Levels of insanity

This story is at level 4:

Level 1: Allow too many people to become citizens
Level 2: Give full constitutional protections even to non-citizens
Level 3: Give full constitutional protections even to non-residents
Level 4: Give full constitutional protections even to enemies

I know someone who would say even giving full constitutional protection to all citizens is insane, but I would prefer to simply define “citizen” as someone who gets the full set of rights, rather than have some people get a “second-class citizenship”, so that’s just a semantic disagreement.

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5 Responses to Levels of insanity

  1. In addition to a high level of insanity, the story also demonstrates a high level of incompetence, note this key passage:

    Prosecutors chose not to introduce that evidence, even though they said that Mr. Ghailani’s statements under interrogation at Guantánamo and earlier while in C.I.A. custody “amount to a confession” of his role in the plot.

    A 52-page account by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the 2007 interrogation says Mr. Ghailani spoke voluntarily over four days to the F.B.I. and the Defense Department, and the account offers a perspective on how he got involved in the conspiracy and came to understand its goals.

    They should have at least tried to introduce the evidence and see if the judge stopped them. If this is not incompetence, it is treason.

  2. rebelliousvanilla says:

    I really don’t see the problem in second class citizenship.

  3. It’s not a problem with the concept, it’s an issue of the use of language. In English at least, “citizen” has a connotation of being a fully privileged participant in the society, the highest level of membership you can reach. It is true that within citizenship there are restrictions such as children and criminals can’t vote, but under normal circumstances a “citizen” is someone who, as a law-abiding adult, gets to do anything any other citizen gets to do. But I don’t want to argue about this too much, since it’s language-dependent (and country-dependent too, “citizen” means more in America than in England for example). I’m not saying you can’t strip some people of their protections, just that if you do it you shouldn’t call them citizens anymore, at least in America.

    (Though maybe you could change my mind by giving examples of an immutable criterion which should obviously qualify one for “citizenship”, and a right or privilege which should obviously not be granted to all adult law-abiding individuals who qualify for the first one. For example, if women should not vote, even the ones who are pure descendants of the original colonists who have always lived here, that would be a legitimate “second-class citizenship”, but I don’t regard it as obvious that women shouldn’t vote. And you could say that maybe only parents or married people should vote, but those are not immutable criteria that could permanently exclude someone.)

  4. Hmm, apparently the NY Times had it wrong, the judge did exclude the confessions after all. Details here:
    Time for Holder to go
    That doesn’t get the Justice Department off the hook for incompetence of course. The linked post is good at explaining how monumental a screw-up this is.

  5. Hail says:

    Havne’t you heard? Abolishing all nations is the hottest new fad. You can’t make breakfast without cracking a few eggs.

    “Imagine a world…”

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