Hopefully, the administration will find a way to follow this sensible solution, which is to change nothing—to let the CIA and the military continue to do what needs to be done to effectively wage this war, and to continue to do what’s being done to obtain intelligence to continue to ensure our security. In other words—to CONTINUE.
How far do we go in McCain’s absurd quest to “keep our souls?” Do we not fight them at all, since the very act of using violence to protect ourselves might be seen by some as evil and immoral? What a crock! It’s like asking the pope’s advice on how to fight terrorists, the pope being a religiously bound (evidently) to say that ALL war is wrong. Sorry, but that is simply unacceptable guidance. It just doesn’t fly in the REAL world. Simply put, there would no longer be any “Western Civilization,” or even a pope for that matter, if we were to blindly follow his counsel, or McCain's.
As far as the egomaniac McCain is concerned, an example of how “loose his screw” really is, he has announced strident opposition to the martial sport of Ultimate Fighting, even going so far as to attempt to pass law outlawing it; For, he says, it’s “too violent.” His PTSD seems to be affecting ALL of his this thought processes. We are in big trouble if he’s elected president—I’d vote for Kerry before I’d vote for him. His mental condition has affected him so profoundly that it doesn’t seem that he’s capable of making the tough decisions as Commander in Chief.
Another silly bit of logic by the “anti-torture” people—like Colin Powell, John McCain and much of the opposition party—is that if we use “tough questioning techniques” on our prisoners, then the enemy might do the same to our people. Therefore, they reason that we should ONLY follow the rules as stated in the Geneva Convention. There are assorted problems with this way of thinking.
For one thing, the Geneva Convention was not written all those decades ago with jihadists in mind. These people do not fight for a state or even for an army; they fight for an unseen, shadow organization answerable to no one. Therefore, these terror practitioners, most whom mock the Geneva Convention, are not signatories to it and do not follow it themselves.
There is another bigger problem with the Convention in that it basically states that NO POW may be questioned for info other than for name, rank and identification details. That is simply unreasonable, and NO army in its right mind actually follows that directive. We NEVER have, no matter what anyone says. In war, when an enemy combatant is captured, a way is FOUND to make him talk, to spill the beans. We know our enemies will do this to our captured troops as well. In fact, we do things to lessen the damage caused by their possible capture, like making sure that no one troop knows enough to compromise an entire battle plan.
Also, we train our people to “hold out” long enough under tough interrogation tactics, such as water-boarding, beatings, and other various physical extremes, so that by the time they “crack,” no real harm can be done. We KNOW every person has their breaking point, therefore we DON’T truly expect our enemies to follow the convention, just as we don’t. It’s more of a pie-in-the-sky document than it is a practical standard. Only a lawyer would really expect a frontline American fighter to completely and faithfully follow every letter of the Geneva Convention.
A weaker argument offered by those against any form of tough questioning, or torture, as they prefer to call any hard interrogation, is that it doesn’t work. They say that many of those questioned under duress simply tell lies to make it stop. So what? We can cross-check all gathered info and decide if it’s false or not. The real story is that torture in its many forms DOES work on MOST people, and always has. Some guys last longer than others, but everyone talks eventually. Our guys will talk when they are caught, and so will theirs. The point is that WE shouldn’t be prevented from doing it. It is a necessary part of war and always has been. Why would we shoot ourselves in the foot by completely disallowing ANY form of tough interrogation? It makes NO sense, because ultimately it HAS saved and WILL save allied lives.
What I really find wild is the muddleheaded thinking that tries to combine Geneva Convention “rights” with basic human rights, which by the way, Islamicists deny the existence of anyway, ALONG with rights granted under the American Constitution, in ADDITION to rights specified under every other European constitution, especially if it means coddling captured fanatics. Basically, these human rights “extremists” feel that there is nothing that shouldn’t be done FOR captured terrorists, and certainly nothing that should be done TO them. These human rights idealists mean well, I suppose, but they might as well cut the throats of everyone of us right now that seek NOT to live under Sharia Law, because that is what is coming if we allow them to have their way. How ironic that these “well meaning idiots” are so willing to come to the aid and succor of the very people who would take away THEIR human rights.
Getting back to the captured terrorist vermin and their so-called rights, when they signed up to do inhuman things, these cutthroats should effectively lose access to ANY rights, other than the right to sit in prison for as long as we deem necessary to keep them from cutting more innocent throats. They should especially not have a right to trial, yet trials under civilian courts of law is exactly what the “ACLU types” and Amnesty International dunderheads insist on, and that will be a mind-boggling hindrance for us in our aim to keep captured killers from continuing to butcher us.
So, why would it be so bad to try these monsters under our Constitution? Well, for one thing, they aren’t Americans and our laws don’t apply to them, especially to those we capture overseas. Aside from that obvious quandary, under our stateside laws nearly every one of these guys captured on the “terror battlefields” around the world would be released. Can you imagine it? Whenever we capture one of these brutes they’ll scream for a lawyer. And those that don’t, and answer questions under battlefield interrogation, they would have that testimony “thrown out” under our rules of law against “coerced” questioning. So, do we start reading these guys their rights upon capture? Do we stop interrogating them? Of course not; that’s absurd.
The answer is to do what’s being done now—to continue! The fact that it’s the Bush Administration doing it, and that it works, is reason enough for “the Bush opposers” to condemn it. They’d rather see us lose or become less effective than admit that “their nemesis” is doing it right. Here’s the way it now works: if and when we decide to allow it, a “closed” military tribunal overseen by an experienced military judge weighs the evidence against the captive and decides such things as guilt or non-guilt, and whether or not it is in the nation’s best interest to release, to release to another country, or to continue to detain.
We are at a huge disadvantage and in great danger when we attempt to try captured terrorists in civilian courts. For one thing, these state enemies under our laws have access to ALL the evidence against them, as well as the means by which it was gathered. Here is the expected result—they will usually have to be released. Why? Because, much of the intelligence will have been collect by covert agents, and we could not risk compromising them; it might mean their death or the loss of their continued use. The same applies to information gathered by technological methods.
So, rather than lose the ability to keep tabs on terror plots and on enemy plans on the battlefield, our government would have no choice except to NOT reveal their intelligence gathering methods and sources, and THAT would result in the release of killers. They would head back out to continue their jihad; no, to again commit heinous atrocities against humanity. Several of the detainees released from
And what about the battle hardened, and hate-filled Islamic fighters we capture on various battlegrounds in places like
Currently, we keep incorrigible captured prisoners “detained” for at least two reasons: 1) to gather any intelligence we might, and 2) to keep them from continuing to blow up and kill Americans. The ACLU wants ALL these guys immediately tried and thus released. Do you wonder why I despise the ACLU and Amnesty International who lump us in with tyrannical regimes such as
McCain, Powell and company are doing a huge disservice to their country and its protectors, as they now come down on the side of organizations and politicos who want to hamstring our ability to successfully continue the fight against the most evil, bloodthirsty in-humans that has ever slithered the face of the earth. Both McCain and Powell have been in “the trenches” and SHOULD know better. Instead, they misuse the moral positions they earned as POW, Chief of Staff and Secretary of State to do immeasurable harm by supporting the mushy-thinkers that seek to interfere with a very effective war-fighting program. I would ask them “What are you thinking?” but it seems they aren’t at all.
Yes, the Geneva Conventions, those over 50-year-old set of rules on wartime conduct between combatants. Made renown over the years, and over many intervening wars, for breaches against them, rather than for strict adherence to them. Many might also entertain the same view with regard to the United Nations and its past records.
Why do we even continue to deferentially consult with them? When in reality they have become quite irrelevant to present realities?
As I like to point out, uncluttered and unencumbered idealism is very easy to espouse and defend – IN THEORY, especially if one is not in the unenviable position which is saddled with the responsibility to make hard decisions on real-time events that bring such crucial issues into play. And be publicly responsible for making such difficult decisions. Thus, many uncommitted kibitzers from academia and those out of power like to deal this kind of a hand. Worse, they are bereft usually of alternatives that can be considered feasible and practical. Their rhetoric is typically couched in vague or general terms as to cloud and skirt practical specifics or alternatives.
BTW, in an earlier post you mentioned the AMC Pacer. When first confronted with the need to purchase a vehicle when we first arrived here in the US, I was seriously thinking about another AMC product, the Gremlin. Rambler models, when they were still running, were considered cheaper in their classes. But they all slipped into past history.
I ended up purchasing a Chevrolet Chevette which lasted for over 14 years with me. Two-door and hatchback. Perfect for moving luggage, and household furniture and fixture around.
Wat, you know what? When all the so-called Muslim moderates start to stand up to the so-called "extremists" among them, then they can prefer to have me call it whatever they want, but the perpetrators call it jihad, therefore, that's what it is and that's what they are. So, it would seem that the moderates should inform Al Qaeada and Hezbollah that they would prefer it be called something else. And Wat, there aren't just a handful of Muslims rioting in Islamic streets demanding the head of the pope on a pike....I'm afraid that all these silent moderates you seem to be referring to are so silent so as to be irrelevant. As soon as they are "heard" and start reacting against this so-called "tiny sliver" of radicals, I don't think I'll pay a bit of attention to what they prefer.
And, I hate to break this to you buddy, but there is a lot more "extremism" in the average Muslim than you might like to know about. For instance: whenever a new video comes out of an "infidel" getting his head sawn off, these vids in snippet form are vastly popular and are passed between cellphones among thousands of Muslims throughout Europe, and they don't look at them with horror on their faces. Most are quite pleased with what they see. This "extremism" problem is a lot more widespread than you know.
I think I'll tell a story about my own amateur dabbling in the "art" of interrogation. It's funny, but its also a bit frightening.
As you probably would have guessed, I disagree with you on this one. I've always been impressed by McCain and would vote for him if he ever made it out of primaries and in this case, I think he is right on. This isn't an issue of war, this isn't an issue of security, this IS an issue of keeping the moral upper hand.
If I boil down your long post, it seems that your biggest argument is, "well they do it so we should too." I'm sure your mom taught you long ago that this is not an acceptable argument. When we lose our morals especially when fighting wars, I think we are no better than those that we are fighting against. We lost all our moral superiority with Abu Grahib and we will never get it back in this war.
Yes the Geneva Convention wasn't written with jihadists in mind. We both agree on that. However, it was written with keeping human dignity in mind and that hasn't changed between now and then. It was written with the understanding that we are all children of God and thus should be treated with respect. Torturing someone by waterboarding is not showing respect. Yes the consequence may be that we don't prevent the next 'big one' but I would rather it happen than give up moral high ground.
Although our laws may not apply to people we catch overseas, hence the use of secret prisons in Europe, our Constitution does apply to those at Guantanamo and thus, they do have a right for a trial, terrorist monsters that they might be. I don't necessarily think it has to be a civilian trial but it should be composed with a jury of their peers as provided by our laws. When I am in the Philippines, I fully expect to be held up to their laws and thus those people on our soil, even if they aren't citizens, must be held up to our laws.
McCain is perhaps the most qualified to speak on this subject since he has 'been there and done that.' Bush who for all practical purposes, never served has about the least authority to speak on the subject. In fact, McCain can't do the country a disservice if he is speaking for the majority, which all polls within the last six months say that he is when it comes to morality and the Iraq war. I find having a president who won based upon morality not getting taken to the cleaners along with his party due to his lack of morals highly ironic.
Great rant Phil!
Rewording the last sentence: I find having a president who won his position due to his 'moral standings' and who is NOW getting taken to the cleaners along with his party due to lack of morals, highly ironic.
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