August 15, 2006


Liberal agonies (Leader, August 15, 2006, The Guardian)

The arrest of 24 suspects in connection with an alleged plot to destroy airliners over the Atlantic may have been a triumph of intelligence and policing that saved many lives. No government could be criticised for acting when it did, on the information it claims to have had. Nor have legal safeguards been broken here. Yet safeguards in other countries are less rigorous. At what point do actions abroad pollute British justice, even if in the short-term they may protect British security?

Reports from Pakistan suggest that much of the intelligence that led to the raids came from that country and that some of it may have been obtained in ways entirely unacceptable here. In particular Rashid Rauf, a British citizen said to be a prime source of information leading to last week's arrests, has been held without access to full consular or legal assistance. Disturbing reports in Pakistani papers that he had "broken" under interrogation have been echoed by local human rights bodies. The Guardian has quoted one, Asma Jehangir, of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, who has no doubt about the meaning of broken. "I don't deduce, I know - torture," she said. "There is simply no doubt about that, no doubt at all." If this is shown to be the case, the prospect of securing convictions in this country on his evidence will be complicated.

Which raises a more interesting question: why try them if the prospect of conviction is dubious? The recent dust-up between Hezbollah and Israel pretty clearly demonstrates that you don't want to keep these guys alive anyway, because you'll have to release them sooner or later if you do. Why not just utilize military tribunals and execute them?

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 15, 2006 9:48 PM

Some things won't change unless a plane carrying Katie Couric, Sy Hersh, David Westin, Rick Kaplan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Russ Feingold, Bill Keller, Arundhati Roy, and possibly even Kos himself gets blown out of the sky by a suicide bomber.

Then, we just might see liberals getting down with mean.

Posted by: ratbert at August 15, 2006 10:21 PM

Let's not even joke about such things. It comes too close to wishing death on our political foes.

Posted by: oj at August 15, 2006 10:36 PM

My humble apology.

This piece reminded me of Michael Moore's plaintive scream after 9/11, as to why weren't people in "Republican territory" killed.

Nothing will make the coastal "elites" serious about terrorism or genocide unless some of it gets up close and personal. More discretion next time.

Posted by: ratbert at August 16, 2006 10:22 PM

BTW - was the site slammed today? I hope everything is OK.

Posted by: ratbert at August 16, 2006 10:24 PM

Somebody cut through the cables at the server site.

The Right has to be better than the Moores of the world.

Posted by: oj at August 16, 2006 10:27 PM

Glad all's connected again! I was lost w/o brothersjudd this afternoon.

Posted by: Dave W at August 17, 2006 2:46 AM
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