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Michael Steele, FOX News Contributor and GOPAC Chairman, Doesn’t Know The US Constitution

Reported by Ellen - July 8, 2007 -

Michael Steele’s GOPAC biography says he has a law degree from the prestigious Georgetown University. But on Friday night’s (7/6/07) Hannity & Colmes, Steele seemed ignorant of the most basic applications of the United States Constitution as he erroneously stated that our enemies do not have rights under it. With video.

It was another FOX News discussion that tried to take the heat off President Bush by attacking Democrats, this time for having called the president “radical” and “brain dead.” However, Alan Colmes, who started the discussion, was at the top of his game and neatly turned it back to Bush’s record. “Michael, when you have a guy – they want to redefine torture – anything short of organ failure and death is OK, they start a war against a country that’s not a threat to the United States… they wiretap Americans without a warrant, they render people to other countries so they can be tortured there and then deny it. That IS radical, isn’t it?”

Steele dismissed those concerns by saying, “Alan, what are you whining about now?” He rehashed the old “at a time of war” argument, implying that anything goes so long as you can make the case that it’s a time of war.

Colmes persisted. “We still have a Constitution during a war… Do we have a Constitution during a war? … Do you want to suspend Habeas Corpus? …Michael, do you believe the Constitution does not exist during a time of war?”

Steele replied, “Oh, come on, Alan. Of course the Constitution exists at a time of war, but our enemies do not have rights under our Constitution, thank you very much.”

Colmes pointed out the error, “Actually, that’s not true. In fact, in our country, if you’re in the United States, the Constitution pertains, Ellis (Henican, the other guest), to persons, not to citizens, according to Judge Napolitano.” Comment: Colmes is correct. You can read the U.S. Constitution here and the Bill of Rights here.

Steele yelled something about not being in the United States and then, “Come on, man.”

But, clearly, most of what Colmes cited occurred in the United States.

Rich Lowry, subbing for Sean Hannity, made the discussion even more ridiculous as he tried to pound Henican into admitting, “yes or no” whether or not he was as outraged over Bill Clinton’s pardons as he is over President Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s sentence. As Henican repeated that he couldn't say because he hadn’t thought about any of Clinton's pardons for years, Lowry seemed more unreasonable with his insistance on ignoring Bush and attacking over Clinton.

“When in doubt, bring up Bill Clinton. That’s always the rule,” Colmes said at the end of the discussion.