Saturday, November 21, 2009

Clarifying Rand's Position on Guantanamo

W. E. Messamore who writes for The Humble Libertarian has some good comments about the recent Guantanamo discussion regarding the Rand Paul race at The Daily Paul. From Rand's press release he quotes:
He wrote to clarify some of Rand's position, and I'm posting the text of his clarification below with some of my own emphasis on certain parts:

The orginal post did not say that Rand Paul wanted to try the terrorists in the US but the Grayson campaign falsely asserted that it did. The question of closing down GITMO is a separate question.

Rand Paul feels that more important than the location of the prison is whether or not we should be detaining anyone, anywhere without a judicial hearing.

Rand Paul remains committed to his opposition to fighting "undeclared" wars. Rand Paul remains committed to the belief that we should not torture prisoners of war. Rand Paul remains committed to his belief that prisoners deserve trials and disposition not indefinite detention.

This current controversy, though, stems from whether or not prisoners of war should be treated identically to US Citizens. Should we read Miranda rights to prisoners captured on the battlefield? Should we release KSM because he was tortured? There are reports that a great number of detainees at GITMO were detained not on the battlefield but were turned in by competitors for their positions. The US should not detain anyone indefinitely anywhere whether in the US or otherwise.

While military tribunals may appear to some to be unjust, we currently try our own GI's in military court when they are accused of crimes such as rape and murder. Military court provides legal representation for the accused.

Rand Paul is opposed to the policy of scooping up people from around the globe and holding them in indefinite detention. Rand Paul believes that most of the detainees could have been tried, convicted, and or released long ago. Those whom the military has deemed untriable, like the Uighurs, should be deported to where they were captured not relocated in the South Pacific. Detainees who return to the battlefield and are captured should be imprisoned in the country in which they are captured.

Messamore believes there are 2 main points coming out of this clarification.
1. Rand Paul unequivocally opposes indefinite detention.
2. Military tribunals are good enough for our troops, so they're good enough for theirs.

The problem then, seems to be the lack of any official declaration of war, like I've blogged about before. Had Rand been in the US Senate at the time, he would have forced an official declaration and there wouldn't be any question about whether or not these are prisoners of war and what their rights are vs regular citizens or "enemy combatants" (which seems to mean whatever Bush wanted it to mean).

But the fact is the Afghanistan war wasn't done properly and constitutionally, and now we have to figure out the best way to unscramble an omelet. I will state for the record that I disagree with Rand on the issue, but I do think it's possible for libertarians and anti-war people to disagree on the best way to unscramble the evils of the state. Murray Rothbard and Frederick Hayek disagreed on the best way to unscramble the central bank, but they were both classified as solid Libertarians.

Read the rest

I'll also be putting The Humble Libertarian on my blog roll at the left.

Divide and conquer: It's What The Establishment Wants

Carol Paul, Ron Paul's Wife Weighs in.

Rand Paul
Trey Grayson


  1. We also add a link to Kentuckiana Grassroots Radio of the 11.19.2009 You tube video in Louisville, Kentucky. We appreciate you bringing this video clip to our attention.

    For the cause of liberty,

    Kentuckiana Grassroots Radio

  2. You're welcome. I added to my blog-roll.

    Feel free to link to my blog if you think it's appropriate. :)