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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


War Or Crime

Those of us on the Right side of things tend to think that Terrorism is a force against which we are at War. Those on the Left seem all to often to classify Terrorism as a Crime. Obviously, I think the Left is wrong.

However, this story raises at least some problems for the War interpretation of our response to Terrorism:

Rights group lists Al-Qaeda suspects in secret CIA custody

NEW YORK (AFP) - Human Rights Watch listed the names of 11 senior Al-Qaeda suspects it said were held by the CIA (news - web sites) in secret locations overseas, where some had reportedly been tortured.

The suspects were detained with no notification to their families, no Red Cross access and, in some cases, no acknowledgement that they are even being held, the New York-based watchdog said in a 46-page report.
My immediate reaction is, What do I care? They're Al-Qaeda, right? The problem arises when one considers potential future developments if this sort of thing continues. We know that the Government has detained 'enemy combatants' and even American citizens without due process. In the former case, I don't really care since non-American citizens shouldn't be covered by the Constitution in all cases.

The thing that gets that annoying little voice going in my head is that we really do need a way to prove that someone is associated with Al-Qaeda before we make them 'disappear' or torture them*. Along those lines we can either trust the Government's word, or we'll have to insist on open court proceedings. The problem is that we can't always pin a specific crime on a Terrorist, and there is often sensitive information that cannot be revealed. So what's a country to do?

I think the ideal thing would be to create a whole new type of court procedure. The point of this Court would not be to determine guilt or innocence of a crime...but only whether or not someone can be held/questioned based on his/her association with a Terrorist group. I suppose that such legal structures might already exist and I'm just not aware of them...but it would certainly seem that if they do exist they're either not being used enough or they are being used but not in public.

One way or the other, we must catch Terrorists before they hurt us. That means that we have to stop them when they are technically innocent of a crime. Not an easy thing to do if we're going to stick with our current methods of law enforcement and criminal prosecutions. Not easy, but absolutely necessary to prevent the sudden development of a large smoking hole in a major American city.


*That's right, I said torture them. You have a problem with torturing the very people who would kill you, your spouse, your children, your parents and everyone you know in their sleep. And if not in their sleep, maybe at work. So get over the squeamishness and get behind the forces of Good.


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