"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it."

Thomas Paine

30 March 2010

Hutaree - Terrorists! ...until proven innocent?

 Many in the militia and patriot/tea party movement are quick to distance themselves from the newest "home-grown terrorist" group that we've been luckily saved from by our big brothers at the FBI/ATF.

I understand that in these turbulent times keeping arms length from extremist groups or people helps keep you legitimate in the eyes of the public. But what ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? My friends, if we do not adhere to this basic principal of our legal system, then what is to stop the "powers that be" from charging anyone with whom they disagree with a crime? And what more heinous crime can there be but the murder of police officers? Conspiracy to kill kindergarten teachers?

Don't get me wrong, the killing of anyone, police officer or otherwise, is a heinous act and should be punished. But at the same time, is an accusation against someone enough to get you to turn your back on your fellow American? Is that the kind of citizens' our Founding Fathers hoped would inherit the free Republic they fought and died for?

Shouldn't we give them the same benefit of the doubt that we, ourselves, would expect if we were accused of conspiring to commit a crime? What if you were wrongfully charged with a crime you didn't commit? Should we in the patriot movement turn our backs on you?

Well, what if your religious beliefs aren't comfortable with the mainstream? What if your politics is to the right of Glenn Beck? Then is it alright to assume guilt before a preliminary hearing is even held?

I say NO! We should stand up for the rights of all or none of us will have rights at all!

If it turns out that these people did commit crimes and are found guilty by a jury of their peers, then yes, they should rightfully be shunned by all law-abiding, freedom loving Americans.

Until then. They are innocent until proven guilty.

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