Monday, July 07, 2008

Abstract Political Theories & Habeas Corpus - Abraham Lincoln Nails It!!

On the issue about the deadly costs of "ideological and political abstraction".....Abraham Lincoln "nails it" in his response to Congress regarding why he suspended the writ of habeas corpus and locked up several anti-war activists in Maryland, including the mayor of Baltimore. The actions of these few men risked tipping their states into armed opposition against the federal government and thus the possible destruction of the union itself. While the deep South had already split from the Union, the border states in which Lincoln imposed this rule and deployed forces had not yet joined the Confederacy.  Had Lincoln not acted additional lives would have been lost as more guns would have been pointed against Union forces as the Confederacy was allowed to grow stronger while the Federal government was bound by theory.  

Once again the proclivity of my long time ideological opposition requires that the entity that they are able to MANAGE via their court action and protests maintain its composure while the opposition who is not bound to any particular governing principles uses their long knives to cut the femoral artery of the entity who is bound to keep its composure as they head up toward the jugular vein for their mortal blow. In my view Abe Lincoln's actions where not only justified but purely logical by all measure.

Of the critics of Abraham Lincoln today are the "Confederate Sympathizers" who see him as a scallywag, this issue only adding to their charge as well as the "Civil Liberties Theorists" to which this post is most directed toward. These theorists are rarely made to recognize the costs of their theories because of the continued existence of the very system that protects them against such arbitrary abuse. What would have been the consequences of having the United States government collapsed by those who would rebel against it and the rule of law itself? Surely your valued writ of habeas corpus would be invalidated if the government that enforces it and other cherished rights is voided.

Logically any martial law or suspension of rights should be done only at time of extreme circumstance. I will yield that the most sensible of those civil rights theorists understand this as well as I do. I can even agree that their threshold for relinquishing this right might simply be higher than mine but of their friends who are far beyond into the point of pure theory there can be no excuse or explanation for their abstrations from reality.

Lincoln's Response To Congress (After Having Suspended Habeas Corpus:

(Please note - the original document is a PDF file. It contains edits of words that have been purged. Those purged notes have been italicised since there is no strikeout function on this blog).

Lincoln’s Response to Congressi
Abraham Lincoln, [May-June 1861] (Message to Congress, July 4, 1861, Handwritten Draft)

Soon after the first call for militia, I felt it my duty to authorize the Commanding
General, in proper cases, according to his discretion, to suspend the previlege of
the writ of habeas corpus -- or, in other words, to arrest, and detain, without
resort to the ordinary processes and forms of law, such individuals as he might
deem dangerous to the public safety. At my verbal request, as well as by the
Generals own inclination, this authority has been exercised but very sparingly--
Nevertheless, the legality and propriety of what has been done under it, are
questioned; and I have been reminded from a high quarter that one who is sworn
to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed" should not himself be one to
violate them-- So I think. Of course I gave some consideration to the questions of
power, and propriety, before I acted in this matter--

The whole of the laws which I was sworn to see take care that they should be
faithfully executed, were being resisted, and failing of execution to be executed,
in nearly one third of the states. Must I have allowed them to finally fail of
execution, even had it been perfectly clear that by the use of the means
necessary to their execution, some provision of one single law, made in such
extreme tenderness of the citizens liberty, that more rogues than honest men
practically more of the guilty than the innocent, find shelter under it, should, to a
very limited extent, be violated?
some single law, made in such extreme
tenderness of the citizens liberty, that practically, it relieves more of the guilty,
than the innocent, should, to a very limited extent, be violated? To state the
question more directly, are all the laws, but one, to go unexecuted, and the
government itself go to pieces, lest that one law be violated? Even in such a case
I should consider my official oath broken if I should allow the government to be
overthrown, when I might think the disregarding the single law would tend to
preserve it-- But, in this case I was not, in my own judgment, driven to this
ground-- In my opinion I violated no law-- The provision of the Constitution that
"The previlege of the writ of habeas corpus, shall not be suspended unless when,
in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it" is equivalent to
a provision -- is a provision -- that such previlege may be suspended when, in
cases of rebellion, or invasion, the public safety does require it. I decided that we
have a case of rebellion, and that the public safety does require the qualified
suspension of the previlege of the writ of habeas corpus, which I authorized to be
made. Now it is insisted that Congress, and not the executive, is vested with this
power-- But the Constitution itself, is silent as to which, or who, is to exercise the
power; and as the provision plainly was made for a dangerous emergency, I can
not bring myself to believe that the framers of that instrument intended that in
every case the danger should run it's course until Congress could be called
together, the very assembling of which might be prevented, and in as was in- of
which might be prevented, as was intended in this case, by the rebellion--
I enter upon no more extended argument; as an opinion, at some length, will be
presented by the Attorney General--
Whether there shall be any legislation upon the subject, and if any, what, I
submit entirely to the better judgment of Congress--

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