Friday, June 13, 2008

Where it starts to become harder to portray Bob Barr as pursuing the neo-con vote

. . . with the comments of the three major candidates for President on the Supreme Court's decision granting habeas corpus to detainees at Gitmo:

Senator John McCain:

"I think it's one of the worst decisions in history," McCain said. "It opens up a whole new chapter and interpretation of our constitution."

McCain is one of the authors of the 2006 Military Commissions Act which set up procedures for the handling of detainees. The act denied the detainees access to federal courts.

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that provision of the law violated the constitution.

McCain on Thursday said he had not read the ruling and reserved his criticism. But on Friday, speaking to about 1,500 people at a town hall meeting in Pemberton, N.J., he attacked the decision, saying the law he helped write "made it very clear that these are enemy combatants, they are not citizens, they do not have the rights of citizens."

Senator Barack Obama:

Barack Obama said of today’s Supreme Court ruling that the detainees at GITMO have the right to challenge their detention in civilian court, “The Court's decision is a rejection of the Bush Administration's attempt to create a legal black hole at Guantanamo - yet another failed policy supported by John McCain.”

He called the decision an important step towards regaining our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law, “This is an important step toward reestablishing our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law, and rejecting a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus. Our courts have employed habeas corpus with rigor and fairness for more than two centuries, and we must continue to do so as we defend the freedom that violent extremists seek to destroy.”

Former Congressman Bob Barr:

With these two decisions the Court “has reaffirmed one of the foundations of American liberties, the historic writ of habeas corpus—which requires the authorities to show cause for an arrest,” explains Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president. The justices did not order anyone released, instead leaving that decision up to the trial judge after a full and fair hearing.

Barr, who since leaving Congress in January 2003 has become one of the nation’s leading advocates for protecting privacy and civil liberties, explained that the decision “is as much a victory for the American people as it is for any particular litigant.” The right to habeas corpus is enshrined in the Constitution: “by allowing a defendant to seek relief in court, habeas corpus is one of the most important legal limits on government,” explains Barr.

However, he observes, these decisions, though welcome, “are only the start in a long process of reasserting our liberties.”

Maybe (I'm still skeptical) Bob Barr really is interested in running as a Libertarian, not as some kind of neo-con Ralph Nader.

Which could be more interesting than anyone yet thinks. . . .


Mitchell A said...

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Waldo said...

How can someone who was so wrong about so many htings suddenly be so right about them? Barr seems to have discovered the correct path only as a consequence of wanting people to revive his political career.

Brian said...

I am with Waldo on this one. Perhaps he had an epiphany? Who knows. At least it is good to hear someone talk about reasserting our civil liberties and rights.

Tyler Nixon said...

Brian's a closet Obama lover...

On Barr, converts are often the most zealous and committed.

I knew Barr whem I worked for Gingrich back in '95. I was shocked when he went so astray in the post-Gingrich era.

But I know that he is no poseur. He means it. Just ask Bill Clinton.

Craig Porterfield said...

I want to believe in Bob Barr. Why did he handpick a neocon for VP?

Craig Porterfield said...

The link that I posted to Wayne Root's neocon rant doesn't work. This one works:

It's hard for me to believe in Barr after he handpicked a neocon VP.

Steve Newton said...

I have no problem understanding why he picked Root as VP: it guaranteed his victory of Mary Ruwart. With Root's direct endorsement, it was a sure thing that a majority of his supporters would go to Barr.

Ironically, most Prez candidates pick a VP to help them carry a key state or key demographic. Since no potential VP candidate on the LP ticket could possibly do that, Barr went for one whose endorsement tied up the nomination.

All of which goes back to Waldo's comment: "Barr seems to have discovered the correct path only as a consequence of wanting people to revive his political career."

Brian Miller said...

I don't understand why Barr's supposed "pandering" on civil liberties issues in an electoral situation is significantly different than Barack Obama's obvious pandering on gay rights that he's been conducting to attempt to win gay votes.

Nobody honestly believes Obama plans to revoke DOMA or end the military's anti-gay policy. He's repeatedly turned down opportunities to sponsor companion legislation in the Senate to do both of those things.

Now, if Barry O gets a free pass from Dems over this issue, why doesn't Barr get similar treatment?

This is a question my friends in the Democratic Party hate addressing. They're not keen on explaining why I am supposed to be skeptical of Barr but not equally skeptical of Obama. So as a Libertarian, I put faith in my own party just like they put faith in theirs -- and I suspect that my faith is better-placed. ;)