Stealth Warrior?

Big news hitting the wires today is the judicial system’s pretty harsh rebuke of El Presidente’s gab at executive power, ordering the Pentagon to free Ali al Marri who has been held for years in a South Carolinian Naval brig for years as a potential terrorist and “enemy combatant.”

While the judges noted that this does not carry over to those being held at Gitmo, one who actually believes in the constitution and the American judicial system can only hope that this is a sign of better things to come.

Of course, there is disagreement with the order, the dissenting judge claiming this would hurt the cause in rooting out, his own words here, “stealth warriors” of al Qaeda. Moderate Voice’s Jason Steck brings up a matter of pragmatism, and that this is removing from the US a weapon that could be used to root out sleeper agents.

But what isn’t taken into this pragmatism is the integrity of the judicial system itself, and the pragmatism behind the moral authority of America. If all that is required to hold someone indefinitely is to call someone an enemy combatant, than what good is a judicial system? Why even have courts?

There is a reason why we have a burden of proof and that is not just to protect us a citizens, but also to protect the sanctity of the court, to ensure that it doesn’t become subserviant to the executive nor that it is in place to push an ideological regime.

In the battle of terrorism, what people oft times forget is that terrorism is not the only thing we need protection against.

So there is a pragmatism in this. Isn’t it pragmatic that we ensure that everyone makes it to the courts, and is tried according to our legal system? If not, what is the validity of those that are, and how effective can our judicial system act under such conditions?

And how can we be trusted around the world if we behave thusly? How can we hope to build allies around the globe if we engage in practices that don’t even stand up to our own constitution?

There’s a reason this stuff was put into action in the first place, and I can think of no thing less pragmatic than to ignore that.

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