November 29, 2012

"If the Senators have evidence that the terrorist detainee process has been abused to the detriment of American citizens..."

"... perhaps they could provide some examples. On the available evidence, the safeguards in place have protected both U.S. liberties and the public from terror attack."

50 comments:

phx said...

Can't access.

Cedarford said...

Article is only for WSJ subscribers.

George Grady said...

If it's on the Wall Street Journal website (like this is), google the title, and you can read it from google's link.

Saint Croix said...

If you google "Tea Party Goes To War," you can access it. I tried a link and I got the same problem.

Saint Croix said...

The Tea Party is right, by the way, and the WSJ is wrong. The legislation is in regard to American citizens who are arrested on American soil. They can and should be entitled to full constitutional rights. It's dishonest--and dangerous--to say that we are fighting a war here in the U.S., and thus our Constitution does not apply. Of course it does.

Love the Tea Party guys, they rock.

jr565 said...

The latest example is an amendment to the current Defense authorization bill from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Utah's Mike Lee that would treat al Qaeda detainees like common burglars.
Libertarians coming across as naive. I wonder where they got that idea from!
This by the way is a variation of the same argument put furth earlier by liberals, that we should try Al Qaeda in civilian court. How did that work out?
It was silly when Obama made the argument and its sillier when Rand Paul makes the argument.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

This by the way is a variation of the same argument put furth earlier by liberals, that we should try Al Qaeda in civilian court.

You understand the difference between a U.S. citizen and foreigner?

And do you understand the difference between "American soil" and Afghanistan, Iraq, or Egypt?

It's dishonest to say the United States is a war zone, so we can ignore the Constitution. It's not a war zone, and you can't.

Calypso Facto said...

Applying Constitutional protections to US citizens apprehended on US soil? Yeah, that's CRAZY talk! ???

jr565 said...

Actually it looks like the argument isnt' exactly the same. Obama was arguing that people like KSM should be entitlted to civilian court trials which is completly insane.
This is limiting it to American Civilians in this country, which is a different question.

jr565 said...

What about terror cells that operate in the US, like the one we found in Buffalo in 2002? Doesn't setting up these laws increase the probability for Al Qaeda to increase their recruiting for people in this country?

jr565 said...

You understand the difference between a U.S. citizen and foreigner?

And do you understand the difference between "American soil" and Afghanistan, Iraq, or Egypt?

We've had attacks on American soil and we've had terror cells on American soil as well.
What would your argument be for foreigners on US soil that might be in a terrorist cell or in a terrorist plot? Should we treat them like common burglars?

jr565 said...

And if Mohammad Attah was a citizen I guess we should have treated him like a common burglar if we had wind of an attack on 9/9 and knew he might have some potential involvement?

jr565 said...

A group of seven men in Lackawanna, near Buffalo, New York, are influenced by religious discussions with two al-Qaeda operatives, Kamal Derwish and Juma al-Dosari. The seven US citizens—Yaseinn Taher, Yahya Goba, Shafel Mosed, Mukhtar al-Bakri, Sahim Alwan, Faysal Galab, and Jaber Elbaneh—leave for jihad training in Afghanistan. They tell friends they are merely going to Pakistan for religious instruction. Escorted by Derwish, the men travel separately and attend a six-week long weapons course at the Al Farooq camp. Some of them meet Osama bin Laden in Kandahar and they all hear him give a speech (see (June 2001)). However, most of them apparently think they are in over their heads and find excuses to cut their basic training course short and return home. The six who return show little to no evidence of any al-Qaeda plotting in the following months. Jaber Elbaneh, however, becomes committed and stays overseas with al-Qaeda. The six who return will later be arrested and dubbed an al-Qaeda cell known as the “Lackawanna Six”
A group of seven Yemeni-Americans from Lackawanna, New York, go to train in Afghanistan (see April-August 2001). Just two days after some of them have arrived, two of the seven—Sahim Alwan and Jaber Elbaneh, plus their mentor Kamal Derwish, briefly meet Osama bin Laden in a small group setting. One of the men asks bin Laden about a rumor that something big is about to happen. Bin Laden responds: “They’re threatening us. And we’re threatening them. But there are brothers willing to carry their souls in their hands.” A couple of weeks later, the seven Lackawanna men and Derwish begin training at the Al Farooq training camp near Kandahar. One day, bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri come to their camp and bin Laden gives a speech in Arabic to the hundreds of trainees there. The crowd is told the speech is being videotaped. In his 20-minute speech, he discusses the merger between al-Qaeda and Islamic Jihad. At the end, he calls on the gathering to pray for the 40 operatives who are en route for a very important mission. He drops hints about suicide operations against the US and Israel. One of the seven men, Yaseinn Taher, speaks Arabic well enough to understand the speech, and explains the gist of it to the other six. The Lackawanna men also sense a mood in the camp that something big is going to happen soon. For instance, the camp is regularly conducting evacuation drills in anticipation of the US bombing it. [TEMPLE-RASTON, 2007, PP. 117-120] One by one, all the members of the group except for Jaber Elbaneh drop out and go home before their basic training course is done. They will later be known as the “Lackawanna Six.” But none of the six tell any US authorities what they learned when they get back to the US before 9/11. Some of the six, such as Taher and Alwan, will later say that on the morning of 9/11 they realize the attack they are watching on television is what bin Laden was talking about when he discussed the 40 men on a suicide mission.


Now lets say we had some incling of that plot prior to 9/11 and lets say we got one of those 40 men prior to the plot? If he asked for a lawyer would that be the end of any interrogation? Would it matter if he was foreign born or one of the Lackawana 6?

Im not really sure if being an American citizen should prevent you from becoming a target of investigation if you are TRAVELLING TO AFGHANISTAN AND MEETING OSAMA BIN LADEN.

Do you?

Robert Cook said...

"What would your argument be for foreigners on US soil that might be in a terrorist cell or in a terrorist plot? Should we treat them like common burglars? "

If you mean should we provide them a trial with all due process as would pertain in any other criminal case, yes.

Our constitutional guarantees of due process apply to all "persons," not just U.S. citizens.

As for being accused of being a terrorist, how is this different in any way than being accused of being a bank robber, mafia don, murderer, drug dealer, rapist, mugger, etc.? You have allegations made against a person or persons, and those allegations may be true or they may be false. Why should the nature of the accusation determine whether or not the accused are afforded due process of law? (The Constitution certainly makes no such exceptions.)

Robert Cook said...

"And if Mohammad Attah was a citizen I guess we should have treated him like a common burglar if we had wind of an attack on 9/9 and knew he might have some potential involvement?"

Absolutely.

Any suggestion otherwise is unAmerican and unconstitutional.

Robert Cook said...

"Im not really sure if being an American citizen should prevent you from becoming a target of investigation if you are TRAVELLING TO AFGHANISTAN AND MEETING OSAMA BIN LADEN.

"Do you?"


The constitutional guarantees of due process do not shield anyone from being placed under investigation if there is suspicion the person or persons are involved in or have knowledge of a crime in the planning or that has occurred. It is the investigation that is necessary and intended to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support a criminal indictment.

Calypso Facto said...

Now lets say we had some incling of that plot prior to 9/11 and lets say we got one of those 40 men prior to the plot? If he asked for a lawyer would that be the end of any interrogation?

Now let's try another hypothetical, jr: Your neighbor is pissed at you because your dog shits on his lawn, so he puts a couple bags of fertilizer, a can of diesel, and a bin Laden dvd behind your garage and places a call to the Homeland Security hotline. Do you want your Constitutional rights protected, or are you ok with being indefinately held without charges and no access to a lawyer, etc., etc.?

jr565 said...

Calypso,
Recently something like this was done against Conservatives. Somebody SWATTed them, ie made fake call to 9/11 about a violent crime occuring in the house and then their house was surrounded by SWAT.
Now, its a terrible thing. But is the answer then to not have 911 respond to violent crimes and NOT send the police?

jr565 said...

Authorities would quickly realize that there was NOTHING pointing to my ever purchasing fertilizer nor ever having any history of dealings with Al Qaeda or any other extremist group. Plus, they'd have forensic evidence on the bag of fertilizer, and could potentially trace the purchase of the bag back to where it was purchased. and they'd potentially have evidence from the camera and motion sensors that recorded the guy going into my backyard. And they'd have the phone call, which they could trace back to the person making the call. If the person making the call were using tricks to mask where the call was coming from that would be part of the record that would prove me innocent.
There would be no need to detain me indefinitely as I would be completely cooperative. Were the Lackawana 6 detained INDEFINITELY? Are they still being detained for example?

jr565 said...

Calypso wrote:
Recently something like this was done against Conservatives. Somebody SWATTed them, ie made fake call to 9/11 about a violent crime occuring in the house and then their house was surrounded by SWAT.

that should say they made a fake call and used various tricks to make it seem like the call occured inside the house.
So, should 9/11 not send in SWAT teams when there are calls coming from someone's house that suggests that people are being murdered there?
Because that's analagous to what you're asking me.
Would I like to be one of the people on the receiving end of one of those calls? Hell no. But that doesn't mean that SWAT shouldn't be called out when there is evidence that people are being murdered. Or maybe it does.
Maybe if someone legitimately calls 9/11 and says people are murdering people in a house 9/11 should say thanks for the call and do nothing.

Calypso Facto said...

The SWATtings are definitely reprehensible, jr. All fun and games til somebody gets shot, right??

I don't have any problem with having the police respond to an emergency call, but I do have a problem with giving the police the power to detain a citizen indefinitely based on the suspicion of abetting terrorism (which might be something as simple as posting on a blog).

I guess it comes down to you still trusting those with gov't power to do the right thing more than I do at this point.

jr565 said...

Calypso wrote:
The SWATtings are definitely reprehensible, jr. All fun and games til somebody gets shot, right??

I don't have any problem with having the police respond to an emergency call, but I do have a problem with giving the police the power to detain a citizen indefinitely based on the suspicion of abetting terrorism (which might be something as simple as posting on a blog).

Well how about a non citizen?
I.e. if Mohammad Atta were here and we were aware that a plot was imminent would it matter if he were a citizen or not. Could we indefinitely detain him but only if he were here on a visa? And as far as indefinitley detaining him. I don't think that's the first step in any investigation. It's not like the authoritites go "hey, he posted on a website" lets indefinitely detain him. Going to that site would trigger the authorities monitoring activity, and then one trail would lead to another, till there were enough clues in place where we would arrest and interrogate him. If he was cooperative there would be no reason to detain indefinitely or if he answered all questions and those questions proved truthful.
It just doesn't work the way you suggest.
The reason I compared it to SWATTIng is I was using your hypothetical of being FRAMED. Whether I was killing my kids in my apartment or whether I was pranked, the cops still have to surround my house and point guns at my face, right?
So, would YOUR argument be that because people were SWATTed and had guns pointed at their face that we should do away with SWAT? Because otherwise innnocent people might be targeted?

Holding people indefinitely should be rare, similar to when we waterboard people. It shoudln't be triggered based on someone going to a website (and please point out the times where it HAS been used that way).
If someone is found to have gone to train with Al Qaeda, then the fact that they are American citizens shouldnt' shield them from us interrogating them sufficiently enough to ascertain whether they are aware of a plot to kill thousands.

Calypso Facto said...

It's not like the authoritites go "hey, he posted on a website" lets indefinitely detain him

You might want to ask Nakoula Nakoula about that...

jr565 said...

The two Republicans want to require that any U.S. citizen or permanent resident apprehended on U.S. soil as part of the war on terror be offered a speedy trial like a criminal suspect.
So if one of the 19 hijackers were a criminal suspect and he was arrested on the eve of a terrorist attack, he should immediately be allowed to clam up and get a lawyer and we shouldn't be able to interrogate him?
What if the number 2 of Al Qaeda was American and was in Afghanistan, and then decided to come home and was arrested at the airport. The number two of Al Qaeda should not even be interrogated because he was born in the US? That makes little sense.
What if the reason he came into the country in the first place was in furtherance of a plot?

jr565 said...

Calypso wrote:
t's not like the authoritites go "hey, he posted on a website" lets indefinitely detain him

You might want to ask Nakoula Nakoula about that...

He was arrested, but not held indefinitely.He's not an example of someone who this would apply to.

Kirk Parker said...

jr565,

On the theory that links are better than no links; note that this has been happening a lot (much more often than I was aware of!)

And yes, in general SWAT should not be called out.

Robert Cook said...

"...if Mohammad Atta were here and we were aware that a plot was imminent would it matter if he were a citizen or not. Could we indefinitely detain him but only if he were here on a visa?"

"The two Republicans want to require that any U.S. citizen or permanent resident apprehended on U.S. soil as part of the war on terror be offered a speedy trial like a criminal suspect."

This is already the law under the Constitution, and doesn't just apply to "permanent residents" but also to any persons arrested on U.S. soil.

Robert Cook said...

"So if one of the 19 hijackers were a criminal suspect and he was arrested on the eve of a terrorist attack, he should immediately be allowed to clam up and get a lawyer and we shouldn't be able to interrogate him?"

Yes.

Actually, just because a subject obtains a lawyer doesn't mean he can't be questioned. It just means the suspect has a right to have a lawyer present.

If by "interrogate" you mean beat or torture him, that's illegal in any event. That we have broken that law is (only part of) what makes members of the Bush administration, including Bush and Cheney, criminals.

"What if the number 2 of Al Qaeda was American and was in Afghanistan, and then decided to come home and was arrested at the airport. The number two of Al Qaeda should not even be interrogated because he was born in the US? That makes little sense."

It does if you understand that the Constitution applies in both of the above scenarios.

I Callahan said...

Cook, you were doing fine until you started mentioning Bush & Cheney being criminals. You completely shot your entire argument by mentioning that bit of stupidity.

I Callahan said...

Enhanced interrogation and torture are two different things. Start with that given, and we can have a discussion.

Robert Cook said...

"Enhanced interrogation and torture are two different things."

Yes, they're two terms...for the same thing.

The former is a euphemism for the latter.

The Nazis used the same terminology in describing their own practices.

Sharpened Interrogation

Geoff Matthews said...

I think that a nice compromise would be to treat treason as treason, and use the death penalty to punish it. American citizen plotting terrorist attacks against the country? Treason. Hang them.
Legal resident (but non-citizen) plotting terrorist attacks against the country? Enemy combatant, with no protection from the Geneva conventions. Hang them.

If the accused want to plea bargain their case to life in prison or expulsion, that's fine. But we use the death penalty way too infrequently in this country.

Robert Cook said...

Geoff,

I assume you would prefer that the parties in the examples you posit be found guilty only after a fair trial in which the defendants were given due process of law as guaranteed by our Constitution, yes?

jr565 said...

On the theory that links are better than no links; note that this has been happening a lot (much more often than I was aware of!)

And yes, in general SWAT should not be called out.

Your link has the title:
Celebrity 'swatting' problem may be tough to swat
Simon Cowell, Justin Bieber, Ashton Kutcher and Miley Cyrus are all victims of the hoax known as 'swatting.' No one's been arrested, and laws haven't caught up.
Something tells me, the laws catching up would entail doing things that the libertarians on this board would find to be violations of their absolute right to privacy.
Any strengethening of that law would be a trip down a slipperly slope that means that govt is going to monitor your phone calls if you do something like order a pizza.
If people are getting hurt because of Swatting and if people are using equipment that the laws aren't yet equipped to deal with to make it seem like calls are coming from the house, then that is an instance where the law needs to be strengthened to allow for law enforcement to deal with people wasting resources and potentially getting people killed with their shenanigans.

And yes, SWAT should be called. That is the exact reason why you would call cops. If someone is killing people in a house, then cops if they can should come to the house and help deal with that situation. Should 9/11 when hearing calls like that not do anything? Thats the whole reason we have cops.
And I suppose when the embassy calls and says people are attacking it, the govt should similarly do exactly what Obama did - nothing. Correct?

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:

Actually, just because a subject obtains a lawyer doesn't mean he can't be questioned. It just means the suspect has a right to have a lawyer present.

If by "interrogate" you mean beat or torture him, that's illegal in any event. That we have broken that law is (only part of) what makes members of the Bush administration, including Bush and Cheney, criminals.

A war is not the same as a civilian situation. YOu can't give habeus corpus rights to people in a battlefield. And even the Geneva Conventions separates lawful combatants from unlawful combatants. Unlawful combatants can be hung.
Even lawful combatants can be held for the duration of hostilities. And that could mean indefinitely.
Just to determine who they are capturing on a battlefield requires an interrogation. And in special cases, in limited cases, it is imperative to prevent things like embassies being attacked or terrorist plots from hatching. And in the case where we have people who have situational knowledge of those attacks it would be morally bankrupt if we didn't interrogate them enough to make sure that they've spilled the goods.
That's in a war zone.
Obama for example couldnt' use a drone strike on the Lackawanna Six in the middle of Buffallo. But by the same token, if they are pontentiall part of Al Qaeda, and it can be established that they are to a relatively certain degree (more so than just visiting a website) then 'an enhanced invetstigation and detainee process may be required".

You'll note that the guy who supposedly started the whole riot that led to the death of our ambassador WASN"t charged using our enhanced war on terror powers. THe use of which is EXTREMELY limited. The Lackawana six for example, ultimately faced trial and are now in civilian jails.But if they went to a training camp and met Osama bin Laden and then came back to the US, and then we were attacked,, the idea that they would be treated like a common burglar is ludicrous.
And the liberarian argument that somehow normal rules should apply to terrorism on our shores isn't borne out by history.

jr565 said...

For example, there was a similar situation in the past where there was an instance of sabotage in this country.
During WWII we dealt with german saboteurs who were caught in the US. two of whom were Americans. Who dind't actually care out an attack.

Three days after all eight saboteurs were in custody, FDR sent Biddle a memo making clear his expectations. "The two Americans are guilty of treason," he told the attorney general. "I do not see how they can offer any adequate defense. . . it seems to me that the death penalty is almost obligatory." As for the six German citizens, "They were apprehended in civilian clothes. This is an absolute parallel of the Case of Major [John] Andre in the Revolution and of Nathan Hale. Both of these men were hanged." The President hammered home his point once more: "The death penalty is called for by usage and by the extreme gravity of the war aim and the very existence of our American govemment." Biddle had never quite overcome his awe in dealing with FDR. Still, the nation's chief law enforcement official was troubled, finding himself trapped between the President's questionable pressure and his own reverence for the law. The Germans had been apprehended so quickly, Biddle recognized, that "they had not committed any act of sabotage. Probably an indictment for attempted sabotage would not have been sustained in a civil court on the grounds that the preparations and landings were not close enough to the planned acts of sabotage to constitute attempt. If a man buys a pistol, intending murder, that is not an attempt at murder." In a civilian court the Germans might at best be convicted of conspiracy, which Biddle estimated would carry a maximum sentence of three years. This outcome, he knew, would never satisfy Roosevelt.

FDR essentially took charge of the case. He told Biddle that he wanted the eight agents tried, not in a civilian court, but by a military tribunal, which he himself would appoint. They had forfeited any right to a civilian trial, as Roosevelt put it, because "[t]hese men had penetrated battlelines strung on land along our two coasts and guarded on the sea by our destroyers, and were waging battle within our country." They fell under the Law of War. A military tribunal would be quick, not subject to the protracted appeals procedures of civilian courts. It would not be hog-tied by the criminal courts' exacting rules of evidence. It could impose the death sentence, not as the civil courts required, by a unanimous verdict, but by a two-thirds vote. A military tribunal offered the advantages and the assured outcome that the President wanted. A civilian court was out of the question. FDR told Biddle, "I want one thing clearly understood, Francis: I won't give them up . . . I won't hand them over to any United States Marshall armed with a writ of habeas corpus. Understand!" Averell Harriman, FDR's special envoy to Moscow, had once described Roosevelt's "Dutch jaw -- and when that Dutch jaw was set you couldn't move him." Biddle practically felt the jaw's thrust, and dutifully followed the President's instructions. Conviction should be simple, Biddle promised FDR, since "[t]he major violation of the Law of War is crossing behind the lines of a belligerent to commit hostile acts without being in uniform."

Now, whether we like FDR or not, he had that power to convene these tribunals and killed 6 of the 8 saboteurs. The two americans were given life in prison and a 30 year sentence respectively. Even though they did not actually commit sabotage and even though there wasn't a warzone in the US at the time.

Robert Cook said...

"A war is not the same as a civilian situation. YOu can't give habeus corpus rights to people in a battlefield."

America is not a battlefield.

"...if they are pontentiall part of Al Qaeda, and it can be established that they are to a relatively certain degree(more so than just visiting a website) then 'an enhanced invetstigation and detainee process may be required'."

How would that be determined "to a relatively certain degree" (I supposed you mean "beyond a reasonable doubt") without a trial by jury?

If by "enhanced investigation" you mean torture, then, no. Torture is illegal under any and all circumstances. There are no "ticking time bomb" exceptions under the law.

I repeat: this is (part of) what makes those in the Bush administration--from Bush on down--who were involved in the planning, implementation, or execution of torture--criminals.

jr565 said...

Those who are thought to be part of Al Qaeda are not being hung, so Bush and Obama are already treating our saboteurs better than FDR treated his. But the rules against saboteurs are the rules of War not civilian rules and if you have saboteurs, even americans on our shores, they will not be treated the same. The presidents War Time Powers allow for this.
Rand Paul has no right to preempt the Presidents War Time Powers. and from a practical sense it makes little sense to treat potential terrorists like burglars. If it's your goal to actually stop terrorist attacks that is.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
repeat: this is (part of) what makes those in the Bush administration--from Bush on down--who were involved in the planning, implementation, or execution of torture--criminals.

It wasn't torture. And you'll note, Obama has not bothered to charge anyone with any crimes. If you're not charged, you are not a criminal.

Robert Cook said...

(A military tribunal)would not be hog-tied by the criminal courts' exacting rules of evidence...."

A revealing turn of phrase, that.

It says, "We want to kill these men without having to go to the trouble to prove they're guilty."

Robert Cook said...

"Obama has not bothered to charge anyone with any crimes."

In this, he is himself in violation of the law.

A Legal Duty to Prosecute Torturers

Robert Cook said...

"If you're not charged, you are not a criminal."

There are plenty of criminals who are not charged, or who are charged and acquitted. (Just as there are many innocent persons who are charged and found guilty.)

Actual guilt or innocence of criminal behavior has to do with more than just the adjudication of same...it has to do with one's actual acts. A rapist or murderer who is never arrested or tried or charged or who is tried but acquitted is no less a rapist or murderer. He remains a person who has raped or murdered another human being, even if he has escaped the reach of the law.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
How would that be determined "to a relatively certain degree" (I supposed you mean "beyond a reasonable doubt") without a trial by jury?


We know who the 19 terrorists were on 9/11 and that Al Qaeda was involved, and who was in Al Qaeda was involved. How much of that was determined by a court case? KSM has yet to stand trial or face a tribunal even, yet we know he was the mastermind of 9/11 and the USS Cole attacks . No trial necessary.
And no I didn't mean beyond a reasonable doubt. That is a legal distinction. I meant, that they were relatively certain that they had the right people before they brought their net down. When cops arrest someone they don't have to get the courts to pronounce guilt before they can be arrested.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
n this, he is himself in violation of the law.

A Legal Duty to Prosecute Torturers

Should he prosecute all the instructors who made people go through waterboarding as part of SERE training?

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
There are plenty of criminals who are not charged, or who are charged and acquitted. (Just as there are many innocent persons who are charged and found guilty.)

You're mixing a legal distinction with a non legal one. If you're not charged, then under law, you're not a criminal. if you're found innocent you're not a criminal. Likewise if you are found guilty you are a criminal, even if you're in fact innocent.
So, we all know that people are innocent and guilty even if the law says otherwise. Correct? The law is imperfect.
But you seem to have a slavish devotion to the law, even at the expense of presidential powers and common sense. IAs such, you are a hypocrite to call people found innnocent of crimes guilty (even though you know personally that they are) and people found guilty of crimes innocent (even though you know personally they are.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
A revealing turn of phrase, that.

It says, "We want to kill these men without having to go to the trouble to prove they're guilty."

They're saboteurs, caught in the act of attempting to commit sabotage. Under the rules of War they can be hung. They don't get trials. The Geneva Convention allows for this. If you're found guilty of a crime in the military you face military justice. totally different standard. Different circumstances allow for different rules.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
Actual guilt or innocence of criminal behavior has to do with more than just the adjudication of same...it has to do with one's actual acts. A rapist or murderer who is never arrested or tried or charged or who is tried but acquitted is no less a rapist or murderer. He remains a person who has raped or murdered another human being, even if he has escaped the reach of the law.

I know this. This is the whole point of why your argument is so dumb. The military and the cops do not operate on the principle that they must withhold action until a court determines guilt or innocence. It would be silly to make a president hold off on a drone strike because we didn't provide habeus corpus to a terrorist we are about to drop a bomb on. Likewise, a cop doesn't have to determine guilt or innocence before arresting people. They arrest people they think commit a crime. A court may say otherwise down the road.

Robert Cook said...

"...the cops do not operate on the principle that they must withhold action until a court determines guilt or innocence...a cop doesn't have to determine guilt or innocence before arresting people."

Making an arrest is not a determination of guilt; it is an action taken to detain someone suspected of being guilty of a crime. The courts determine guilt or innocent (under the law) via the means provided by due process.

The arrest is not the punishment, but the means to hold a suspect until his legal culpability is determined. Punishment is handed down by the courts after a conviction of guilt has been made.

As for your remarks in re: drone bombing of terrorists, I'll leave aside, as I'm busy and don't have time to get into that now. Let me just say that it's not so simple (or simplistic) as you depict.

Kirk Parker said...

jr @ 3:22pm.

"Police" and "SWAT" are not synonyms! SWAT is vastly overused, sometimes literally overkill.