Saturday, December 03, 2005

In marshalled order set by Lucifer, who left his station last

Normblog reviews Michael Ignatieff's book on the moral problems of fighting terrorism. He also examines Conor Gearty's objection to Ignatieff's thesis. Ignatieff's reasoning is very close to my own: that maintaining morality, such as banning torture, comes at a price -- a price we should be willing to pay, up to a point. Gearty differs with Ignatieff, arguing that if human rights are held less than absolute or if the concepts of right or wrong are admitted into the debate then we are down the slippery slope to torture in some form.

The moment the human rights discourse moves in this way into the realm of good and evil is the moment when it has fatally compromised its integrity. For once these grand terms are deployed in the discussion, all bets are off as far as equality of esteem is concerned. If we are good and they are bad, then of course equality of esteem as between all of us is ludicrous. Why esteem the evildoer in the same way as he or she who does good?

Only humanitarian standards can be absolute standards and Gearty warns us not to seek other gods at our peril. Norm Geras is not persuaded by Gearty's argument, nor am I. One paragraph of Gearty's in particular is worth noting.

International humanitarian and human rights law represents the apogee of this civilizing trend in global affairs, with rules of decent conduct that took their colour from the fact of our shared humanity rather than the superiority of our particular cause being agreed and promulgated. Now, thanks primarily to the Rumsfeldians but also to the willingness of important liberals like Ignatieff to embrace the language, we are back in a pre-rule phase where, in effect, despite the liberals’ best hopes, anything goes.

Actually anything goes anyway despite international humanitarian law in much of the wide world. As a practical matter, anyone in trouble in the Third World would be ill-advised to mention Amnesty International or the European Union when under police interrogation unless he wants to be beaten more savagely. A bribe, hiring a good local lawyer, or some other manuever will work better in 999 cases out of thousand. The number of people helped by international humanitarian institutions in comparison to the number of victims is miniscule. That, sad to say, is not because the international humanitarians aren't well meaning, but because backsliding into the "pre-rule phase" can't be prevented when one is unwilling to enforce the rules. It's doubtful whether one can enforce humanitarian law entirely through humanitarian means. And if it is impossible to coerce human monsters into behaving; if it is impermissible to fight for humanitarian rules in principle, then activists must do the next best thing and focus on raising standards in societies where appeals to shame and morality have some force, in places for example, like the United States, the UK and Australia. Humanitarian law works where law is obeyed, like the electric shaver that works where there is electricity. And that's why Gearty can scathingly use the word Rumsfeldian in a vocabulary that will forever be bereft of 'Saddamian', 'Castrovian' or 'Mugabian'.

But it is in parts of the world where few rules apply that justice is needed most. There other steps must be taken. In 1997, a notorious pedophile named Robert "Dolly" Dunn was tracked down by an Australian 60 Minutes team in Honduras, where he had fled after eluding law enforcement in several countries "wanted since 1995 on nearly 100 sexual assault and drug charges". Without any legal authority to arrest Dunn, the Australian 60 Minutes team made a backdoor deal with local US DEA agents, who knew their way around enough to get Dunn deported as an "undesirable person" on a flight routed through Miami where, after the necessary due process, Australian law enforcement took him back to face the music.

Yet maneuvers of this kind work only when we are willing to reinstate the notions of 'good and evil' that Gearty finds so distasteful. Without the concepts of good and evil there are ultimately no guidelines on the use of force; and a world of rules cannot exist unless the rules can, in the first place, be imposed by force. But we are through the revolving door again.

Any effective campaign to outlaw torture must first of all begin by telling the public that innocent lives will be lost and suffering endured so that we can safeguard our souls; that for this we are willing to pay a price. It cannot begin by falsely promising the public that we can have our cake and eat it too. What Ignatieff understands is that there is no escape from moral choice, even if we wanted it. In Eve Garrard's summary:

So his (Ignatieff's) view is that in responding to the threat of terrorism, we shouldn't go all out to increase public security at the cost of abandoning our support for human rights, but neither should we treat human rights as totally inviolable if doing so exposes us to a greatly increased threat to our security. He thinks we should engage in something like moral trade-offs, allowing some strengthening of security at the expense of respect for rights, but also insisting that we have to accept some insecurity - maybe even some lives lost - in order to preserve core aspects of our democratic rights.

Update and correction

Norm Geras writes to say that the Normblog post quoted above was actually written by Eve Garrard, though it appears on his site. My mistake and I apologize. I've corrected it in the text above.

"Smenita"

There's a bug in Blogger just now (15:00 PST) which keeps people from posting comments. The word verification code is stuck on "smenita". Will write Blogger to report the fault.

105 Comments:

Blogger wretchard said...

For a front page example of how to get out of an Indonesian jail, see the case of Michelle Leslie, an Australian model accused of possessing Ecstasy tablets in Indonesia. Amnesty International? Appeals to the ICC? The UN? Try converting to Islam. Also see "Lies and Bribes what she had to do to win her freedom. Now read Gearty's injunction again:

"The moment the human rights discourse moves in this way into the realm of good and evil is the moment when it has fatally compromised its integrity. For once these grand terms are deployed in the discussion, all bets are off as far as equality of esteem is concerned. If we are good and they are bad, then of course equality of esteem as between all of us is ludicrous. Why esteem the evildoer in the same way as he or she who does good?"

12/03/2005 03:36:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

For some reason this is always totally obscure to most (especially urban and educated) Westerners until the moment when it looks like we might experience total defeat, from which point history has shown repeatedly that over 90% of us suddenly have no trouble understanding it at all.

These factors by themselves make a long-developed, complete surprise, devastating attack the most attractive strategy to select against us, because we most of the time find it impossible to get behind moving against the preparations.

The key insight is that, against some opponents, "it's going to be them or us". This is the realization which eventually clarifies the issues for Westerners, sometimes in time to stave off defeat and sometimes (*cough*, Continental Europe, *cough*) not.

It would be far better for the world as a whole if we found a more effective way to educate ourselves, so that we wouldn't need to re-experience the prospect of imminent destruction and defeat periodically in order to get our minds around this.

12/03/2005 04:52:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

Humanists like Gearty have been pontificating to others for centuries, telling us how we should behave. By dictating the rules they puff themselves up to god status.

The process starts for each of us the moment we become self aware (see Genesis 3) and begins our animal yearning to become independant beings (independant of an objective law or moral standard).

The problem for the rest of us is that this self-appointed deity keeps changing his mind, or is replaced by the next top-dog deity that decides to change the rules of the game to his favor. How can the people live morally and obediently to laws that keep changing? This is the problem with secular humanism - the old subjective morality issue.

It's been said by many that - if we get to the point that we need to rely on law enforcment to maintain civility, we're in trouble. I think that's what we see in many places in the world. Society breaks down when the rule of law is a moving target.

The superiority of our western culture (before we became post-Christian) was not so much the rule of law, but due instead to adherance by a majority to objective (not man made) morality.

Losing that starts us down the slippery slope.

12/03/2005 05:12:00 AM  
Blogger Terry Gain said...

International law, like all law, is a means to an end.

International law did nothing to make life better for Iraqis and provide them with what we,in the west, take for granted.

The left fails to acknowledge that whenever there is a conflict between the rights of individuals and the sovereignty of nations, in resolving the conflict, "the internationalists" favour the sovereignty of nations (and the rights of dictators)most every time.

The rescue mission in Iraq was a failure of international law.

When the law refuses to do good and supports evil sometimes good men must find another way.

12/03/2005 05:51:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

The no torture at all costs crowd often uses a costs of torture argument from time to time.

They claim (and with some basis in reality) that if side X in a conflict is well known for treatings it prisoners harshly then the soldiers of side Y have no real incentive to surrender so they fight to the death.

While I do believe this to be the case normally we have to remember who we fight. No amount of good will to Japanese POWs could convince the Japanese to surrender in WWII instead they accepted death as readily as thety meted it out.

In any event I don't see the problem so much as we are engaging in subjecting prisoners to Iron Maidens, racks, bamboo shoots under the fingernails etc. I see the Amnesty International crowd lowering the bar on torture (and treating all claims of abuse from Al-Qaeda types as gospel). Now, not only are the items previously mentioned still torture (as they should be) so now too is playing Brittany Spears music all the time (well, now I think about it AI has a case here) , so too now is making the room chilly or warm. So too is a lovely young woman shaking her stuff in front of the interogatee now torture.

Pretty soon soft pillow prodding and comfy chairs (with coffee at 11:00 am) will be beyond the pale.

It all isn't about eliminating torture so much as dragging down a world leader they really don't like. A radio commentator once observed he did not think too much would change for the worse if John Kerry won the election. In fact, he thought John Kerry could have nuked Iraq and turned Iraq into a glass parking lot and the AI types and the MSM would just yawn. I hate to attribute such petty motives to the MSM and AI types but the razor keeps cutting away other explanations.

Does anyone think if JFK were president we'ld hear stories about how a certain AQ prisoner was tortured by being wired up and being forced on a treadmill?

Not only did we enter this war with one arm tied we (we as a culture) are bound and determined to completely bind ourselves.

12/03/2005 05:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Limbaugh had an interesting take on the
"ticking time bomb in NY City" exception/pardon "rationale":

If torture doesn't work,
why use it for the ticking time bomb?

12/03/2005 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger sbw said...

The first essential understanding is that one chooses either to live under the moral umbrella people have manufacured, or by the law of the jungle outside of it. If one chooses to live outside, those who live under the umbrella can use any means to defend themselves against you.

The second understanding is that, although one may use any means -- including torture -- it can choose not yet to do so. In practice, it should be our choice not to use it, because, as with the death penalty, one may inadvertently apply it to an innocent, and secondly, we want to encourage more people to choose to live under our protective umbrella.

I can see no other ways to teach the lessons that carries so much weight as these explanations. Why do others argue with respresentations that can be so easily countered?

12/03/2005 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

sbw,
The moral umbrella of whom
Idi Amin? Mr Mugube? mini Z?
These people represent entire cultures that live outside YOUR umbrella.
The Law is not a moral code.

It is an arm of the State

International Law bows to the State
not the individual.

US tries law to protect people from the power of the State, by spreading the power amongnst the people.

Other countries are not so fortunate. In many the power of the State resides with one individual and his associates.

The general public, in the US, "knows" that the consent of the governed is a given, an absolute. It is not, really.

Human "Rights" are rights men give to one another, mutually agreed.
If there is no mutual agreememt, there are no rights.

Let the drowning man tell the ocean of his "rights"

If a baby has no "right to life", what other "Rights" are secure?

12/03/2005 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger Ed Brenegar said...

Interesting discussion. I have sort of a measurement of these ethical choices. Whom do I trust to have my best interests in mind, to defend my life? Do I trust the person who has a clear sense of right and wrong, of good and evil, and is willing to sacrifice his own reputation and possibly life for my welfare or the person who in effect is an ethical narcissist, who is primarily concerned with his own ethical purity. The first person sees that there are ethical considerations that go beyond what is personally safe. The second measures ethical questions according to their own standards of purity. These two streams dominate the divide in the West. One is represented by the Bush Adminstration's risky "unilateral" step to go to war in Iraq, the other the belief war was unnecessary, that if we could just sit down and talk, everything could be worked out. As the stupidity of one of my fellow Presbyterians displays - http://today.reuters.com/news/newsarticle.aspx?type=politicsNews&storyid=2005-12-02T234957Z_01_KNE280679_RTRUKOC_0_US-RELIGION-HEZBOLLAH.xml - this perspective is naive and dangerous. War is deadly and messy. Without it there would be no justice, just tyranny of the unscrupulous over the weak.

12/03/2005 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Over at RCP, Tom Bevans writes on the torture subject, contrasting Krauthammer vs. VDH on Torture

VDH taking the position that a ban on torture would be wise, the mighty Brauthammer arguing torture should be tightly regulated.

12/03/2005 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

The problem with Mr.Gearty and his ilk is they are not ruled by an ironclad moral code that prohibits certain interrogation methods .Rather they are sentimentalists and self deluded Pharisees who in their pseudo moral superiority would rather be annihilated than admit they are flawed humans who must kill to survive.
The current debate over the alleged "planting" of favorable news in Arab media is a case in point.The blowhards on the left will preen for the cameras and decry the assault on truth while they will ignore the endless lies and propaganda on Al Jazeera.
Fat fool Kennedy will compare our troops to Saddam's Fedayeen while having not a drunken tear to shed for school children blown up by the Jihadi SS.
The crux of this war is whether we will have the iron in our souls to do what is necessary to win.The left's nails scratching on the blackboard can only make the job more difficult.

12/03/2005 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger Aetius said...

wretchard, yes, exactly. One of your best!

meme, I suggest "most don't get it," because of a lack of proper moral education.

terry, I suggest the law is not a means, but a goal. Laws and treaties are historical compromises dealing with a prior problem. Sometimes they help with current problems, sometimes not.
Also societies perceive laws differently. To Americans laws are definitive, but to Italians mere guidelines, with lots of application exceptions that we would consider equal protection violations.

12/03/2005 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In Libya their communications engineers are jamming satellite transmissions in an attempt to silence a broadcaster.

" ... The jamming started on September 19 after the launch in London of a small British and Arab-owned commercial radio station broadcasting on human rights and freedom of speech issues to Libya.

Ten minutes after the station - initially known as Sout Libya - went on air a transponder carrying the station was jammed for 50 minutes along with other stations. The jamming stopped when Sout Libya stopped broadcasting.

The station relaunched as Sowt Alamel, this time through a new satellite called Telstar 12. As a precaution, the broadcasts were sent to the US first, and then beamed up to Telstar, making it impossible for anybody to jam it, except from America.

Yet the moment it went on air, the jamming started again, knocking out the other stations without affecting Sowt Alamel . ..."

Protest to Libya after satellites jammed

That piece from the Guardian.

Isn't there a "right" to broadcast?
Or at least a "right" to recieve it?

12/03/2005 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger nonomous said...

I don't think there is anything 'Christian' about the west's views on torture. The Salem witch trials of 1692 used torture to elicit confessions. Until around 1700, drawing-and-quartering folks was a familiar public event in England. The pageant included castration, evisceration and finally extraction of a beating heart (if possible).

During the 1600s, broadsheets started running cartoons of torture victims, making its use a political liability. The indignation one can generate with cartoon of some poor soul's unjust suffering is still an amazing political tool. Broadsheets educated 18th century army and a that army was critical for political survival.

The left's use of the 'torture' issue is entirely self serving. When torture serves their purposes, it is simply called something else, 'abortion' for example. What else would one call sucking out a baby's brain, or ripping its arms off with a vacuum hose?

12/03/2005 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

For the most part, isn't Gearty preaching to the choir? I dare say that, unlike our terrorist foe, most Americans--Rumsfeld included--already understand the importance of perserving human rights and dignity, and are quite willing to impart an "equality of esteem" upon those who are different from us. In fact, isn't that the motivating principle behind our continued effort to see OIF through to a successful conclusion? Yet, on the other hand, there are still those of a purportedly liberal point of view like University of Colorado law professor and columnist Paul Campos who (quoting from memory) believe "that the cause of bringing democracy to the Middle East is not worth the life of a single American soldier."

What, then, are we to make of the grand egalitarian concepts of universal human rights and equality of esteem? What are we to think when avowed liberals reject these principles at the very moment conservatives embrace them? To say that politics makes strange bedfellows understates the case; we are in fact viewing the world topsy-turvy through the looking glass.

For what it's worth, last night I had the dubious pleasure of watching Terry Moran interview a group of approximately a dozen Iraqis. At one point it really was funny to see the reaction to his question, "Are things better now or worse than they were before Saddam was removed from power?" The unanimous opinion of the others in the room was, "Things are better now than before." It seemed, watching his eyes bug out as he asked the question again, that Moran was unprepared to hear that particular answer. But it came yet again. "Yes, things are MUCH better. And we have hope for the future." But as entertaining as it was to watch Mr Moran trying to deal with this particular truth, the best part was yet to come when, summing things up at the end, he did a little soliloquoy in which he observed that even in such an awful place as Iraq now appeared to be, he thought he was not toeing any partisan line by observing that Iraqis are people "just like us" with the same hopes, the same dreams and aspiratiions...

Okay, Mr Moran. Whatever. Some of us already knew that and for those who didn't, I doubt your telling them now is going to make a whole heck of a lot of difference. But if you could somehow persuade the rest of your news organization that the cause of bringing Democracy to the Middle East is indeed worthwhile, you might yet help change the quality and tenor of the national discourse and make a positive difference, after all.

12/03/2005 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger opotho said...

From The Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)

"... Burke put great faith in the inherited wisdom of tradition. He held that the moral order of the temporal world must necessarily include some evil, by reason of original sin. Men ought not to reject what is good in tradition merely because there is some admixture of evil in it. In man's confused situation, advantages may often lie in balances and compromises between good and evil, even between one evil and another. It is an important part of wisdom to know how much evil should be tolerated. To search for too great a purity is only to produce fresh corruption. Burke was especially critical of revolutionary movements with noble humanitarian ends because he believed that people are simply not at liberty to destroy the state and its institutions in the hope of some contingent improvement. On the other hand, he insisted that people have a paramount duty to prevent the world from getting worse - a duty to guard and preserve their inherited liberties and privileges. ..."

"... In one of his most celebrated works, "Reflections on the Revolution in France" (1790), Burke attacked those of his contemporaries who made an abstraction of liberty, and who invited people to seek liberty without any real knowledge of what they meant by it. ..."

12/03/2005 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"If torture doesn't work,
why use it for the ticking time bomb?"

Good question.

What's not being adequately addressed, however, are coercive measures that don't reach the level of torture and that are quite effective in breaking the will to resist interrogation. I don't have a problem with the continued outlawing of torture, but "cruel, inhumane, and degrading" treatment? Here's where the real problem, as well as the real controversy, confusion, and political preening, lie: not with torture, but with that which isn't.

I think we might be approaching that point where interrogation, already confused with mere detention, is commonly misunderstood to be legal only when it promotes or leaves undisturbed the comfort and self-esteem of the source. Fact will follow misunderstanding, as rules of interrogation are further tightened to facilitate this popular and political idiocy.

12/03/2005 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Den Beste once addressed this:

[W]e have to accept that in war it is necessary sometimes to do evil things, sometimes grossly evil things, for no reason other than because all the alternatives are even worse. By far the best summation of this came from a Los Angeles police officer: "The standard isn't perfection; the standard is the alternative." If what we do results in a situation that is less bad than what would happen if we were inactive, then it was the right thing to do even if it is absolutely bad. That, ultimately, is why pacifism is wrong at this time; it will lead to worse results than if we actively do bad things. It is not always given to us to make an choice which is absolutely good. Sometimes we have to select the least among evils.

Though I don't hear it often, I think an absolute ban on torturing a particular enemy should only obtain if the enemy also has an absolute ban on torturing Americans. A consistent stand on the principle of the Golden Rule would not only leave me guilt-free about any subsequent use of torture, it would create a global incentive structure that would work to our advantage.

12/03/2005 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

To be clear, there is no value in torture for torture's sake alone. My argument is confined to torture done in the spirit of earnest interrogation.

12/03/2005 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

It seems to me that one issue that's not being addressed is that the professional humanitarians are invariably lazy, greedy, and selfish egotists.

In all cases of international finger-waggers -- including Amnesty International, the United Nations and Human Rights Watch -- what we see are people incompetent to do a real job, riding around in SUVs, living in the best hotels in foreign areas, and dining on the best food, with that life-style being paid for by money that was *supposed* to go to the poor people.

If you can't respect the bearer of the news, how can you possibly respect the news itself? Brussels names itself to be an international court and the VERY first people they try to indict are Rumsfeld and Powell ... and I am supposed to support or believe ANYthing that this "international court" ever comes up with afterwards?

12/03/2005 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

I think an absolute ban on torturing a particular enemy should only obtain if the enemy also has an absolute ban on torturing Americans.

Aristides,

Isn't that the intent of the Geneva Conventions' proscriptions on ill treatment of prisoners? The signatories vow to abide by certain rules of conduct in order to be assured like consideration in return. The problem is, of course, terrorist groups aren't signatories and, even if they were, what overarching structure would enforce their compliance?

12/03/2005 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Yes, that was the spirit of the Geneva Conventions, and I think we should get back to it.

Universal principles have diminishing returns at the margins, and so does an absolute ban on torture.

Sacrificing (innocent) life for a clean soul reeks of martyrdom, and Americans aren't martyrs. We are warriors, and warriors do what must be done.

12/03/2005 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

Can we stop calling it "war" yet?

So far from torture, our courageous military leaders will not have any "taunting" of the enemy on the field of battle:

Troops Who Burned Taliban Face Discipline By DANIEL COONEY, Associated Press Writer
Sat Nov 26, 6:55 PM ET



Four U.S. soldiers face disciplinary action for burning the bodies of two Taliban rebels — a videotaped incident that sparked outrage in Afghanistan — but they will not be prosecuted because their actions were motivated by hygienic concerns, the military said Saturday.

TV footage recorded Oct. 1 in a violent part of southern Afghanistan showed American soldiers setting fire to the bodies and then boasting about the act on loudspeakers to taunt insurgents suspected to be hiding in a nearby village.

Islam bans cremation, and the video images were compared to photographs of U.S. troops abusing prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. Afghanistan's government condemned the desecration. Muslim clerics warned of a violent anti-American backlash, though there have been no protests so far.

American commanders immediately launched an inquiry and vowed that anyone found guilty would be severely punished, fearing the incident could undermine public support for the war against a stubborn insurgency four years after U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban.

The U.S.-led coalition's operational commander, Maj. Gen. Jason Kamiya, said two junior officers who ordered the bodies burned would be reprimanded for showing a lack of cultural and religious understanding, but that the men had been unaware at the time of doing anything wrong.

Kamiya also said two noncommissioned officers would be reprimanded for using the burning of the bodies to taunt the rebels. The two men also would face nonjudicial punishments, which could include a loss of pay or demotion in rank.

[...]

12/03/2005 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Opotho quotes Burke,
"To search for too great a purity is only to produce fresh corruption.."
---
Just yesterday I was thinking about a great post here about Carter suffering from some sort of moral narcissism or something (can't do it justice).
The upshot was he spends more energy trying to appear to be doing good than he does taking the time and honest reflection required to actually BE doing good.
...and as with Nahncee's sweeties, both he and they do quite well (got Rosalynn Smith off his back with that Nobel Prize) for themselves with their strivings to appear to be doing good.
We will be forever grateful for Ramsey Clark.
---
'Rat, re Libya:
What would Reagan do? ;-)

12/03/2005 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

sbw writes,
"Why do others argue with respresentations that can be so easily countered?"
---
They like *live* in the real world.

12/03/2005 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger epops said...

The McCain bill is a moral luxury we are allowing ourselves because the terrorists have not yet threatened the survival of the American nation.

A terrorist nuke on Los Angeles would quickly change the terms of this debate. For mere mortals, necessity usually trumps morality.

12/03/2005 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"President Carter got up this morning around eight, watched SportsCenter and worked out in the gym at his place in New Jersey with a personal trainer, then slid into his Mercedes Maybach and let his longtime driver Romero take him over the George Washington Bridge and into Manhattan to the Universal building at 8th Avenue and 50th street. The Maybach drops him off less than twenty yards from the front door. His L-shaped corner office is on the 29th floor."
---
oops, that's the President Carter of Def Jam, but it demonstrates the same point.

12/03/2005 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

Can we stop calling it "war" yet? Cont.

Elaine Grossman
Inside the Pentagon
1 DEC, 2005

New Rules In Iraq May Make It Tougher To Keep Insurgents Behind Bars

Top U.S. military leaders in Baghdad have agreed with Iraqi officials to require more evidence before keeping a suspected insurgent behind bars, but the move is generating enormous controversy behind the scenes, officials tell Inside the Pentagon.

The effort appears aimed at better protecting innocent civilians who get caught up in security sweeps from being detained for prolonged periods.

But American officers on the tip of the spear are becoming increasing alarmed by the number of insurgents who have committed violence against troops or civilians after being freed from incarceration in Iraq. Many say existing detainment rules already make it difficult to substantiate charges against captured individuals. The anticipated changes, due for implementation this month, will only heighten the risk of violence in Iraq and further jeopardize the U.S.-led counterinsurgency campaign, according to some uniformed officials in the region.

“The burden of proof is in favor of the insurgents,” says one officer in Iraq. “I’m constantly asking myself, ‘Why should I risk my life and the lives of my soldiers to detain someone who will only be put back on the streets in a matter of months?’”

In what may be an ominous sign, military officials are beginning to question whether they can effectively achieve even the first step of President Bush’s “clear-hold-build” strategy in Iraq’s most dangerous sectors unless detainment is made more effective. Meeting Bush’s objective of clearing “areas of enemy control by remaining on the offensive, killing and capturing enemy fighters and denying them safe haven” relies on an ability to keep insurgents off the streets, officers tell ITP.

A number of high-profile attacks have been attributed to insurgents who were earlier detained in Iraq but subsequently released.

One of the suspected suicide bombers who killed 57 people and wounded more than 100 at three luxury hotels in Amman, Jordan, on Nov. 9 was detained a year earlier during a battle between Marines and insurgents in Fallujah, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported last month. After about two weeks in confinement, Safah Mohammed Ali was released by U.S. forces who “determined there was no compelling evidence that he was a threat to the security of Iraq,” the newspaper quotes a military spokesman as saying.

In August, another suspected insurgent -- released from prison just days earlier by an Iraqi judge -- shot and wounded an Army lieutenant colonel who commanded the 1st Battalion of the 24th Infantry Regiment in Mosul.

And there were unconfirmed reports early this year that even the most- wanted terrorist in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, may have been captured and released by Iraqi police in late 2004 during operations in Fallujah.

Lesser-known insurgents sometimes seem to cycle in and out of detention as they continue to perpetrate violence in local communities, some U.S. officials report.

“We’ve captured [many of] these insurgents several times,” says one senior non-commissioned officer serving in a front line combat unit in Iraq. “You can recognize them [when] they’ve been captured or they’re dead.”

Like most of the U.S. military personnel interviewed for this article, this NCO spoke solely on condition of anonymity, citing the issue’s sensitivity.

U.S. military leaders initially drew up rules to govern the detainment of suspected insurgents based on broad powers, outlined in June 2004 in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1546, for “internment where this is necessary for imperative reasons of security.”

U.S. forces in Iraq must move detainees they have captured from forward operating locations to regional facilities within 24 hours and develop a “prosecutable case” within 72 hours, military sources tell ITP. A combined U.S.-Iraqi judicial board reviews the case and, if it finds a preponderance of evidence against the suspect, the detainee is passed to the Central Criminal Court of Iraq for trial.

A prisoner is either moved to a central facility within two weeks for his case to begin moving through the Iraqi justice system, or he must be released, officials say.

More than half of those captured across Iraq are released during the initial step of the judicial review process. The so-called “Combined Review and Release Board” has since its August 2004 inception recommended a total 12,052 detainees for release and 9,903 for continued internment, according to data posted this week to a coalition force Web site.

In Baghdad alone, an average of 550 suspected insurgents are captured each month and, of those, about half are released within two weeks, according to Army Brig. Gen. Mark O’Neill, an assistant commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, which is operating in the Iraqi capital.

Interviewed Nov. 18, he told ITP his troops “haven’t seen a lot” of the same insurgents rounded up multiple times and, of the cases that make it to the central Iraqi court, “the vast majority” result in a conviction.

Across Iraq, the central court has convicted just over half of the 1,301 alleged insurgents tried since the tribunal’s October 2003 inception, according to the coalition Web site.

Current guidelines demand that the evidence coalition forces assemble against a captured insurgent include two sworn statements describing the crime, photographs of the target and any contraband discovered, and a completed apprehension form and evidence voucher, according to U.S. officials.

But the time line imposed on U.S. forces for putting together a case against each suspected insurgent in custody “is very difficult and does not allow time for adequate interrogation or investigation,” says one official.

A top U.S. officer at Multinational Force-Iraq headquarters in Baghdad recently made that job even tougher.

On Aug. 5, Army Maj. Gen. William Brandenburg -- the coalition’s deputy commanding general for detainee operations -- issued new instructions that will increase the standard of evidence required to keep Iraqi civilians in custody, sources say. The changes are meant to lay the groundwork for a constitutionally elected government that effectively replaces the U.N. resolution’s mandates by the end of the year.

Beginning this month, “all witnesses must have direct knowledge of the [suspected insurgent’s] criminal activity and they must be available to testify” in Iraqi court, according to one official in Iraq familiar with the new rules.

Witnesses can no longer include confidential sources that have provided crucial tips and tactical intelligence to U.S. forces to date, according to officials. In the future, witnesses will not only be publicly identified but their credibility must also be established before an Iraqi court, these sources say.

Demanding that confidential tipsters be exposed and their backgrounds scrutinized is a “bad idea” in fighting a counterinsurgency campaign, asserts one officer in Iraq. “We will never get the support of the population when they risk their lives to give us information and, when the mission is over, 14 days later or less the insurgents are released.

We are now putting the informant’s life and family at risk.”

[...]

12/03/2005 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

fred,
From, "The Prism of War 2"

"The enemies I consider beneath contempt are our Western Leftists and their fell-travelers who cooperate in your efforts to cover your intentions with ruse and disinformation.
They act out of hatred for their own people and its religious and cultural heritage.
Without their interference, your task to subdue us is infinitely more difficult.
We regard them with the same revulsion that you consider for your own apostates - except that their treason is most often not rewarded with death.
"

12/03/2005 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

From Trish's lengthy post:

"But American officers on the tip of the spear are becoming increasing alarmed by the number of insurgents who have committed violence against troops or civilians after being freed from incarceration in Iraq.

Many say existing detainment rules already make it difficult to substantiate charges against captured individuals.

The anticipated changes, due for implementation this month, will only heighten the risk of violence in Iraq and further jeopardize the U.S.-led counterinsurgency campaign, according to some uniformed officials in the region.

“The burden of proof is in favor of the insurgents,” says one officer in Iraq. “I’m constantly asking myself,
Why should I risk my life and the lives of my soldiers to detain someone who will only be put back on the streets in a matter of months?’
"
---
That's what I think about when I ponder how I would feel if my son was killed under these Ramsey Clark Like ROE's.

12/03/2005 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger sbw said...

desert rat: The moral umbrella of whom
Idi Amin?


How to deal with multiple protective umbrellas in conflict is the next question, not the first one. In its simplest, one should ask, "Does a society institutionalize a functional process for peaceful change?" Amin and Mugabe fail the test and so can be relegated to the law of the jungle.

Desert, we agree that when one casually tosses around the word "rights" it suggests that they spring from somewhere other than the consent of the governed. They don't, but I certainly can manufacture duties people should agree to abide by that effectively operate like rights. Not to torture makes good sense, but someone who says it is a right has provided no proof.

It seems what I said still stands.

12/03/2005 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

trish,

One solution seems obvious: less capturing, more killing.

12/03/2005 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger sbw said...

doug: They like *live* in the real world.

Heh. That's an excuse, not an explanation. ;-)

12/03/2005 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Since true liberals believe that the only absolute is that there are no absolutes then surely it is important to raise the question of whether or not to deploy torture.

There are costs involved in not torturing; but by moving the timeframe back these costs could be justified as a long-term investment into claiming the high moral ground. By bringing the question of utility into the torture question then we must admit that in the future we will seem hypocritical if we do not judge our enemies use of torture within the same framework. One possibility is to allow torture on non-state entities but not against states. I'm not sure this makes sense from a 4GW point of view though.

One must also admit that there will also be costs incurred if we chose to adopt torture as official policy. Besides the obvious propaganda issues, there is the more mundane matter of management. It is quite possible that the energy expended by military officers managing torture may turn out to be greater than any potential benefits accrued.

The other issue regarding torture is one of practical utility vs. vengeance. This is similar to the death penalty debates in which it is sometimes argued that executing criminals serves as a deterrent, other times that it serves as a societies rightful outlet for revenge. Often in practice torture tends towards the latter, potential information gathered is of secondary importance, and of a dubious worth.

12/03/2005 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

sirius:

Indeed.

No prisoners, no problem.

You get it done at the would-be point of capture, or you give in to the deadly political farce of this war that isn't.

(WHY IN THE HELL was Marine LTC Kurilla's attacker - back in business after six months' custody - allowed to survive his engagement with US troops?)

12/03/2005 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Mugabe is an applauded member of the "International" community. Just a few weeks ago he compared Mr Bush & Mr Blair to Hitler and Mussolini and brought down the house, at a UN meeting in Italy, as I recall.

That is the challenge, Mr Mugumbe is not a criminal, he is not operating outside the Law. He is part and parcel of International Law.

Mr Amin was never Judged, internationally, he died in relative comfort in the KSA, as I recall. No one snacked on his remains, I'm sure.

The International Law does the poor folk in Darfur not a bit of good. The ever famous ICC fails to unseal it's indictments of Sudanese nationals.
The Genocide continues

What of the torture of an entire people? Where is the outrage about that?

Glad to see Trish is back, hope your Husband is safe, and stays that way.

12/03/2005 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

trish said...
"Can we stop calling it "war" yet? Cont."
---
How About:

"Bringing Terrorists to "Justice"
...FWIW."

12/03/2005 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat says,
"Glad to see Trish is back, hope your Husband is safe, and stays that way"
---
Dittos.

12/03/2005 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Gearty writes "...with rules of decent conduct that took their colour from the fact of our shared humanity rather than..." I wonder if he can say "Oil for Food" or "Rwanda". Seems to me that the "shared humanity" crowd fiddled with abstract concepts barely worthy of a college sophomore's philosophy essay while real people were starved, tortured and/or murdered. That he seeks to make himself superior by the fashionable use of the SecDef's name in a Vader-esque allusion only further evidences the shallowness of his thought.

12/03/2005 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

3case,

You said, better and with fewer words, what I tried to say.

12/03/2005 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

Thanks Doug, Rat. He's fine.

Passed Quantico yesterday on the way to pick up my daughter from college. Thought hard about those Marine casualties and their families, and the (to be very generous) senile policies that make the job even more dangerous and, at certain points, just unforgivably fruitless.

12/03/2005 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Another excellent Belmont roundtable.

Meme chose: You’re right. We always say ‘never again’ but don’t really mean it. One of these times, responding only when the situation has become dire will be one moment too late.

Marcus (Sirius and Aristides, too): Their argument is also incorrectly framed. Surrendering to sit out the war with three squares and a cot and no interrogation was the reward offered to soldiers who abided by recognized standards of decency during war. Ironically, and sadly, by guaranteeing safe harbor to any sort of combatant, regardless of behavior, we remove any incentive to temper things like violence against non-combatants.

SBW: Excellent distillation of Kagan’s Kantian vs. Hobbesian dichotomy. Failure to acknowledge or understand the difference is a dangerous delusion.

Aristides: Thanks for the den Beste quote. My Grandfather and uncles understood what needed to be done against foes that played by no rules at all. They were virtuous men who returned from war to raise families and build businesses. Why is it so hard for so many to understand that life is often a choice from among unpleasant options?

Trangbang: Beautiful description of moral exhibitionism: “sentimentalists and self deluded Pharisees who in their pseudo moral superiority would rather be annihilated than admit they are flawed humans.” Actually, on their knees before their executioners, pissing themselves and quaking with fear, they’ll not only ditch those delusions, but blubber and plead and sell their souls to avoid annihilation. Mario Quattrochis they are not. See epops 9:51 comment.

12/03/2005 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

The West is always expected to fight according to Marquis of Queensbury rules, regardless of the enemy’s behavior.

The moral absolutists who insist upon this seem to come in two varieties: First are the political opportunists and enemies of the West who use the West’s institutions and morality to con it or subvert it. You know, the ones wielding the ‘how-can-you-call-yourselves-a-just-society-if-you-still-have-poor-people’ brickbat. The UN and the ICC also come to mind.

Then there are those who operate according to a naïve, hothouse cosmology suitable for silencing rambunctious school children (‘both of you stop fighting, it doesn’t matter who started it’), but useless in dealing with unbridled pathological violence. In this simpleton’s theoretical fairyland, the New Year’s Eve tippler is no different than the skid row bum.

Note that the first variety is held in high esteem by the second variety, and that the first variety is very effective at conning the second variety. Coincidence, no?

12/03/2005 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

ahhh, that Shining Beacon on the hill has some wonderful bedfellows!

"China officially reported that 1,595 civil servants were investigated in 2004 for suspected crimes of illegal detention, coercion of confessions, abuse of detainees, using violence to obtain evidence, and similar offences. But these statistics are "clearly the tip of the iceberg" and "demonstrate that most victims and their families are reluctant to file complaints for fear of reprisal or lack of confidence that their complaints will be addressed effectively," the UN said yesterday.

Ironically, the United Nations investigator had freer access to Chinese prisoners than anything offered to him at the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. Washington attempted to impose so many restrictions on Mr. Nowak that last month he gave up his effort to visit the controversial U.S. detention camp, where torture has allegedly been carried out.

Under U.S. terms, he would have been prohibited from speaking privately with the Guantanamo detainees, an essential condition for the success of his investigations.

Accepting the U.S. restrictions "would have created a disastrous precedent," he said."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20051203/TORTURE03/TPInternational/?query=chinese+torture+UN

12/03/2005 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

I might as well give you a little more from that article as an excuse to post a better link to it.

What he found was evidence of an Orwellian world of "re-education" where Chinese officials routinely used torture to modify personalities, to force confessions, to create a climate of terror and to crush the "non-conformist views" of dissidents.

"It is aimed at breaking the will of the individual concerned . . . changing their personality through coercion," the Austrian law professor told reporters in Beijing yesterday. "I observed a palpable level of fear and self-censorship among those detainees that I interviewed."

While torture seems to have declined somewhat in China in recent years, it remains widespread, Mr. Nowak said.

Much of the most damning evidence cannot be disclosed publicly because the prisoners were so terrified of reprisals that they requested complete confidentiality, he said.

But one of the cases that he could reveal was the lengthy ordeal of He Depu, a political dissident and democracy activist in a Beijing prison. He was required to lie on a prison bed with his hands extended for 85 consecutive days without moving.

It was a form of torture that he compared to "killing a person with a soft knife," Mr. Nowak said. "It breaks you because you can't sleep. If you sleep and your hands fall down, you are immediately awakened." Mr. He's wife, who has committed no crime, has been under constant police surveillance for the past eight years, Mr. Nowak said. In a bid to prevent him from meeting her, the authorities moved her away from Beijing before his visit, but he insisted on meeting her and eventually managed to do so.

Sleep deprivation is just one of many methods of "degrading and humiliating" punishment routinely practised by authorities in China, he said.

12/03/2005 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

So ash, should we go to war with China because of their nasty practices?
Indict them at the ICC?
I know, a UN Resolution, that will do the trick. Oh, but they'd veto it, wouldn't they.

Look to the 4 westerners captured recently in Iraq by the "bad guys".

Their "rights" have been violated, they have been threated, their photos used in demeaning ways. All acts in violation of Geneva.

When they are beheaded, who should we indict?

But, of course, the US is the most guilty of prisoner abuse. Especially in Iraq, where we release prisoners through revolving doors.
Ask LTC Kurilla or read Mr Yon's description of the LTC being shot by a released POW, detainee, suspect, or Freedom fighter in a legitimate struggle. Use the pronoun that best fits your perception.

12/03/2005 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

DR, it's the moral equivalence thing. We are no better, no different, then they are. We no longer occupy the high moral ground. We've become just another nation willing to do anything to feather our nest.

12/03/2005 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Ash,

"DR, it's the moral equivalence thing. We are no better, no different, then they are. We no longer occupy the high moral ground. We've become just another nation willing to do anything to feather our nest."

One of the terrible things about war, and the reason it should be used as a last resort, is that on the battlefield the only laws that will be inherently enforced are the laws of physics. The more mismatched a war is, the more easily the stronger side can exercise restraint. But when the issue becomes doubtful, when it is 'live or die' then you will hack your arm off with a penknife if trapped, gouge your opponents eyeballs out with your thumbs, burn his family alive, etc to survive.

Our goal in this war should be to maintain the disparity of strength so that we can exercise magnanimity. The problem with the constant efforts to weaken the fight against the enemy is that it reduces this margin of strength and makes it more likely, even inevitable, that we will someday be forced to use the unfettered brutality of desperate animals.

Ultimately, the only way to humanize a war is to win it, thereby ending it. There is no strategy more calculated to cruelty than to prolong war, pretending it can be sanitized by adhering to some kind of humanitarian law. There is no experience more important than that which teaches us the difference.

12/03/2005 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Marcus (Sirius and Aristides, too): Their argument is also incorrectly framed... Ironically, and sadly, by guaranteeing safe harbor to any sort of combatant, regardless of behavior, we remove any incentive to temper things like violence against non-combatants.

Cosmo,

Please read more carefully. That was exactly my point. (Which Aristides confirms as his also in his clarification.)

12/03/2005 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

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12/03/2005 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Sirius: That's why I referenced both of you. Perhaps I should have included an 'HT' to make the compliment more clear.

12/03/2005 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

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12/03/2005 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

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12/03/2005 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

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12/03/2005 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Parry said...

If we can construct a “ticking time-bomb” case in which the proscription against torture must be weighed against the lives of many individuals, then we can also construct a case in which it must be weighed against the eradication of a society, a people, or the extinction of humanity. The price of keeping your own selfish hands clean may be very high indeed.

12/03/2005 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Sure, Ash. And hunger in America is no different than China's engineered famines, either. And the guy who gets trashed and makes a fool of himself once a year at the office Christmas party is no better than the town drunk.

You seem to have trouble telling the difference between the exception and the rule. In this case, between actions taken in the heat of an existential struggle and the routine practices of a totalitarian state upon its own citizens during peacetime.

I'm sure it's a tidy and comfortable little moral universe. But it's also a place where, apparently, juries have no authority to convict because, after all, who amongst the jurors has never broken the law? A place where a parent dare not correct or scold a child because, after all . . .

But, I'm sure it's also a place where ‘judges’ from countries with no due process or rule of law can sit on an international criminal court in judgment of elected officials from countries that have such institutions.

We're all sinners, Ash, and American’s do as good a job of calling themselves on it as any one else. So save the 'let-he-who-has-not-sinned' moralizing for Sunday morning, and spare us the simple-minded 'people-who-live-in-glass-houses' finger-wagging.

And since China and the U.S. are now interchangeable, perhaps we’ll soon see China liberating continents enslaved by totalitarian ideologies, rebuilding its enemies, underwriting and managing the institutions of global commerce, and assuming international responsibilities commensurate with its desire to be taken seriously as a ‘superpower.’

I’m not holding my breath.

“Moral equivalence thing,” indeed.

12/03/2005 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger playah grrl said...

Sir, the basic basic problem with torture is not a moral one, but a mathematical one. Because torture forms a continuous distribution, and you can never choose one point which separates torture from non-torture.
So, we need to be able to integrate torture--do you think Riemann integration (where you guess the form of the integral, in non-mathspeak) will work?
;-)
i'm joking, of course, about Riemann integration. But it is a real problem. Soon we will be able to extract information with "feel-good" neurohormones (like oxytocin, the naturally occurring "trust" hormone) and skilled interrogation.
Can you say that is torture?

12/03/2005 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Excellent point, Wretchard, but let me play the Devil's advocate for a sec.

Can the brutality of war be separated from the brutality of detention during war, or does one beget the other? If they are separable, if we as a people can turn the brutality on when things get kinetic but turn it off when we deal with prisoners, then wherefore torture?

Of course, the obvious rebuttal is that in a live or die scenario, holding prisoners with vital information demands that we do whatever is necessary to acquire it.

Another question: those folks at the Corner brought up an interesting hypo. If the argument is that we should be able to torture a terrorist if faced with the ticking-bomb scenario, what about torturing the terrorist's child, or mother?

What if the only way to get a hardened terrorist to talk is to torture his child in front of him? If the sole object is to get vital information to save American lives, where do we draw the line? Or do we?

As for Ash, the only thing I'll add to Cosmo's post is a previous post of mine on Abu Ghraib and the supposed loss of American moral authority that followed. (Hint: We didn't lose moral authority).

12/03/2005 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Well, that didn't work. Abu Ghraib post is here:

http://westernphalanx.blogspot.com/2005/10/rest-of-story.html

12/03/2005 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger sbw said...

Cosmo, I haven't read Kagan, Hobbs or Locke, but thanks for saying I was concise -- but I'm not sure I agree. because I was talking about a "state" as a condition and not a "State" as a geopolitical entity.

Wretchard reminded us that war is no rules and a nasty place to be -- where there is no guarantee the "good guys" will win. That's why good generals and good pacifists work in their own ways to avoid war. The task at hand is to refine compelling justifications for basic behavior between people -- and groups of people -- such that the question of torture need not be asked.

12/03/2005 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

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12/03/2005 07:44:00 PM  
Blogger Dogwood said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/03/2005 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Wretchard has already noted with respect to international humanitarian law that much of the world is immune to its influence, and yet Gearty's criticisms seem disporportionally directed towards "the Rumsfeldians" and others who are, more often than not, still constrained by humanitarian considerations. After all, it is not the 'Rumsfeldians' who take hostages, saw off heads, or indiscriminately target innocent civilians for destruction.

Gearty may not want to acknowledge the realm of good and evil, insisting we adhere to an 'equality of esteem' in all dealings with all men, but if we abide by his rules how are we to discern moral distinctions? If there is no good or evil, then can any treatment subjected upon another be considered bad?

There is I think a further insidious implication to this line of reasoning. Gearty asks us to consider the proposition that, "[i]f we are good and they are bad, then of course equality of esteem as between all of us is ludicrous." Supposedly we should esteem the murderer the same as a Nobel prize winner. (Well, okay... but I would still prefer not to concede the point.) The final evolution of this argument would seem to be an indictment of war, no matter the principle or cause. There are no 'good' people, there are no 'bad' people. We should maintain an equality of esteem when dealing with the likes of a bin Laden, a Saddam, a Zarqawi. They're OK; we're OK. And by what right do we wish them harm?

12/03/2005 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger Dogwood said...

Ash, only someone who has no worldly experience, knowledge of the evil that is out there, could make this claim of moral equivalence; or, only someone full of guilt for his easy life, defended by others. Get over it. American wealth does not come at the expense of everyone else. Global trade is not a zero sum game. And fighting, yes even killing, to keep the world's freedoms to engage in wealth-creating exchange is not morally equivalent to the brutalities of those who want to close it down, beyond imposing a universal exchange in one peculiar interpretation of the word of god.

Imagine how morally strong a country must be to survive such fashionable nihilism from so many of its so-called educated people. But as Wretchard says, eventually such nihilism will endanger something and you may then be complicit in some really brutal wars.

12/03/2005 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Ultimately, the only way to humanize a war is to win it, thereby ending it. There is no strategy more calculated to cruelty than to prolong war..."

Amen.

12/03/2005 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Wretchard's definition of power negating the need for unconventional means is profound and also ironic.The left are intent in emasculating our military response to our enemies,forcing us to use assymetrical means to prevent catastrophic attacks.Like every other leftist utopian scheme,the consequences are daunting for civilization.
Quiz-Was the Al Quaida puke rocketed in Pakistan a victim of inequality of esteem?
Were his cultural and religious rights violated by the cross border sortie?After all he should have been protected in the Islamic land of peace

12/03/2005 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger texasviolinist said...

Humans should always be treated humanely. Cockroaches are treated differently

12/03/2005 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Cosmo,

Thanks for the clarification. I thought you were referencing me (us) in saying "their argument is... incorrectly framed."

My apologies.

12/03/2005 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Aristedes,

I think prisoners are part of the package of magnanimity and self-restraint in war. We save them precisely because they are in our power. Cruelty is not something you do when no one is looking. Cruelty is something you renounce because it infects, stains and degrades you. It's one of those things, like hacking your arm off with a penknife to escape (there was a climber that did that), that you would never recommend as policy or even think about, unless you had to. Ultimately we want to be worth saving or else the victory is hollow.

The terrible tragedy is when you are forced into a situation when physical survival must be purchased at the price of moral degradation, like the fictional situation in Sophie's Choice. Then you are out of moves. You will survive, but survive damaged. Everyone who has been under real torture or a real tight spot, where the choice is betraying or losing your friends in exchange for survival knows how high the price of living sometimes is.

Some who've lived in safety all their lives cannot imagine such choices exist. And so they fritter away their advantages thinking there is no bottom to the bag. Yet the bottom comes at last; and often the very same people who in safety were willing to take the high hand are the very same who will throw anyone to the dogs to save their hides. Funny how self-righteousness can vanish when the chips are down. I think some people will know what I mean, and are actually sorry that they know what I mean, because it is the mark of a life unfortunately spent. This is all a fancy way of saying we should beat the enemy while we can beat them clean; beat them strong. Later, we may have fewer options.

12/03/2005 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I have to agree with desert rat's point:

sbw,
The moral umbrella of whom
Idi Amin? Mr Mugube? mini Z?
These people represent entire cultures that live outside YOUR umbrella. The Law is not a moral code It is an arm of the State
...

[Yes, it is semantics and a molding of definitions to fit one's beliefs]

And Aetius points out the "law" can be very flexible:

...I suggest the law is not a means, but a goal. Laws and treaties are historical compromises dealing with a prior problem. Sometimes they help with current problems, sometimes not.
Also societies perceive laws differently. To Americans laws are definitive, but to Italians mere guidelines, with lots of application exceptions that we would consider equal protection violations
.

Ed Brenegar makes a good observation:

...War is deadly and messy. Without it there would be no justice, just tyranny of the unscrupulous over the weak.

[Agreed. War by its nature, is messy and blunt - but must be used to counter tyranny.]


Cosmo notes:

...The moral absolutists who insist upon this seem to come in two varieties: First are the political opportunists and enemies of the West who use the West's institutions and morality to con it or subvert it. Then there are those who operate according to a naïve, hothouse cosmology suitable for silencing rambunctious school children ('both of you stop fighting, it doesn't matter who started it'), but useless in dealing with unbridled pathological violence. In this simpleton's theoretical fairyland, the New Year's Eve tippler is no different than the skid row bum.

Note that the first variety is held in high esteem by the second variety, and that the first variety is very effective at conning the second variety. Coincidence, no?


[I have to agree. There are some players on field who are actual enemies and other players who just gain power by aiding said enemies - which in turn helps both]

Continuing with Cosmo:

Another excellent Belmont roundtable.

Meme chose: You're right... Marcus (Sirius and Aristides, too)... Aristides: Thanks for the den Beste quote... Trangbang: Beautiful description of moral exhibitionism: "sentimentalists and self deluded Pharisees who in their pseudo moral superiority would rather be annihilated than admit they are flawed humans." Actually, on their knees before their executioners, pissing themselves and quaking with fear
...

[Yes, those posters are right]

epops just explains human survival:

A terrorist nuke on Los Angeles would quickly change the terms of this debate. For mere mortals, necessity usually trumps morality.

[How true]

Doug hit on the "lawyerization" of the war and the damaging effects:

...That's what I think about when I ponder how I would feel if my son was killed under these Ramsey Clark Like ROE's.

Wretchard notes war is a last resort and when the going gets nasty will be fought vigorously to a victory:

One of the terrible things about war, and the reason it should be used as a last resort, is that on the battlefield the only laws that will be inherently enforced are the laws of physics. The more mismatched a war is, the more easily the stronger side can exercise restraint. But when the issue becomes doubtful, when it is 'live or die' then you will hack your arm off with a penknife if trapped, gouge your opponents eyeballs out with your thumbs, burn his family alive, etc to survive.

I can't add much more to this thread because most of the posters have covered it all (and more eloquently than I). In war, some unpleasant forms of information extraction must be used to defeat the enemy. It's just a necessary evil in the brutal endeavor to survive and save lives. We must get used to it.

12/03/2005 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Cruelty is something you renounce because it infects"

You'd better hurry and define it.

12/03/2005 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Trish said,

"Cruelty is something you renounce because it infects" -- You'd better hurry and define it.

Cruelty is an area where man's creativity is endless. Humanitarian lawyers who think they can define cruelty within a little rule-based system from which 'good' and 'evil' have been banished are really saying there are categories of malice they are not prepared to condemn.

Rules which effectively let a terrorist go free to rend children limb from limb with explosive while proscribing the deprivation of his sleep to prevent others from doing the same may define a law but they do not define cruelty. Rendition is legal; is it cruel?

While guidelines can help define behavior, in the end society own values must enter the loop. There is no escape from responsibility, or good and evil, even in humanitarian law.

12/03/2005 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Ultimately, the prevention of torture – whether as an interrogation method or just for amusement - is dependent less on some new universally adopted Human standard of decency than it is on our ability to impose such standards on our enemies via untold carnage on the battlefield, including flattening their cities at will.
However, that same concern over standards of conduct limits our ability to use whole scale carnage to impose those same standards of conduct – or at least will be interpreted as such by our adversaries.
If they think we are squeemish about pulling out one guy’s fingernails they will assume that we also disavow our ability to turn populated areas into heaps of ash.
So they will torture more, thinking themselves safe.
And thus we may have to turn more cities into ash.
This is called a “feedback loop.”

12/04/2005 03:26:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

More than a few of us became aware of a new perspective on getting "News" from Iraq reading Wretchard's magnificent reporting/charting/mapping etc of the Marines first foray into Fallujah.

At that time, losing 4 or 5 Marines in a Firefight was a headline grabber.
If only action had not been stopped then:
(The unit's latest losses were among 14 new deaths in Iraq announced by the military Friday. With at least 793 American lives lost since January,
2005 appears on track to become the deadliest year for the troops since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.
There were 846 deaths in 2004,
and 485 the previous year.)

Wretchard brought us to the point where the terrorists were cornered in the NE (Jolan) Quadrant of the city, and our forces were arrayed at various points, including the train station to the north ready for the final assault on the terrorists.. 

"Wiser" (State Dept?) heads prevailed, and the Marines were pulled off.
Far fewer casualties and collateral Civilian Death and Destruction would have resulted.
(How much respect was lost then, and with the immediate farce of installing a Ba'athist commander of a bunch of ill-trained troops of questionable loyalty?)

Instead our policy fed into what Bill Roggio describes as "The AP and other media organizations have bought into a sophisticated and clever al-Qaeda information operation designed to weaken support for the war in the United States and project an image of strength for the insurgency."

Thank God all the sacrifice has hopefully not been in vain:
Bill continues: " After al-Qaeda’s defeat along the border, there is a dire need for them to do so."
...but certainly, not all of it was necessary.

12/04/2005 05:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I had this all ready for asg, when 'seminta' struck

ash
Beyond or falling short of our host's reply.

There is no moral equivalence between putting women's undi's on a man's head or taking his head from his shoulders.

I repeat there is no moral equivalence to those acts.

At our worst, we still maintain our position on the shining hilltop.
I rather be in Jose Padilla's shoes or the shoe bombers himself, than to be one of the four held in Iraq, by the bad guys.

How about you, ash, whose prisoner would YOU rather be, aQ or US?

12/04/2005 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

I think there's a feeling of invulnerability among those moral absolutists who are uncategorically against torture. If the enemy cannot really hurt us then there is no justification for torture and no cost for not using torture. This implicit assumption of invulnerability extends to other areas. If Saddam cannot really hurt us, because we are invulnerable, then there is no justification for a war against him.

This also extends to the revolving door policies mentioned in this thread and other policies that restrict our actions and help the enemy. We can be more leniant and give the enemy more rights, since they cannot really hurt us.

For all our differences with the enemy they do seem to understand that if you're in a fight the first imperative is to win.

Having said all that, torture is a bad thing and at best a necessary evil. We need to maintain a high threshold before using it. We also must be aware that its use by our security agents will never be accepted by the world or the press. So there may be costs to not using it and there are costs to using it.

12/04/2005 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger sbw said...

Ledger said...I have to agree with desert rat's point: sbw, The moral umbrella of whom.

Ledge, before differentiating among refinements at higher levels, go back to basics. No viable protective umbrella allows one to whimsically rip another's lungs out without fear of retribution. That narrows legitimate umbrellas down considerably.

But turn it around to the other extreme, why shouldn't one forfeit all protections if one violates the agreement that extends those protections? Operate by the law of the jungle, should you risk being treated according to the law of jungle? We might decide not to apply it, but what is the principle that would preclude it?

12/04/2005 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

From Winds of Change http://windsofchange.net/

Abu Omar al-Saif

This tidbit comes by way of Evan Kohlmann over at the Counterterrorism Blog, who recounts al-Saif's final moments in Dagestan as follows:

According to various reports from credible mujahideen sources, Abu Omar Mohammed bin Abdullah al-Saif (a.k.a. Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Saif al-Jaber)--a top tier Saudi Arabian Al-Qaida commander in Chechnya and personal military advisor to Shamil Basayev--has been killed during a Russian counterterrorism operation in neighboring Dagestan. Unable to escape after Russian soldiers backed by helicopters surrounded his temporary hideout, Abu Omar allegedly detonated an explosive device he was carrying and collapsed the building on top of himself.

Good riddance, in my opinion. While some observers may find it odd that al-Saif would kill himself rather than be taken prisoner given the fact that the majority of al-Qaeda leaders don't do this, it should be noted that most al-Qaeda leaders captured by the US aren't facing a Russian interrogation either ...

What do Russians do that Al-Queda leaders are so afraid of?

12/04/2005 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Aetius said...

wretchard,
Has again made excellent points.

Torture is often about power or cruelty - to obtain a confession, break a will, or just plain sadistic "fun(?)"
The risk of torture in the criminal justice system leads to abuse because it obtains the false confession.

If you analyse the situation in a legal mode - torture = bad.

However, if you consider the policeman/sheriff mode you choose violence or threat of violence to prevent harm to those you are sworn to protect - you are simply and morally saying you "reach for the gun (bomb or whatever) and I will blow-off your head or at least shoot you in the groin or alternatively use electricity." Anyone have a problem with that?

12/04/2005 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Aetius said...

Pardon my butting in again.

I highly recommend the 1973 movie Day of the Jackal to see an excellent example of extracting information (for a good reason) from someone who does not want to share it. It's not easy to do. The French of course are doing it.
I understand modern US techniques are more civilized, but that's not the point.

12/04/2005 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Ignatieff would like to become the Prime Minister of Canada a few years from now. If he can get into Parliament in the January 2006 election.

12/04/2005 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Wretchard wrote:

“One of the terrible things about war, and the reason it should be used as a last resort, is that on the battlefield the only laws that will be inherently enforced are the laws of physics. The more mismatched a war is, the more easily the stronger side can exercise restraint. But when the issue becomes doubtful, when it is 'live or die' then you will hack your arm off with a penknife if trapped, gouge your opponents eyeballs out with your thumbs, burn his family alive, etc to survive.”

It is with this in mind that we should examine our use of torture and what it is exactly that we are engaging in Iraq.

Having been faced with the horrors of wars from the past we have (until recently for some) felt that wars of aggression should be forbidden. War was to be waged only has a last resort when faced with imminent threat. The Mongol hordes gathered at our borders for example. Well we have in no way come close to that situation. The best we can say is that we THOUGHT Iraq had WMD’s and that he was going to use them against us. We were wrong and we had other means to make this determination. The torture we are talking about occurs within this frame of reference. Our backs are not against the wall, we are not fighting for our basic survival yet we conflate the use of ‘war’ as a battle of nation states for basic survival with ‘war on terror’ which is a sustained campaign against something injurious, like the ‘war on drugs’. We are using the one use of war in the context of the other to justify the use of torture.

We are not in a state of battle for our existence and simply because we are in a similar state of war on drugs in no way makes us justify the torture of drug users or their dealers (well, I’m sure some of you wouldn’t have a problem with that). Our most basic existence is nowhere near at stake and therefore we should not do ‘whatever it takes’. There is a cost to prosecuting the war on terror as we have and one of those costs is that we sink toward the level of the Chinese. We are no longer the Shining Beacon on the Hill.

Desert Rat, when we are referring to US use of torture we are not referring to panties on the head but rather to very similar techniques used by the Chinese – sleep deprivation, stress positions, and water boarding coupled with it all being done in secret with no due process.

12/04/2005 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Ash,

Come on. The war on drugs? Torture drug dealers? Maybe you should give the analogizing area of your brain a rest and just stick to the situation at hand.

We are in a war for our survival. One day that fact will be brought home to you, and I hope it goes down well.

By the way, "due process" is not a law of nature. It is a prophylactic rule of the United States Constitution and it only applies to American Citizens and those we choose to extend it to.

Oddly enough, the only people who think that we are no longer the shining city on the hill are those who already bask in the radiance of our strength. For those still in darkness, there is no other beacon like the United States.

It reminds me of Roy Scheider's quote from "Jaws", when asked how someone who was afraid of water could live on an island. He responds, "It's only an island if you look at it from the water."

The same might be said of America. We are still an island of decency and forgiveness in a sea of terror, though you might not noticed from your perch on the land.

12/04/2005 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

NahnCee recounts the end of Master terrorists Abu Omar al-Saif and asks:

While some observers may find it odd that al-Saif would kill himself rather than be taken prisoner given the fact that the majority of al-Qaeda leaders don't do this, it should be noted that most al-Qaeda leaders captured by the US aren't facing a Russian interrogation either ...

What do Russians do that Al-Queda leaders are so afraid of?


Good question!

12/04/2005 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Grey said...

The moral problems for the US will be reduced in 2006, as the Shia majority take over more control of a "democratic" Iraq, and the US can let the Iraqis handle the prisoners.

Which, I think, will result in FAR MORE torture by Shia against Sunni -- and relatively soon, more Sunni pushing to stop Sunni terrorism.

The Left will complain that the US shouldn't have lost 2500 (?) soldiers "for this" -- but they'll be unwilling to say how many it WAS worth.


The real problem of the Left is the failure to understand systemic problems: type I and type II errors -- false positives and false negatives. The more a system avoids one type of error, the more of the other type it will make.

The more a system avoids falsely punishing the innocent, the more it will falsely let guilty go free.

For too many Leftists, and newswriters and even politicians, tradeoffs don't exist; so the illusion of an Unreal Perfection continues.

12/04/2005 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

The best we can say is that we THOUGHT Iraq had WMD’s and that he was going to use them against us. We were wrong and we had other means to make this determination.

ash,

You should know that confidently making unprovable assertions is not the same as winning an argument. But carry on if you must.

12/04/2005 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

We are no longer the Shining Beacon on the Hill.

Honestly, if people with such views thought to migrate to the USA but wont because of these views, it's best for the US that these people stay home. The less of these fools the US grafts onto its body politic, the better. If fact, it would be even better if such fools now living in the US migrate away to whatever other fscking "shining beacon on the hill" they can find. (Please g'd nowhere near me). We'd all be immeasurably better off without them.

12/04/2005 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

sirius_sir,
Ash specializes in whining an argument.
To Death.

12/05/2005 01:14:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"What do Russians do that Al-Queda leaders are so afraid of?"
---
They waste their time torturing, even tho' we know torture doesn't work.
Silly Ruskies.

12/05/2005 01:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Aristides said...
"Ash,
Come on. The war on drugs? Torture drug dealers? Maybe you should give the analogizing area of your brain a rest and just stick to the situation at hand.
"

---
Aristides,
Ash stimulates the agonising areas of his reader's brains.
I appreciate the reports on the experience, it saves me agonizing over it in the first person.

12/05/2005 01:26:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

rwe writes,
"And thus we may have to turn more cities into ash."
---
At least that fits with the left's moral sensibilities, if only they could see:
They are more concerned with putting to death 2000 child-raping murderers than they are with stopping the lives of 30 million innocents.
Thus,
Leaving children, women, and men beneath a leveled city is preferable to torturing a few terrorists.
Similar to sparing the cornered terrorists in Fallujah I, only to raze the city in Fallujah II.
Nobody has ever accused the State Dept lately of being run by a bunch of Right Wingers.

12/05/2005 01:44:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Doug:
It brings to mind an interesting thought experiment, a variation on the usual Hiroshima issue. Rather than "why did we not demonstrate the nuke on an unpopulated area"; What if:
We had captured a Japanese leader, maybe Yammomoto, or Tojo, or even the Emperor himself. And then we tortured him into revealing the names and locations of the pro-war leadership within the Japanese government and the Army. Then, using that information, we killed off the pro-war faction through bombings and commando raids and then negoiated a Japanese surrender with the more moderate members of that government.
Would today people still hold candleight vigils and beat their breasts over that episode of torture - as they do about Hiroshima?
I think not.

12/05/2005 06:00:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

rwe,

I wonder if the Japanese people would have felt truly defeated under such a scenario. Not saying it might not have worked out, but recognizing the depth of the warrior culture at the time, and given Japanese pride I suspect there might have arisen a myth to 'explain' their defeat similar to what circulated in Germany after WWI.

At the end of WWII there could be no doubt that the victors had won and the defeated had lost. And I suspect that fact saved all of us a whole lot of trouble later on.

12/05/2005 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Sirius:
I tend to agree and wonder what me might have done along the same lines in Iraq.
But the atomic attacks were pretty minor compared to everything we did to Japan.
I originally wrote a nice discussion along these lines but the the system ate it, so it is gone with the snows of yeteryear.

12/05/2005 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Too bad about your discussion; I'd have liked to read it.

As for your observation about the damage we otherwise inflicted on Japan, that's an interesting point. But I think the effectiveness of the atomic bombings lay in their shock value. The world had never before and, thankfully, has never since seen anything like it.

12/05/2005 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

The snows of yesteryear... Verlaine, right?

12/05/2005 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

In my lost tome, I was going to agree with your point by saying that prewar the Japanese had assessed the possibility of nuclear weapons as being 100 years away.
Suddenly, from their perspective it was no longer merely a case of a War, it was HG Well's War of the Worlds come to life.
And that still not did prevent an attempted coup after the surrender decision was made.

12/05/2005 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Aristides put his finger on the problem with his reference to Stephen Den Beste’s LA Police quote choosing the less bad from among a selection with no taintless options. Many folks in the West simply cannot deal with moral ambiguity, and delude themselves that they can avoid taint by recusing themselves from a choice among evils. It is a comforting conceit for cowards, to think that by turning your back on hard choices and leaving them to others, you have somhow retained some moral “high ground” from which you can lecture others on fine points of morality.

The Geneva Conventions limit their protections specifically to combatants wearing uniforms designed to identify and distinguish them from civilians to protect those civilians from harm. They also exclude uniformed combatants from protection when they violate codes of conduct defined for war. These limits may not in all cases exclude poorly-funded guerrilla or peasant armies, but they certainly exclude terrorists who routinely dress as civilians, target schoolchildren, babes in arms, pregnant women, patients in hospital, geriatrics in wheelchairs, and shopkeepers minding their stores.

I am not advocating torture. I am saying no one has the right to demand that terrorists captured in Iraq be accorded Geneva Conventions protection, or the same privileges that U.S. citizens have.

Critics of the U.S. who claim that the terrorists have the same rights as U.S. citizens don’t seem to grasp that if the terrorists intrinsically have such rights, then SO DO THEIR VICTIMS. Which means that the U.S. has an intrinsic obligation to be doing precisely what it is doing in Iraq, to extend those rights to the victims of the terrorists. Otherwise, the critics’ argument reduces to the insane idea that a person only achieves the protection of the Geneva Conventions and the rights of a U.S. citizen by committing terrorism.

12/05/2005 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger marcus said...

Thank you for leading with the quotation from 'Paradise Lost.' As the aged Wordsworth wrote, long after his romantic excursions, 'Milton, we have need of you now.'

12/05/2005 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

rwe,
Air Force sent our son for his first trip to DC.
Anything special he should take the time to see?
(He's never been the airplane nut his dad is, but was HIGHLY impressed by Air and Space place, esp the SR-71!)

12/06/2005 04:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rutan's Rightful Place . (cell phone photography)

12/06/2005 04:10:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Doug: If possible he should try to get a tour of the Paul Garber Silver Hill Restoration Facility. That is where they do the actual restoration work. Fascinating!
Of coruse the Air and Space Museum downtown is great, too.
Unfortutnately, I think that the USMC Museum down at Quantico is closed this time of year. The facilities tehre are not much (clsed in winter becaus etehre is not heat in those old buildings) but the displays are terrific. Where else could you go and see something like one of the propellors from one of the Wildcats that defended Wake Island?

12/06/2005 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wake Island...
...will MSM mention December 7 this year?
Sad.
I guess it would bring up memories of 9-11, so maybe we should downplay it.

12/06/2005 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Doug:
I recall that back in the 80's a protest group came to Vandenberg AFB to demonstrate on 7 Dec.
They said that they did so on Pearl Harbor Day because if there was another sneak attack on the U.S. it would be with nuclear weapons.
Aside from the fact that 9/11/01 proved them wrong, you would think that fears of a sneak attack would
result in a desire for more military readiness, not less.
But they clearly know it was all them battleships y'all had in the harbor that generated that attack in '41.
After all, without those nasty warships the IJN would never have attacked Pearl Harbor.
They would have just sailed in with their own nasty warships and said "We's taking over."

12/06/2005 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Terry Gain said...

And whether one likes or loathes him, Rumsfeld's mind is an interesting place to be.

Wretchard, you have posed an impossible dilemma for I love Rummy as I love Bush as I loved Churchill (Winston) as I love Lieberman as I hate Moore,bin laden, Hussain, Dean, Reid, Zarqawi, Churchill (Ward) Soros CBS, NBC, ABC, Reuters,AP,CBC, BBC,etc, etc etc.

12/10/2005 07:08:00 PM  

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