Posted by Jason | Posted in Miscellaneous, Video | Posted on 15-05-2010
While catching up on my Google Reader subscriptions, I came across this debate between Glenn Beck, who claims to be a libertarian and Bill O’Reilly, who claims to fight for the little guy, but I think just wants the little guy held at bay by a large police state.
To start O’Reilly says not reading Miranda rights to someone suspected of terrorism should be the law of the land, and it’s for public safety. So, what would be the difference with someone suspected of murder? What if you bust the guy in the act of murder? Do you ignore his Miranda rights for public safety? How do you know he’s not a terrorist? You may find out later he’s a Muslim. Doesn’t that automatically mean he’s a terrorist because he’s a Muslim and committed a murder? Ok, I’m rambling here, but I think you see what I’m getting at. You cannot immediately classify someone as a terrorist, and say they shouldn’t have their Miranda rights. I might have missed it, but I’m pretty sure this guy in New York did not have his “I’m a terrorist” name tag on.
When the debate begins, Beck sounds like he’s heading down the right path, but he quickly veers off into “Citizens, Bill, Citizens”. So how do you know someone is a citizen at the moment of arrest? Shouldn’t everyone be read their Miranda rights if they are going to be tried? Now, I know this guy was arrested after they knew he was a citizen, but what if he was arrested in the act? How would the police know he’s a citizen? Beck then gives the correct point of, “When does a citizen become guilty. I thought we had to prove that.” Ah, he gets it! We can’t just take the government’s word that someone is guilty and say “to the gallows with this one”. The government must prove someone is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, or you might as well not have a constitution protecting your liberty, because you have none.
After O’Reilly starts challenging Beck though, it quickly seems like Beck is looking for an out. He’s not going to be out neocon’d by this clown O’Reilly. How does he hedge it? He says “We’re treating this like a police action”, so until Obama starts treating it like a war, which apparently he has no problem with, he thinks we must read Miranda rights and uphold the Constitution. I guess if Obama changes it back to The War on Terror, Glenn is game for taking liberties and trashing the Constitution. Even when O’Reilly brings up Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, Beck says until Obama declares war, don’t talk to me. What? O’Reilly is fine with suspending habeas corpus now, and Beck is OK with it when Obama declares war? Lincoln also declared total war on his fellow citizens. He burnt entire towns to the ground, and did things that horrified the rest of the world. Is this supposed to be our example of how to treat citizens when it comes to terrorism? Of course Beck, who seems completely inconsistent, falls by the way side.
Finally, Beck goes on to describe what these powers could be used for ultimately, which is against the American people when they finally tell the government “Your time is up.” O’Reilly quickly poo-poos him, and instead of Beck arguing his point, he just starts laughing and giving O’Reilly verbal nuggies. What could have been a great debate was thus lost by neocon status envy. Maybe O’Reilly will have on someone who really cares about the Constitution one day, like the Judge. I doubt it though. That would be the shortest segment in O’Reilly history.