Balkinization  

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Senator Clinton's Views

Marty Lederman

In a post last week, I commended Barack Obama and John Edwards for statements they have made as candidates regarding torture, restoring habeas corpus rights, prohibiting secret CIA interrogation prisons, etc. A couple of readers wrote to ask about Hillary Rodham Clinton's views on these topics.

I can't say that I'm certain about the whole range of her views on such matters. On occasion, she has unfortunately suggested that the President should be able to authorize torture and other violations of our treaty obligations in so-called (i.e., nonexistent) "ticking time bomb" situations. (See my colleague Rosa Brooks's account of the ticking-time-bomb problem and Senator Clinton here.)

On the other hand, last September Senator Clinton opposed the Military Commissions Act in part on the ground that it "undermines the Geneva Conventions by allowing the President to issue executive orders to redefine what are permissible interrogation techniques. Have we fallen so low as to debate how much torture we are willing to stomach?" It's also worth noting, with respect to presidential war powers, that Senator Clinton stated in February that "if the administration believes that any -- any -- use of force against Iran is necessary, the president must come to Congress to seek that authority."

A co-blogger writes to tell me that, in addition, Senator Clinton expressed the view at a hearing in April that the detainees at Guanatanamo should be transferred to the United States.

[I'd be grateful for any further information our readers might have about the leading contenders' views on these questions, too -- thanks.]

Comments:

Haven't you Dems realized after the 90s that the Clintons do not have principles, they have polling positions.

Actually, I think most of you Dems do know that she lies like a rug and just do not care. In the latest WP/ABC polling, 42% of Dems claim they will vote for Hillary, but only 28% of you think she is honest and trustworthy.

Hillary will keep tacking to the left until she has the nomination sewed up and then she will tack right in an attempt to get the moderates. So, she should have 2-3 different positions on this issue by next November, depending on her audience, just like she has 2-3 positions on the Iraq War.
 

Ah, Bart, you cowardly, lying cheat, we should have guessed you wouldn't let this one go by for long. You claim to be non-partisan, you claim you are a true libertarian, far above it all. But ya can't resist a chance to take an empty swing at Bill 'n' Hill.

Here's a quote for you, generally apropos of the question of just where Hillary or anyone else stands on Iraq or the fallacious "war" on terror:

As for the Bush administration’s broader War on Terror, as the State Department detailed recently in its annual report on the subject, the number of terrorist attacks worldwide has never been higher, nor more effective. True, al-Qaida has not attacked again within the United States. They do not need to. They are alive and flourishing. Indeed, it might even be said that they are winning. For their goal, despite the rhetoric of the Bush administration, was not simply to kill Americans but, by challenging the United States in this spectacular fashion, to recruit great numbers to their cause and to move their insurgency into the heart of the Middle East. And all these things they have done.

Mission Accomplished, eh?
 

robert:

I am curious.

Are you one of the Dems who currently plan to vote for Hill n' Bill?

If so, do you fall into the 28% of the deluded who think that Hillary is honest and trustworthy or the 14% of those who just do not give a damn whether they vote for someone they think is dishonest and untrustworthy?

BTW, any of the other couple dozen Dems who post here are welcome to answer this question as well.

This incredulous GOP voter thanks you in advance for the education.
 

Bart: This incredulous GOP voter thanks you in advance for the education.

Bart, that may be the most honest thing I've seen you say in months, you actually come right out and admit your partisanship for a change. None of your previous shilly-shallying about being "non-partisan" or "a black-and-white ideologue". Refreshing. Good job.

But don't look to me for apologies for the Democratic party, about whom the best comment I've seen is "Vote Democrat For a More Sensitive Imperialism." The Mark Danner article I quoted and linked to, above, puts it well:

...we live in a world in which the presumption that we were misled into war, that the Bush officials knew there were no weapons and touted them anyway, has supplanted the glowing, magical image of the weapons themselves. It is a presumption of great use to those regretful souls who once backed the war so fervently, not least a number of Democratic politicians we all could name...

I am not one of those regretful souls; I decried the move on Afghanistan in 2001 on exactly the grounds Danner makes in my earlier quote, and likewise the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Also please forgive me for declining your proffered categories and percentages. I know, it's hard for you to cheat if we won't play your way and that there's no real hope of you holding your own if folks don't voluntarily take the shitty end of the stick. Nonetheless, I decline, you will have to do better.

Ever finish looking through the text of the MCA? This incredulous reader has been waiting months for you to answer certain questions with text from that document. It's Sunday, are you finally honest enough to admit what you are looking for doesn't reside within that document?

Color me not holding my breath.
 

robert:

Bart, that may be the most honest thing I've seen you say in months, you actually come right out and admit your partisanship for a change.

Dude, I have never hidden my political preferences here. I am a classical liberal hawk who generally votes GOP, but has cast protest votes for the libertarians on occasion.

But don't look to me for apologies for the Democratic party, about whom the best comment I've seen is "Vote Democrat For a More Sensitive Imperialism."

Very good. You recognize that your position is a minority within your own party. If you want a principled person who appears to share your views, I would recommend Feingold.

Ever finish looking through the text of the MCA? This incredulous reader has been waiting months for you to answer certain questions with text from that document.

I answered in detail your scenario where the White House disappeared me and claims that I am not a US citizen and your follow on questions on multiple occasions. You just do not like my answers. You should not hold your breath waiting for me to revisit that silly scenario.
 

Bart: I answered in detail your scenario...

Ahem. Liar. Coward. Cheat. You have never got around to providing text from the MCA to support your claims that innocent citizens detained in good faith mistake under the MCA are somehow protected under the provisions of the MCA. You have instead persisted in lying and dodging and stonewalling and sometimes it's fun to see just how shameless you really are.

Never once have you responded as challenged with text from the MCA. It might be a failure of your reading skills. Maybe the provisions of the MCA which would support your claims are right there in plain sight and you are just too dumb to find them. But I've never been inclined to think of you as truly dumb, merely too small souled to admit how wrong you are on so important a point. As I wrote with respect to Sam Harris's bigoted stand in favor of religious persecution, some slopes are indeed slippery. Allowing conviction by coerced confessions is one such. Suspension of right to a speedy trial is another. Denial of basic, as in "Common Article Three", rights to humane treatment is yet another. All of these slippery slopes are each part and parcel of the MCA. And you simply cannot stand the fact that the words you seek to support your position do not exist within the four corners of that text.

Too bad for you. But much worse, the truly damning part, is that you simply haven't the integrity to admit as much and move on. It's one reason why, as much as you annoy, you are still to be pitied. With just a jot of intellectual honesty your admirable energy and effort and willingness to endlessly engage might produce a move towards truth and learning. It's sad to see such a waste as you often seem to represent.

Of course you could always prove me wrong with with a little cut-and-paste from the MCA. You could shut me down cold, shut me up for good, with just a little crtl-c, crtl-v, if only you could find those missing words.

Always a pleasure.
 

June 3, 2007, Bart: Dude, I have never hidden my political preferences here.

December, 2006, Bart: I am a black and white ideologue, not a partisan. I believe in absolute truth and have a low BS threshold.

This has been a public service for anyone unclear on why I lean so hard on this cowardly, lying cheat. He's been invited to speak by private email, work out if not a separate peace then at least a modicum of respect. Instead he chooses to lie and cower and cheat. It's a pity. But one thing liberals and progressives have been doing too long is giving unrepentant liars and cheats a free pass. Bart has always held the means to get me off his back---a little intellectual honesty is all it would take.

Or a little snippet of text from the MCA...
 

Robert:

You have never got around to providing text from the MCA to support your claims that innocent citizens detained in good faith mistake under the MCA are somehow protected under the provisions of the MCA.

OK, you have me in a typing mood.

FOR THE LAST TIME, my habeas corpus rights as a US citizen come from the habeas corpus statute and implied by the Suspension Clause of the Constitution.

The MCA DOES NOT protect my habeas rights, it merely strips the Article III courts of habeas jurisdiction over alien enemy combatants, which they awarded themselves in the Ramsul case.

Now you are changing your scenario from a nefarious plot to disappear me by fraudulently changing my nationality to a "good faith mistake."

If the military made a good faith mistake in initially determining my nationality, then a birth certificate, social security card, passport and the investigation files for my secret and then top secret clearances should suffice to set them straight.

If the government is involved in a nefarious plot to disappear me because I am a semi well known blogger who calls President Hillary Clinton a liar and they refuse to revise their designation of me as a foreign citizen, then the proper venue for bringing my habeas petition is federal court because the MCA has not stripped my rights as a US citizen.
 

Robert Link said...

June 3, 2007, Bart: Dude, I have never hidden my political preferences here.

December, 2006, Bart: I am a black and white ideologue, not a partisan. I believe in absolute truth and have a low BS threshold.


Here is the rest of my self description which you declined to quote. Is this what you would call "hiding my political preferences?"

...My philosophy is generally libertarian in domestic politics with vigorous internationalism in foreign affairs.

To this end, I vote GOP and libertarian when the GOP goes statist on me. I haven't seen a Dem I could vote for since JFK.

I will criticize anyone of either party who wants to take my money or freedom, or who wants to surrender to a foreign enemy.

I have not particularly liked either George I or George II. George I lied to me and raised taxes, so I voted libertarian. If it wasn't for George II's pretty fair war leadership and the awful alternative of Kerry, I would have voted libertarian again after Bush spent like a drunken Donkey.

On the other hand, I kept telling my GOP friends that Clinton was actually very useful because he blew with the polling winds and the winds were conservative in the 90s. The man signed off on the unfinished Reagan legacy - free trade, limiting the growth of government and actually eliminating the first entitlement program. Unfortunately, the man was also a felon who should have been impeached and convicted.

The only political pigeon hole into which I fit pretty well appears to be what Pew categorizes as a "Enterpriser," but without the partisanship and the upper middle class income. Unfortunately, we Enterprisers only make up about 10% of registered voters according to Pew. Mores the pity.

 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Bart: then the proper venue for bringing my habeas petition is federal court because the MCA has not stripped my rights as a US citizen.

So you want to take that one for another spin? Any time.

Bart, pray tell, under any scenario, good-faith or the personalized one I had to create in the first place to get you to respond to my initial efforts many months ago, pray tell, once a person is picked up and designated an AUEC under the MCA, pray tell what guarantees that anyone will know the person has been so detained? What part of the MCA prevents the government from, in good faith mistake or as an act of political oppression, picking up anyone, putting them in a hole, without any notice given to anyone? Hmm? Because if the MCA lets the government pick people up and throw them in a hole without telling anyone, which in your own words it does, I don't see how that person gets to challenge habeas in any court at all.

None of which is news to you, you cowardly, lying cheat. You've been presented this one before and you know it. You simply can't accept that your dearly cherished partisans have put in place your dearly cherished MCA and in so doing have effectively created rules fully legalizing the most draconian of political abuses. Grow up. It is what it is, and you are clearly pleased with it. Just stop lying, to us or yourself, that a person picked up under MCA, properly, in good faith mistake, or as an act of political oppression, is guaranteed a chance to contest their designation in any court. You know better. And I keep thinking you can do better. Do I give you too much credit? So it would seem.
 

Hey, Bart, where'd you go? Tired of getting spanked?
 

Robert Link,

No, that's why he keeps coming back for more.
 

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