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The United States ought to extend to non-citizens accused of terrorism due-process.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/1/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,476 times Debate No: 25936
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The US shouldn't give these rights to people who are commiting an act of war to take away life and pursuit of happiness from innocent people.
I will offer the following definitions to support my case.
Non-citizen: A person who is not a member of any of the US states nor owes alliance to the state he or she currently resides in.
Constitutional Due process: Due process is the principle that a person has a right to receive notice, and be heard in an oderly trial proceeding in order to protect his or her rights that the United States have given to them as citizens.
Accused: A person or select group of persons who are charged with or highly suspected of a criminal, capitol, or war crime.
Terrorism: A deliberate act of War using fear and violence on a group of people, expecially for political purposes.
Protection: The act of protecting or the state of being protected; preservation from injury or harm.\(sources: Black Law Dictionary, Webster's Dictionary)
This debate will be decided on the rights of the American citizens, along with the definition of terrorism and accused. criteria: Social Contract, Vale: Rights

1) 5th and 14th Amendment War Rules (only mention 14th if Aff brings it up)
The Fifth Amendment says that in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger, the rules stated for the Grand Jury no longer apply. Terrorism is definitely a public danger.
Within U.S. territory, non-citizens have rights because of the 14th Amendment, which declares "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. If these people are found outside of the States, they have no right to a trial."Sources: US Constitution

2) How We Could Have Prevented the Many Deaths of the 9/11 Attack
On September 11th, 2001, AlQuida terrorists hijacked four US passenger planes. These planes then were crashed into the Twin Towers, killing 2,977 innocent people. Of those, 343 were firefighters and 60 police officers were also killed. Do you think those horrible people who killed American citizens, and the servicemen that day deserve the same rights as the people they brutally murdered? Of course not!! But here"s the thing: We could"ve prevented this. Aside from the many reports we had gotten about extreme religious groups and their hatred for their own country, and reports of Arabic men taking extensive flying lesson, but never bothering to properly learn how to take off and then land, we also received a fatwa from Osama bin Laden, a known terrorist. September 6, 2001, we received this declaration of war. Islamic Religious Law states that you have to give any group you are attacking notice of war three days in advance, no sneaking up. America did nothing. We just passed it off because of laws stating we couldn"t just hold and interrogate before this tragedy had happened. We could"ve stopped all of this so quickly had we been able to at that time just hold these non-citizens that had been accused of terrorism until we were able to get to the bottom of the plan. The hijackers were just accused non-citizens at one time. We did nothing, and so they killed thousands. If we offer due process, we"ve just made it a free for all on the entire country.
Sources: New York Times, The Governments Fallback in 9/11, Harriet Strieber

3) America"s Future if We Were to Take this Path
If we offer protection to these people, sooner or later we"ll be back under that rule. If we show these heartless killers mercy like what you"re suggesting, USA will no longer be the strongest country on Earth. We will be the weak link, easy to control or destroy in the eyes of the many enemies this great country has. We can"t let these people out where they can potentially cause more harm. Now, before (insert name here) objects to this by saying holding them is Unconstitutional and Un-American, let me remind you of Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay, otherwise known as the U.S. Naval Base in Cuba. During the War on Terror, this detention camp was used to house captured combatants. Dick Cheny, the then Vice President, has stated "Prisoners of War could be detained until the end of the natural conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. This camp becomes Camp Delta later on. The prisoners, known as detainees, were placed there seeing as they were accused of terrorism. America has held accused terrorists before. The US Supreme Court has deemed in constitutional under times of War. It was done for the US"s safety, a precaution to keep our freedom. In (insert name here)"s case, they would rather have us just hope that these people will be grateful we"ve let them go where they please, and not attack us because of this.
Sources: Global Security Military Site and Islamic Truth

And these are the the reasons I stand in firm negation of the resolution.


Despite being a novice on debate I will accept your challenge.
From a philosophical stand point I will debate against you. Nationalistically I would agree with you. The exception to this resolution is if the non-citizen accused of terrorism is fighting a guerrilla war on foreign soil where trial in absentia may be impossible due to the US constitution. Such as in the case of Anwar Al-Awlaki of Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula(AQAP).

Merriam-Webster definitions:
War; a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations (2) : a period of such armed conflict
Reciprocity; a mutual exchange of privileges; specifically : a recognition by one of two countries or institutions of the validity of licenses or privileges granted by the other
Geneva conventions of 1949; A series of treaties updated post-WWII that dictate the rules of war and the treatment of civilians, wounded, POWS, and enemy combatants.

The US ought to extend to non-citizens accused of terrorism due-process of law.
I will provide historical evidence citing instances where the US extended non-citizens accused of terrorism due process. Such as the Nuremburg and Tokyo trials after World war II which includes acts of terrorism (i.e. Kempeitai and Schutzstaffel tactics that forced occupied nations to conform with the fascists) with war crimes.
I will also provide the philosophies of John Locke whose philosophies were used in the US constitution to also show how the US being a Human rights champion should extend due process to combatants. This includes the Constitution since the Document is based on his Philosophies on Human rights. I will also include the Geneva conventions of war, and the that the US is a signatory of to augment the affirmative argument. As well as show how reciprocity would also be important, and argue that non-citizens also have the right to habeas corpus. (Boumediene v. Bush)


1) WWII and the Nuremburg and Tokyo trials. the Trial summaries and axis tactics involving terrorism in occupied or combat areas. Will not go indepth due to the thousands of court cases represented by the US, and respective allied nations, but will elaborate in the Second round

2) The US constitution being based on John Locke's Philosophies and the credibility of the US to lay down Human rights abuse allegations to nations such as Iran, China, and others which is undermined by the denial of non-citizens accused of terrorism the right to face trial.

3) Perspective, and the Geneva conventions. To label extremists as terrorists is also misleading due to two points. First the definition of Terrorism; A deliberate act of War using fear and violence on a group of people, especially for political purposes. The US would first have to recognize the extremists as legitimate enemy combatants instead of a criminal organisation to render the definition on the "terrorist" because of the definition of war. Second point is the perspective of Terrorism. For example the Mujahideen (some of whom (i.e.Al-Qaida) would later attack the US on 9/11) were referred to as terrorists by the Soviets but were called freedom fighters by the Reagan administration. Another example during the American Revolution the Sons of Liberty were known as freedom fighters to other American colonists, but terrorists and rebels to the British Empire.
Debate Round No. 1


McClay forfeited this round.


Con has forfeited this round failing to overturn my contentions.

The constitution has not been invoked therefore nullifying the supposed counter-argument of the constitution as the philosophy of John Locke whose philosophies influenced the writers of the constitution has been invoked instead.

"John Locke defined political power as "a Right of making Laws with Penalties of Death, and consequently all less Penalties" (Two Treatises 2.3). Locke"s theory of punishment is thus central to his view of politics and part of what he considered innovative about his political philosophy. But he also referred to his account of punishment as a "very strange doctrine" (2.9), presumably because it ran against the assumption that only political sovereigns could punish. Locke believed that punishment requires that there be a law, and since the state of nature has the law of nature to govern it, it is permissible to describe one individual as "punishing" another in that state. Locke"s rationale is that since the fundamental law of nature is that mankind be preserved and since that law would "be in vain" with no human power to enforce it, it must therefore be legitimate for individuals to punish each other even before government exists. In arguing this, Locke was disagreeing with Samuel Pufendorf. Samuel Pufendorf had argued strongly that the concept of punishment made no sense apart from an established positive legal structure.A second puzzle regarding punishment is the permissibility of punishing internationally. Locke describes international relations as a state of nature, and so in principle, states should have the same power to punish breaches of the natural law in the international community that individuals have in the state of nature. This would legitimize, for example, punishment of individuals for war crimes or crimes against humanity even in cases where neither the laws of the particular state nor international law authorize punishment. Thus in World War II, even if "crimes of aggression" was not at the time recognized as a crime for which individual punishment was justified, if the actions violated that natural law principle that one should not deprive another of life, liberty, or property, the guilty parties could still be liable to criminal punishment. The most common interpretation has thus been that the power to punish internationally is symmetrical with the power to punish in the state of nature."

Second is the the thesis of the Nuremburg trials and the compliance of the US to the nuremburg charter . The general historical consensus accepts the thesis that the Nuremberg Charter8, its resulting rules of procedure and evidence, and those of the courts which followed in its wake, were the result of a compromise "blending and balancing ... elements from the Continental European inquisitorial system and the Anglo-American adversarial system."9 The belief was largely fostered by United States Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, the Chief American prosecutor at the first Nuremberg Trial, who repeatedly said that the four major Allied powers at the conference "[a]ll agreed in principle that no country reasonably could insist that an international trial should be conducted under its own system and that we must borrow from all and devise an amalgamated procedure that would be workable, expeditious and fair."10

In fact, while the rules do blend aspects of both practices, they were largely based on American practice before military commissions, 11 as applied in the trial of Nazi saboteurs in Ex parte Quirin in 1942.12 While the United States was concerned that the trials be perceived as and fair, the American emphasis ( at least internally) was on workability and expedition.

If con forfeits again then I strongly urge a pro vote
Debate Round No. 2


McClay forfeited this round.


Once again because con has forfeited failing to refute my arguments, therefore a pro vote is strongly encouraged
Debate Round No. 3
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