ACLU Wants the US to Lose the War on Terrorism

The ACLU is continuing its efforts to shield terrorists in

US hands from the consequences of their actions. It seeks to prevent their

trial and execution, which the Supreme Court has ruled legal. It seeks to

prevent their interrogation for the purpose of saving American lives in the


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The facts for this ACLU Outrage, but not the legal conclusions, come from an

article in the Jurist, a publication of the Law School of the University of

Pittsburgh, on 15 March.

The ACLU has been consistently opposed to all efforts of the US government

to obtain information from terrorists it has captured, and to try terrorists

as “illegal enemy combatants.” The latest assault of the ACLU concerns some

“high value” captives who were turned over to the US from Pakistan.

The other part of the ACLU attack involves the interrogations of some of

these captives, outside the territory of the US. In the last week, the ACLU

has filed suit seeking a court order that it be given “unredacted

transcripts of military hearings for 14 of the ‘high value’ detainees.”

Let’s put the ACLU positions in some context, shall we?

In 1942, two groups of German saboteurs, armed with maps, targets, and

money, and wearing civilian clothes, were put ashore in America from German

submarines. Their goal was to go to selected military targets and blow them

up. Through excellent work by a Coastal Guard walking the beach, one group

was quickly captured, and that led to the other group.

All eight saboteurs were brought to trial in front of military tribunals

before any were able to act. All were convicted in private trials with no

press or public admitted. Six were sentenced to death. Their lawyers

appealed to the US Supreme Court that they could not be constitutionally

tried in that manner.

The Supreme Court decided, unanimously, in the Quirin case, that the

military tribunal trials were permitted under the Law of War, as adopted by

the first law on military justice in 1789, and that their trials did NOT

offend the Constitution. The current Supreme Court recognized Quirin as

good law in the Hamdan case only years ago.

The bottom line is quite clear. Only fighters who are in uniform, part of

organized units, and not hiding among the civilian population are protected

under the four Geneva Conventions, which are much the same on this point as

the Hague Convention which the Court referenced in the Quirin decision.

Wars are not fought with lawyers. If one side fights with lawyers and the

other with soldiers, the one with soldiers will always prevail. Had the

ACLU been in charge of the D-Day invasion of France in WW II, would the

Americans have charged the beaches with arrest warrants in the names of

specific Germans? Would they have been slaughtered to the last man on the

beach as each sought to find “his” German to arrest?

Doesn’t the ACLU not possess any history books on the American Revolution

which describe how the British tried and executed Nathan Hale as an “illegal

combatant”? Or that the Americans tried and executed John Andre for the

same reason in the same war?

During WW II, the ACLU apparently did not attempt to force the US government

to produce full transcripts of its interrogations of German, Japanese or

other spies for public inspection. Why is the ACLU doing exactly that in

this war?

It is not just irrelevant to the ACLU that tens, or hundreds, or thousands

of Americans may be killed if the information held by these “illegal

combatants” is not obtained and used. It seems to be the goal of the ACLU

to take steps that will keep that information hidden, and lead to those


Though the methods of the ACLU on this issue are in court, its purpose is

political, not legal. For the US Supreme Court has repeatedly and clearly

ruled against its legal positions.

Source for original story on the Net: