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Friday, 30 March 2007
Letters of Marque And Reprisal

Those who read the American Constitution for the profit and pleasure it affords, sometimes read a phrase or two that they do not understand exactly, and ordinarily they move on, without paying too much mind, to the next phrase, which they do understand, and then the next.

In the enumeration of powers belonging to Congress --Article I, Section 8 -- and remember, we possess a government of enumerated powers, not of any damn powers someone thinks the government should have -- one such phrase occurs early on:
Congress shall have the exclusive right to issue "letters of marque and reprisal."

Well, perhaps, given the bogging-down in Tarbaby Iraq, is the time for Congress to exercise that power, and exercise it world-wide, issuing to all kinds of groups and individuals permission to act against Iran and Iranian interests everywhere, and then we will all be able to learn the meaning, that is not the only thing the Western world appears to have forgotten, of the beautiful and haunting phrase "letters of marque and reprisal."

Posted on 03/30/2007 11:48 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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