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Hugh Hewitt Interviews RON PAUL!!!1!!11!!Well I gotta say, this little interview packs more substance than an entire Democratic debate:
In case you were wondering, Letters of Marque and Reprisal are a power from Article I, sec. 8 of the Constitution allowing Congress to put a bounty on someone's head (it was originally used to authorize privateers/pirates, whatever). Here is Wikipedia's blurb on it re: Ron Paul -
My guess is that Paul brings this up because the rewards already being offered for Osama bin Laden, et.al., come from the executive branch, and not the legislative branch, which alone seems to have the enumerated power to do so. But putting a reward on someone's head seems to be a far different thing than the sort of semi-piracy envisioned by the Framers. Is Ron Paul arguing that, in a time of war, the President does not have the power to put out a bounty on bona fide enemies of the United States? I hope not - that would be another example of the over-fetishizing of the Constitution that libertarians are so famous for.
Posted by Ken McCracken · 3 September 2007 03:41 PM
There are many private organizations that offer the services that a Marque and Reprisal order would require. Under the current "reward" there is no legal way a for any of these organizations to do the job. Marque and Reprisal would open it up and make it legal and guarantee their compensation.
I don't know why people are so against this notion. I mean the current strategy has worked so well, we should just stick with it, right? The funny thing is; both Democrats and Republicans want to leave "every option on the table", well every option other than Marque and Reprisal. I guess dropping a nuclear bomb is a better option. Where are my manners?
Posted by: Michael at September 3, 2007 04:35 PM
No, don't get me wrong, I think Letters of Marque are a great idea for just the reasons that you state.
I just don't want to see wrangling over whether that is the only Constitutional way to go about offering incentives to private entities and individuals for killing/capturing al-Qaeda types.
Nukes are like a bulldozer going after a flea.
Posted by: Ken McCacken at September 3, 2007 04:55 PM
Well I hate to go in the "way-back machine", but the Constitution is the only thing that our military & political leaders swear there oaths to. I would think that we should at least have the politicians do a book report on the Constitution and the reasons why it's not necessary to follow.
I think the constitutional wrangling is a few years too late. The first go around didn't work out so hot. If we are truly "leaving every option on the table", then why is it we can't try the simplest, most cost effective option? We should be exhausting every option before we drop nukes or bunker busters on another sovereign nation.
To marginalize this idea as antiquated, as compared to invading or dropping bombs is just insane.
We are truly living in a Hollywood world. When politics and military actions have to be more grandiose in order make headlines. I would rather see a surprise headline that read something like this: "Osama, killed by sniper, reward collected"
I know we can banter back and forth forever on these things. But, when all else fails, maybe we should go back to the old "Block and tackle" play book to get some points back on the board.
Posted by: Michael at September 3, 2007 06:52 PM
"Osama, killed by sniper, reward collected"
I think that would be absolutely ideal.
Let it be so!
Posted by: Ken McCacken at September 3, 2007 07:03 PM
Cheers! Would you like to call congress? Or, should I?
Posted by: Michael at September 3, 2007 07:15 PM
Please, it was your idea!
Posted by: Ken McCacken at September 3, 2007 07:41 PM
As an ex-libertarian, I still like some things about Ron Paul, even if he is the Dennis Kucinich of the Right. In any case, in this one area, it's a good idea--a letter of Marque and Reprisal seems quite in order.
An interesting fact being, most countries have outlawed their use. So far as I know, the U.S.A. is the only major country where they are still technically legal (it's never been removed from the Constitution), but I have no idea the last time it was used.
Treating terrorists like we treated piracy 150 years ago seems prudent to me.
Posted by: Dean Esmay at September 4, 2007 03:09 PM
The last time a Letter of Marque was issued was during the War of 1812 as far as I can tell, other than those issued by the Confederacy (which don't count I think we can agree).
Posted by: Ken McCacken at September 4, 2007 04:20 PM
another example of the over-fetishizing of the Constitution that libertarians are so famous for
So that's what libertarians are famous for. Didn't know that.
Here's the thing I get from watching this. I'd go, "Congressman sir, you need a trim. First glance, you look too scraggly. Even though the hair is thinning, it'd look better shorter. Trim the eyebrows."
Posted by: bour3 at September 5, 2007 05:16 AM
I know for a fact the Special Operations Association was asking for one after 9/11. The Vietnam-era SF/SOG/SEAL/Phoenix types said they could do a better job on their own than the modern politically corrected military/intelligence community. They didn't get one.
Posted by: SGT Dan at September 5, 2007 08:30 AM
The paranoiacs believe we do this secretly anyway. Making it publicly operative wouldn't calm their anxieties, however. "OH NO! Bush-Cheney no longer needs to even HIDE their fascism! We're doomed!"
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who's hugh hewitt?
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