Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Treating Terrorists As They Should Be Treated

Found an interesting assortment of articles today. Thought I'd toss them out there for y'all to ruminate on.

The first was suggesting that elevating the status of terrorist from criminals (that they are) to unlawful combatants (which the W, Rove and Co suggests they are), to soldiers (which some people think they are) is really the wrong direction. We should treat them like the criminals they are:
Treating terrorists as combatants is a mistake for two reasons. First, it dignifies criminality by according terrorist killers the status of soldiers. Under the law of war, military service members receive several privileges. They are permitted to kill the enemy and are immune from prosecution for doing so. They must, however, carefully distinguish between combatant and civilian and ensure that harm to civilians is limited.

Critics have rightly pointed out that traditional categories of combatant and civilian are muddled in a struggle against terrorists. In a traditional war, combatants and civilians are relatively easy to distinguish. The 9/11 hijackers, by contrast, dressed in ordinary clothes and hid their weapons. They acted not as citizens of Saudi Arabia, an ally of America, but as members of Al Qaeda, a shadowy transnational network. And their prime targets were innocent civilians.

By treating such terrorists as combatants, however, we accord them a mark of respect and dignify their acts. And we undercut our own efforts against them in the process. Al Qaeda represents no state, nor does it carry out any of a state’s responsibilities for the welfare of its citizens. Labeling its members as combatants elevates its cause and gives Al Qaeda an undeserved status.
Good point. The W, Rove and Co has been a witting mouthpiece, oft trumpeting the Al Qaeda message for political gain for too long. It's time to squash them like the criminals they are and not do them any favors by elevating their status to anything more.

Another article begs us to ask us the question as to what has happened to the W's "surge?" Moreover, why is it that more people have to die for W's failed democracy and "freedom spreading" experiment?
The size of the U.S. force in Iraq has reached nearly 162,000 troops, the largest American presence at any point during the 52 months of the war, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

The increase is the result of the regular replacement of troops and does not represent an additional buildup, said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman.

"There is no change to the level of effort and the combat power that we are projecting into Iraq," Whitman said.

Officials reported Tuesday that five more U.S. troops had been killed in Iraq, bringing the total this month to 21, and putting the military on pace to see more than 100 deaths in August. Three of the soldiers were killed Saturday by a roadside bomb south of Baghdad. The two others died Sunday in Baghdad in mortar or rocket attacks. The British military also announced that a British soldier was shot and killed Monday in the southern city of Basra.
When does a "surge" not constitute a surge? Answer: When it's run by the W, Rove and Co. I don't understand the W's strategy at all. Do you?

Well, and to be fair and balanced like Fox News, here's a take on the FISA legislation by some people who clearly have an agenda. It was writing by
David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey are partners in a Washington law firm and served in the Justice Department under presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
They think that FISA goes too far in protecting the rights of Americans. Have a look:
It's true that the foreign targets' U.S. correspondents may be overheard in the surveillance process, just as innocent people are overheard in conversations with court-ordered surveillance targets. No one can reasonably expect that they would not be unintentionally overheard in the course of a lawful surveillance of others. A "reasonable expectation of privacy" is the key here.

Our privacy is compromised daily by government and nongovernment actors. This is the price of living in a modern society. The real question is how to strike the balance between permissible and impermissible invasions of privacy, and what expectations may be reasonable. Americans may, for example, be subject to physical search without a warrant or judicial oversight whenever they leave or enter the United States. The same should apply to electronic communications coming into or going out of the United States; they should not be subject to a more stringent rule.

The real problem with the FISA amendments isn't about civil liberties at all. It is that they allow an unprecedented and constitutionally problematic review of the executive branch's foreign intelligence activities by the FISA court.
Really, if you say so. Right. And why do you think this?
In the last few weeks, however, actions by the FISA court -- requiring the NSA to obtain court orders before intercepting purely foreign communications that simply pass through switches physically located in the United States -- have dramatically reduced the NSA's intelligence "take." As a result, the government was not getting much of the information it needed to "connect the dots" and frustrate future terrorist attacks.
Really, and how do you know this? Is there more leaking going on by the W, Rove and Co? Really, how the bleep can we trust these authors? They are lawyers after all...and they did work for republicans. I think Reagan is turning over in his grave right now vomiting his last diner over this crazy "trust us because we said so" brand of logic to squeeze the rights of the people.

This goes back to my identification of the fatal flaw of the W, Rove and Co, which you should have read yesterday.

Blog on friends, blog on all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


''In a traditional war, combatants and civilians are relatively easy to distinguish. The 9/11 hijackers, by contrast, dressed in ordinary clothes and hid their weapons.''

Ambushes? Under what rule?

Rules are civilized, war is uncivilized. War starts with rules and ends with no rules.