Monday, June 11, 2007

Who is the Enemy?

The Guardian runs yet another report on "secret" CIA prisons in Europe. "It revealed that Abu Zubaydah, believed to be a senior al-Qaida member, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a suspected mastermind of the September 11 attacks, were held and interrogated in Poland. None of the prisoners had access to the Red Cross and many were subjected to what George Bush has called the CIA's 'enhanced' interrogation, which critics have condemned as torture."

The Magistrate's Blog raises this hypothetical.

Take the (unlikely) case that one of the CIA's aircraft has to make an emergency landing at a small airfield that happens to be in your jurisdiction. Take the (even more unlikely) case that the people who are taken from the by-now burning aeroplane find themselves in the hands of the local police. Some of them appear to be prisoners, and are in chains. By chance, a determined local solicitor is in the police station and he immediately takes legal steps to bring them before magistrates with a view to their release. ... What, as a member of the judiciary, would you do?

Many of the commenters would let the terrorist suspect go and charge the CIA escorts. One sample answer:

The worst possible penalty you could legally apply would surely be for them to be held without charge for 28 days, sent to prison for entering the country illegally (which would be very unfair yet probably be seen by the defendant as a great mercy), and deported. Meanwhile, the CIA guys could probably be charged with abduction at the very least.

Now here's my own hypothetical. Suppose someone accused of killing 3,000 British civilians was being transported by MI-6 under the 90 day pre-charge detention provision of the British Terrorism Act of 2006, crashlanded in your country. What should the judges do?


Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Well yes. This is because the elites don't care about their duties as elites. Typically we humans delegate elites to function as agents in areas requiring great specialization, and often grant them great privileges. But we expect them to act on behalf of the people.

Not themselves.

Much of the elites have fetishized process over justice or security, and victimhood like a Lifetime Movie.

The implications are enormous. Eventually the elites will be thrown off (already happening in France) in a Jacksonian revolt. Let's hope for once we can emulate the French at their best and avoid the tumbrels heading to the executioner's block.

6/11/2007 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Y'all by any chance recall the Achille Lauro? The Italian cruise ship was hijacked by 4 PLO terrorists in 1985 and in the process they killed a wheelchair- bound US citizen. The US Navy then forced down the Egyptian airliner carrying the terrorists and captured them.

But it was an Italian cruise ship and the airliner had been forced down in Sicily. The Italians refused to extridite the terrorists to the US. They even let the leader of the group, Abbas, go. He stayed a terrorist, carried out attacks in Israel and and was captured near Baghdad in 2003. He was acting as a funding conduit between Saddam and the PLO suicide bombers. Incredibly, the Italians then asked for the US to extridite Abbas! He died almost a year later, still in US custody in Iraq.

Meanwhile, in 1996 one of the Achille Lauro terrorists the Italians did lock up was allowed to go on a 12 day furlough from a high security prison! He never came back. Imagine that...

Even when it is terrorists that have committed crimes against THEM the Europeans don't seem to have the heart to lock them up.

6/11/2007 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Kenneth said...

Did the Guardian speak out when tens of thousands of innocent citizens were arrested & tortured by the secret police of eastern Europe during the Communist era? No, I didn't think so.

But now they are outraged that suspected terrorists are interrogated using methods deemed harsh by our liberal sensibilities, but which would have been considered rather light treatment under the old system.

6/12/2007 07:50:00 AM  

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