the bottom in their countries. In fact, they fear them, and often devise ways, when home, of not having their wealth and worldly success fully noticed.


I close with a story that I haven’t seen in the mainstream press. This week the Daily Caller’s Peter Hasson reported that recent Syrian refugees being resettled in Virginia, were sent to the state’s poorest communities. Data from the State Department showed that almost all Virginia’s refugees since October “have been placed in towns with lower incomes and higher poverty rates, hours away from the wealthy suburbs outside of Washington, D.C.” Of 121 refugees, 112 were placed in communities at least 100 miles from the nation’s capital. The suburban counties of Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington—among the wealthiest in the nation, and home to high concentrations of those who create, and populate, government and the media—have received only nine refugees.

Some of the detachment isn’t unconscious. Some of it is sheer and clever self-protection. At least on some level they can take care of their own.

Noonan is talking about the elites. It was probably Democrat-elites making those particular decisions, but it still relates to the larger issue of immigration, which was the straw that broke the GOP elephant’s back.

Again, as she says, the elites see the rest of us as “aliens whose bizarre emotions you must attempt occasionally to anticipate and manage.”

Isn’t that #NeverTrump? Yes, of course it is.

They nominated amnesty-pusher John McCain in 2008, and then told us we had to bite the bullet for them even though he was often against us in the Senate. But now, when Donald Trump is nominated — based on the one issue that they’ve continually betrayed us on — those same elites refuse to bite the bullet for us.

That brings me to Ace’s piece. It’s long, but it’s well worth the read. Here are a few choice pieces:

If you’re not going to admit, for example, that you disagree with the Tea Party on ideological grounds, and yet you still wish to undermine them, you have no choice left but to simply attack them on a personal level.

And this is even more biased than simply — honestly, forthrightly — stating your ideological position on a matter!

What, to you, is more offensive and ugly — that the media disagrees ideologically with the Tea Party’s commitment to reducing spending and government, or that, refusing to express their ideological objection honestly, they seek to paint every Tea Partier as racist and violent by carefully suggesting only the misspelled and ugly signs from a Tea Party rally? Strongly implying “Only ignorant, stupid racists could support this nonsense”?


Thus, John McCain, rather than honestly objecting to the parts of the Tea Party movement he disagrees with, or honestly expressing his opinion that we need a bigger government than Tea Partiers think we need, resorts to personal attacks: They’re Wacko-Birds. They’re Hobbits.

Ace then shows us the “Complete the Danged Fence” campaign ad that McCain ran, back when he wanted us to believe that he believed in a border wall. Naturally, he wasn’t willing to call people “racist” for it then.

So here we are, with 20% of the party refusing to support the Republican nominee, largely because he holds a “racist” position that that same 20% was too cowardly to announce to be racist previously.

It is stunning how many #NeverTrumpies are willing to jump on these fake accusations of racism. It is as though they’ve COMPLETELY forgotten that we’ve had to deal with this sort of thing when Democrats accused the Tea Party of it. They were easy to bat down back then because claims made to sell to low-level Democrats are no match for a serious debate.

But how did the #NeverTrumpies miss that? Well, some of them didn’t believe in the Tea Party other than as a means to manage the voters. They just weren’t paying that close attention. For the rest, it’s even more simple: The #NeverTrumpies have been reduced to defending their own line. With only a few exceptions, many are not trying to persuade actual Trump supporters.

There is no Guantánamo Bay

That’s right. In English, the name is “Guantanamo Bay.” There is no accent in the English spelling.

It’s not “Guantánamo Bay” in Spanish either. They call it “Bahía de Guantánamo.”

But we’re usually not even talking about Guantanamo Bay itself. Most of the time, we’re talking about Guantanamo Bay Naval Base or the detention center. Being American facilities, neither of them have accents in their names.

Do we do this for Deutschland or München? No, we call those Germany and Munich. We do this even though just about anybody dealing with Germany knows that they call it Deutschland.

Admittedly, this is a small thing. But I have to admit I find it funny.

Let’s be honest about what’s going on here.

First, most Americans are monolingual. Using an accented character allows people to feel pretendo multilingüismo. It’s like saying “internationale” when you really just mean “international.” (Yes, people actually do that.)

And second, let’s face it: Guantanamo is a hot-button issue that progressives like to claim they care about. Calling it by a half-Spanish name must appeal to their “¡No pasarán!” spirit of Résistance.

This is the kind of stuff you get when people learn Orwell from Stalinists.