If you examine closely the perspective of many neoconservatives on the operation of our Constitution, you will find their ideas scarcely fit with any modern strand of political thinking.
Specifically, you must harken back over two hundred years in our nation's history before you find an analogue to their political philosophy.
By way of example, take Dick Cheney and his spawn Liz. The Cheney's take the position that terrorists have no rights. Regardless of your personal feelings (mine are of the sort that terrorists deserve to be punished..) you cannot ignore the historical founding documents of our nation and also hold to the views advocated by the Cheneys.
For example: The Declaration of Independence states that "all men are created equal and endowed..with certain inalienable rights". How can you follow those guiding principles by positing that certain individuals, irrespective of the heinous nature of the crimes against us, are somehow without those same rights?
To find the closest analogue in our history to this view on individual rights, you must return to the days prior to our Revolution. At that time, the political allies of the crown, those who supported the strong central authority of the King, the people without truck against the use of unfettered authority against all its enemies were the Tories.
What the neoconservatives represent is nothing more than a rebirth of the Tory tradition here in America. Many of the policies they pushed during their time in power resemble similar policies advanced by the allies of King George during the Revolution. Strong central power, unlawful detentions without trial or charge, abuse of the purse, etc.
The similarities are uncanny. Defining those who disagree or who decide to fight us as terrorists or other, does not objectify them to the point that they are without rights. To do so is to commit the same treason many Tories committed against the founding of our fledgling Republic two centuries ago.
Frankly though, the Tories lost. Giving them any credence now is to obviate the entire last two hundred years of history in the pursuit of freedom from monarchy.
I don't want a return to a unitary executive (monarchy). I don't want a return to the days when the definition of a rebel (or in this case terrorist) depended upon the whim and will of an executive (read: King) and not the force of law.
Am I classifying the terrorists as "rebels"? Hardly, just using that as an analogy. Terrorists deserve capture, public trials and conviction for their crimes against us...just like any criminal.
The Cheney's and their Tory allies have reached too far into tradition, well beyond the realm of reason and well into American prehistory for their values.
We live in a different world now.
Perhaps it's time to advocate values of freedom that correspond to who we are now and not to who we were before we became the United State of America.
Maybe the Tory principles of two hundred years ago lost the battle of ideas for a reason: They were wrong for America.