When illegal immigrant Jose Medellin confessed to the rape, torture, and murder of two teenage girls in Houston in 1993, the state of Texas handed down the only righteous verdict it could — execution. Most Texans would probably have preferred swifter justice, and in a perfect world Medellin, a Mexican national, would have been hung, shot, or gored to death by a Lone Star State longhorn by now. But being a civilized people, we often treat criminals better than we do victims, and as a result, Medellin has quietly sat on death row awaiting his sentence and his end. But now, thanks to President George W. Bush, that day might never come.
Because Medellin was not informed of his right to contact a Mexican consulate, the U.N.'s International Court of Justice ruled he deserves a new trial. In other words, international law should take precedent not only over Texas state law, but the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States as well. And President Bush agrees. In fact, he ordered the state to retry the convicted murderer.
As a man who has ignored world opinion, the Geneva Conventions, foreign diplomats, prime ministers, foreign presidents, the Vatican — you name it, why is Bush so suddenly concerned with international opinion? Hell, when it comes to cutting the United States off from the rest of the world, Bush just might be the most isolationist president in history.
When some Americans express concern over the loss of national sovereignty through trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA, a proposed North American Union among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and numerous international agreements, they are often dismissed as conspiracy-theory nut jobs. Most mainstream politicians and pundits consider such people fools, as they encourage them to grow up and pay attention to important issues like Fred Thompson's wife or Barack Obama's religion.
Interestingly enough, concern for the loss of national sovereignty has typically been a concern for both the hard right, men like Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, and Lou Dobbs, and the hard left, men like Ralph Nader, Gore Vidal ,and Jerry Brown. It has always been the middle of both parties, whether it's Bill Clinton or George W. Bush, that has neither seemed to fear the loss of sovereignty nor care enough to even consider it worth addressing.
But if there is one dominant argument amongst those who do fear the loss of sovereignty, it is this: One day, foreign courts and institutions might have more authority over American citizens than the U.S. government or our state governments. With his position on the Medellin case, our president has proven them right. This isn't a conspiracy theory. It's a fact.
That President Bush has let down this nation by allowing millions of illegal aliens to invade this country, including scores of violent criminals like Medellin, is bad enough. But now that Bush is taking a firm stand against his country, his own state, and the families of the murder victims seeking justice to protect a convicted murderer in the name of international law, is not only unconscionable, but schizophrenic. Many Americans may believe Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is indeed a madman, but our own president isn't a very good measuring stick.
His potential successors aren't much better. Every single top-tier candidate running for president right now for both parties — with the sole exception of Ron Paul — supports the same international agreements that Bush now cites as his reason for wanting to halt Medellin's execution. Despite their air of respectability, these candidates are all just as kooky as our president — and no doubt, just as dangerous.