I don't watch a lot of television, and I no longer have the stomach for political shows, but I caught a few minutes of Glenn Beck yesterday, and I have to say something; it's true... he really is full of crap.
At least where human rights and the Constitution are concerned. Beck - and a bunch of other people, apparently - hold the crazy opinion that the rights we enjoy as citizens of this country are granted by the Constitution.
No, no, a thousand times no!
See, Beck was talking about the Times Square bomber and very generously decided that the bomber should not have his privates wired to a car battery in order to obtain information because after all, he is a U.S. citizen and U.S. citizens have this extra special happy right ('cuz of the Constitution) not to be tortured (the lucky bastard!).
Let me say this plainly - our rights as Americans DO NOT come from the Constitution. The Constitution - via the Bill of Rights - only recognizes rights we are understood to already have, by virtue of our being, ya know... human beings created by God. The ninth amendment explicitly states that "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people".
In other words, our human rights exist prior to and independent of whether or not they are written on a piece of paper and ratified by our political leaders (for what Caesar gives, Caesar may take away).
The foundation for the Constitution can be found in that other founding document, the Declaration of Independence, which states;
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Our fundamental rights - like the right of assembly, freedom of religion, free speech, the right to bear arms - and the right not to be tortured - are self-evident truths, endowed by our creator, not special goodies reserved for card-carrying Yanks.
The founding Fathers only recognized that these were the rightful freedoms of all human beings, and that governments exist only to ensure these rights. The government cannot claim to grant these rights as if they were handing out candy.
So, to be clear: Faisal whats-his-name has a right not to be tortured because he is a human being, not because he is a U.S. Citizen.
All that said, he should never again see anything but the inside of a U.S. prison.