Defenders of CIA torture have broken faith with America’s Founding Fathers

Conservatives who say they have no problem with the CIA interrogation techniques described in a Senate committee report released Tuesday clearly are not as dedicated to American constitutional principles as they so often claim. As Juan Cole explains HERE, “most of the members of the Constitutional Convention…would have been completely appalled at [the torture report’s] contents.” The Bill of Rights of the US Constitution is full of prohibitions on torture, as part of a general 18th century Enlightment turn against the...

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If health insurance mandates are unconstitutional, why did the Founding Fathers back them?

To paraphrase an observation I once read somewhere, when history is inconvenient, it is often just ignored or twisted to suit the goals of demagogues. Such is the case with the argument by opponents of ObamaCare who want you to believe that the measure’s individual mandate has the Founding Fathers spinning in their graves. In truth, the Founding Fathers more likely would endorse the individual mandate. Consider THIS: The founding fathers, it turns out, passed several mandates of their own. In 1790, the very first Congress—which...

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It’s a myth that our Founding Fathers were 18th century versions of today’s libertarians

As a casual student of the American Revolution, I have long been wary of modern claims, whether from the left or the right, that the Founding Fathers clearly “intended” something or other. Trying to nail down the intentions of the Founding Fathers is no easy matter, considering that those folks were rarely in agreement among one another on the true meaning of their revolution or their Constitution. The ink had barely dried on our national charter before the founders began bitterly fighting over how it should be interpreted. After...

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Would Founding Fathers have supported Occupy Wall Street?

The answer to the question in the headline above would seem to be resoundingly affirmative, as Rick Ungar EXPLAINS: The reality is that the Founding Fathers did not think very much of corporations or, for that matter, any of the organized moneyed interests that played so large a role in the decision to revolt against Mother England. To understand this, it is important to understand the nature of corporations during the days when the United States was founded. The modern corporation dates back to the early 17th century when Queen Elizabeth I...

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WWFFD?

Some people, including many in the news media, have objected to the fact that negotiations on the U.S. debt ceiling are held behind closed doors. Indeed, some people find such secrecy almost un-American. Which raises the question: What would the Founding Fathers do (WWFFD)? Well, anyone who looks to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 (above)  for guidance on the matter will find no precedent for openness. That historic gathering of the Founding Fathers was far more secretive than these current debt-crisis talks. One of the first decisions...

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