Patterico's Pontifications

2/12/2008

In Which I Agree with the Editors of the L.A. Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Terrorism — Patterico @ 7:11 am

Six 9/11 suspects may face the death penalty. The L.A. Times editorializes that:

[A]s a moral matter, the possibility that a suspect could be put to death in the United States based on statements coerced from him by torture is an abomination — even more so because it might be legal. Under the Military Commissions Act, evidence obtained by coercion may be introduced at trial provided a judge finds it “reliable and probative” (meaning persuasive and damning). Congress rushed to pass this deeply flawed act, which also denies detainees the ancient writ of habeas corpus, after the Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the military commissions could not be used to prosecute enemy combatants for war crimes without congressional authorization. But the act failed to guarantee that the tribunals would give defendants a fair trial, or to provide any mechanism for the release of innocent detainees wrongly deemed enemy combatants.

The military judges should refuse to admit any evidence tainted by waterboarding or any other form of illegal coercion — but they may have little choice given that they’re required to conduct the trial under the odious statute passed by Congress. Pentagon officials say they’re confident that they have enough unclassified, incontrovertible evidence to prove Mohammed’s guilt without resorting to any coerced testimony. They’d better be right. Otherwise, the trial will fail at its most important task: to show the world that the 9/11 terrorists were not noble freedom fighters but common criminals who committed mass murder. If prosecutors cannot make that case without secret evidence or testimony tainted by abuse, they will dishonor U.S. justice and our cause.

They’re right.

I get frustrated with waterboarding opponents who self-righteously argue that no amount of waterboarding of any individual could ever be justified under any circumstances.

But I also get frustrated with waterboarding supporters who minimize the downsides of waterboarding or other coercive techniques.

I have said about waterboarding and other coercive interrogation techniques:

[T]here are serious costs to such an approach . . . There are slippery slope arguments grounded in reality, arguments about the kind of society we want to be, arguments about the reliability of the information we get, and so on. Any confession you get is going to be unusable in court, and will interfere with any criminal prosecutions that might occur.

Apparently it may be legal by statute to use coerced confessions in the tribunals that the 9/11 suspects will face. But it may not be constitutional. Frankly, I rather doubt that the Supreme Court will allow the imposition of the death penalty based on testimony obtained by coercion — whether it’s considered “reliable” or not.

Even if it is legal, a prosecution based on such testimony would not vindicate our position in the world community. (And, as much fun as it is to mock the concept, it does matter to some degree what the world thinks of us.) It would rightly remind other countries of the totalitarian governments of the last century, which habitually executed people in trials based on confessions obtained by torture. By obtaining confessions in this way, we open ourselves up to criticism that the confessions are false. People often make that argument about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s confessions.

The editors have it right. Waterboarding, and other forms of interrogation that would result in coerced confessions, has serious downsides. This is one of them: once you have done it, what do you do with the people you did it to?

All I can do is agree with the editors: I sure hope the case can be made without this coerced testimony. If not, we’re in trouble.

54 Responses to “In Which I Agree with the Editors of the L.A. Times”

  1. Very well said. Nuanced and balanced in your consideration of this issue.

    Hey, conservatives aren’t supposed to be nuanced!!!

    Bradley J Fikes (1c6fc4)

  2. The impression I got listening to the chief legal counsel for the Military Commissions (not the prosecutor) on CSpan yesterday is that the evidence to be used would be judged by the same standards as under the UCMJ. In that case a coerced confession would not be usable.

    One of the things that is frustrating to me is that so many people cannot distinguish between a Combatant Status Review, which determines whether a person is entitled to protection under the Geneva Conventions and in which a coerced confession would be admitted, as I understand the rules, and a Tribunal which is actually a trial and is subject to rules of evidence, review, appeal, etc.

    Of course I am not a lawyer. To you guys maybe it is a distinction without a difference.

    chad (719bfa)

  3. “I get frustrated with waterboarding opponents who self-righteously argue that no amount of waterboarding of any individual could ever be justified under any circumstances.”

    Why, oh why do you keep returning to this subject?

    You speak of ‘slippery slopes’ without acknowledging
    the psychological evolution between the captor and the captive. Those special circumstances you like
    to fence with limited scenarios in your comments section only highlights your concern for control.

    Control is power, and that is what corrupts.

    Lack of accountability encourages abuse.

    Many don’t trust the people in control (civilian control), therefore the instances where ‘water-torture’ is utilized is suspect.

    It’s a trust issue. Get it?

    Semanticleo (aee349)

  4. Yes, waterboarding KSM might affect the outcome of a military tribunal. But remember that the priority under such circumstances is to extract information that can be used to prevent another terrorist attack.

    RB (fbae5a)

  5. But why are we applying constitutional rights to foreign enemy fighters at all?

    You know that whatever we do in these trials, the world anti-US press will be against it. It will be a propaganda triumph, as we stupidly reveal every moment of the trial and allow the media to distort it. We cannot win in the court of media opinion. Bush has gotten no credit for his billions to Africa on AIDS or for anything else. The other side is not interested in the merits.

    As far as our standing in the world, we should be aiming to win respect, not love.

    Patricia (f56a97)

  6. RB,

    I agree. That was the priority. And IF it prevented a major terror attack, it was worth it.

    But let’s not pretend there aren’t downsides. That’s what I’m saying.

    Patterico (4bd598)

  7. It’s a trust issue. Get it?

    Keep in mind this is coming from someone who admits they were not troubled by the abuses of power by Clinton, because they trusted him and his administration.

    It’s not really a “trust” issue, it’s a partisan political issue.

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  8. “Keep in mind this is coming from someone who admits they were not troubled by the abuses of power by Clinton, because they trusted him and his administration.”

    “Stop lyin’ about my record”, Cobford.

    Semanticleo (aee349)

  9. In liberal-speak, “stop lyin’ about my record” translates to “Quit telling the truth about me” !

    JD (75f5c3)

  10. We might as well be arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Those on the Left will never accept any trial of Jihadists by the military, just as many of us on the Right wonder why these people are still alive at all.

    When full constitutional rights are arcorded to the enemies of the State, each of us needs to start making plans for where we think we can survive the coming onslought best.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  11. It should be assumed about the information gathered during torture, or from any other kind of interrogation where something is to be gained by the subject for incrimination of self or of others, that the information is untrue until verified to be true.

    Once the information is verified, the method of information gathering is irrelevant unless you believe that suspected foreign terrorists have constitutional rights.

    j curtis (5d5cd7)

  12. Well, as to waterboarding, there are six defendants here, and only three detainees were ever subjected to waterboarding. I haven’t cross-checked names, but certainly at least three defendants were not waterboarded.

    Attila (Pillage Idiot) (b6cc49)

  13. I agree with part of AD’s assessment. Why are these terrorists still breathing?

    As far as coerced information, if there is no coroborating facts that buttress the information from the waterboarded suspects, I’d be troubled on convicting them, but after the initial information, all these men boasted of their roles in 9/11. Those uncoerced boasts should be used to convict and condemn to death these people.

    One thing, the execution of these terrorists should be public and swift.

    PCD (c378fd)

  14. I agree with the LA Times article as well, except for the need to actually write the article.

    Pentagon officials say they’re confident that
    they have enough unclassified, controvertible
    evidence to prove Mohammed’s guilt without
    resorting to any coerced testimony.

    I take that to mean that they don’t intend to present a coerced confession, so who exactly is the LA Times arguing with on this point?

    Mike S (d3f5fd)

  15. Patterico, apparently you fall into the same trap as the Los Angeles Time, the NY Times, and others, in believing these guys are just common criminals who deserve all the bells and whistles that go with being a criminal in America. This has been a favorite propaganda tactic of the anti-American left, so they can decry Pres Bush and the US military as “the real war criminals” for actually waging a war against our enemies. It is to puke.

    They are not like American citizen criminals who knock over the corner 7-11 or even murder their neighbors over a bag of dope. They are enemies of the United States, dedicated to our overthrow, who violated the “laws” of armed conflict. They are vicious and illegal armed combatants. The only valid reason for not shooting them immediately on capture was to extract any information that may be useful to us, if waterboarding is what it took to get that info, great.

    If anything, the contortions gone thru to get to the point of an actual trial show the overwhelming inadequacy of the American criminal justice system to deal with enemies of the United States. Remember, this is a system that by design tries to stack the deck against the state, to let a dozen guilty men go free to avoid convicting an innocent man.

    We are at war. Shoot them already.

    Eric (566749)

  16. If we’re going to try them, then coerced testimony should be thrown out. Ths Saudis, the Syrians, the Egyptians use coerced testimony..though in those cases, they coerce the testimony they want.

    My understanding is that the confessions aren’t necessary to secure a conviction. There is plenty of evidence regarding the funding, training, etc behind the 9/11 plot. I do hope that’s correct.

    And then, I hope we don’t put them to death. I hope we don’t give them martyrdom. I hope the live long, miserable lives in the custody of infidels and die old, drooling and shitting themselves, in Supermax cells.

    Pablo (99243e)

  17. 15, Pablo, I don’t want to support keeping those terrorists alive one second longer than necessary. Actually, I’d like to shoot them and then dump them in a bottomless lake or better yet, take them out in the Pacific and launch them off a aircraft carrier’s catapult along with their ACLU lawyers.

    PCD (c378fd)

  18. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s hard to get any facts out of our media over anything involving coercive interrogation. But….

    Wasn’t the coerced interrogation all about future acts? Trying to stop future acts and not trying to find out what they’ve already done?

    We had enough on Rosie… Ron Jeremy… err, Khalid Sheik Mohamed to arrest him in the first place, I don’t think they’ll need the coerced stuff, especially since they used it on the three to stop future attacks (the ticking time bomb scenario) not about past stuff, which they already had plenty of evidence about.

    Veeshir (dfa2bf)

  19. Patterico is right. The downside of coerced “evidence” is that its useless in courts. We need to put these “enemies of America” on trial because these aren’t enemies of America. They are some guys that we picked up somewhere that we SAY did some bad things. I suppose we could just lynch them in some desperate attempt to prove how RIGHT the outgoing administration was about EVERYTHING. But how does that make anybody safer? That’s just goin out and gettin us an A-RAB tu strang up fer spittin at a ‘Merican.
    Let’s convict them with untainted evidence, as messy as that is, and then NOT kill them. Let’s do what Pablo correctly suggests.

    “I hope we don’t give them martyrdom. I hope the(y) live long, miserable lives in the custody of infidels and die old, drooling and shitting themselves, in Supermax cells.”

    EdWood (c2268a)

  20. I am all in favor of gaining intel from terrorists that might save the lives of non-terrorists. Time-sensitive info in particular is sometimes worth deeds like those of Colonel Allen B. West.

    The risks of some intel methods include the effects on the captors. Personally, those issues concern me more than any potentially forfeited prosecution chances.

    Nonetheless, I would agree that prosecutions should be based on physical evidence and on testimony elicited not by methods like torture.

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  21. I can’t believe the prosecution has not already thought out their approach to any and all problems regarding statements/admissions. I’m sure they will succeed in having the necessary evidence admitted.

    tired (8291df)

  22. We should follow the Geneva Conventions, and line these guys up against a wall and shoot them.
    This will act as a deterrent to unlawful warfare, which is the whole point of the GC.
    By letting them live, we expose all to the vagaries of non-state controlled groups of armed individuals who wage war without the controls the GC provides.

    j.pickens (53ee7a)

  23. The Geneva Conventions are lipstick on a pig. An attempt to legitimize the worst barbarity — war. Every nation should scrap them and replace them with this simple law: “Making war against our country is a crime punishable by death.”

    nk (616f8b)

  24. Those on the Left will never accept any trial of Jihadists by the military, just as many of us on the Right wonder why these people are still alive at all.

    No. We’ve been calling for trials, or military tribunals, or some sort of fair process. We managed to give Nazi saboteurs (in Quirin) a right-proper tribunal complete with first-rate defense counsel before executing most of them. While we were striving for trials, your ilk was supporting the right of the Divine Commander in Chief to imprison anyone he wanted, without recourse, incommunicado, forever. Clear now?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  25. And then, I hope we don’t put them to death. I hope we don’t give them martyrdom. I hope the live long, miserable lives in the custody of infidels and die old, drooling and shitting themselves, in Supermax cells.

    Until President Clinton pardons them to win the Islamic vote for Chelsea.

    http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/puertorico/sep4.htm

    Richard (6254a9)

  26. Well, here’s a suggestion: All you process wonks, close your eyes. Let the results-oriented folks give them a fair trial then hang them. Guilty, guilty, guilty. Pretty much what happened with McVeigh and his short-shrift appeals.

    We’ll let you know when you can look.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  27. No. We’ve been calling for trials, or military tribunals, or some sort of fair process. We managed to give Nazi saboteurs (in Quirin) a right-proper tribunal complete with first-rate defense counsel before executing most of them. While we were striving for trials, your ilk was supporting the right of the Divine Commander in Chief to imprison anyone he wanted, without recourse, incommunicado, forever. Clear now?

    Complete and utter bullshit. You and your ilk have fought the Bush administration every step of the way. Period. This began long before Iraq, or 9/11. You and your fellow travelers were accusing him of stealing elections, etc … If Hill/Bill did the exact same things as President Bush, you would not need blood pressure medication, and people would not look at your funny when you go on your little tirades. Fear not, President Bush is not running for office again. You are going to be okay.

    JD (8f1753)

  28. “Torture”, or the bastardized modern definition of torture was never intended for law enforcement type scenarios. In intelligence gathering, its value can be greater, provided the information is confirmed.

    JD (8f1753)

  29. I can’t agree at all with Patterico at all on this. The sooner they are executed after they are found guilty, the better.

    This playing “nice” against those who would gladly kill you should they be set free is nuts.

    Charlie (03643a)

  30. If “coercive” techniques can’t be used to elicit information from our enemies, then prosecutors and cops will have to drop “coercive” techniques (say, threatening to prosecute family members, bring charges with more onerous potential penalties if a suspect doesn’t confess to a lesser charge, etc.).

    Wayne Dougherty (6b5a7b)

  31. JD, the original Administration position was kangaroo courts, period. They knew who was the worst of the worst, and could do with them what they pleased. Do we have to go to Google for the truth? And yes, we opposed that. But we weren’t calling for the release of dangerous terrorists. It isn’t one of us who said he didn’t care where Osama bin Laden was—George W Bush said that. We were calling for adherence to the Geneva Conventions, including provision of fair tribunals which could declare captives to be unlawful combatants (retail, not the wholesale Bush way). The civilized world, and even the SCOTUS, agreed with us.

    I’m sure some people would rather execute detainees in cold blood. We call those people war criminals, and you call them patriots.

    Andrew Lazarus (eefd7d)

  32. I’m sure some people would rather execute detainees in cold blood. We call those people war criminals, and you call them patriots.

    And I call you a liar. A damned liar. A fucking liar.

    The irony of it is that once you let POW and detainees and illegal combatants into the American judicial system, it will be a whole hell of a lot easier to just kill them on the battlefield from which they were captured. No need for all of your silly political games.

    JD (8f1753)

  33. It isn’t one of us who said he didn’t care where Osama bin Laden was—George W Bush said that.

    As is typical of you, this is completely out of context. In the proper context, Bush’s statement doesn’t mean what you are attempting to imply.

    Steverino (e00589)

  34. JD, you are talkin like a delusional woop de do. What does calling for trials for detainees have to do with accusing Bush of stealing an election? All sorts of people were calling for trials for detainees… I suppose coz they disagree with you that makes them “liberals = COMMIES = Nazis facists” or whatever the latest revisionist idiocy is floating around the really really right wing meme-o-tron right now…. but the point is that putting them on trial, aside from making it more legit to execute them if we want, makes these guys more like criminals-less like heros. We are treating them like the mafia, like thugs, and not like martyrs of the grand and glorious revolution.

    Faster to shoot em in the head when we pick them up on a sweep in Bagdad or render them from Uzbekistan etc. (after extracting some sort of “info” of course),

    smarter to put them on trial to make sure they really are bad guys and them stuff them away to rot if they stand convicted.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  35. It will be a whole hell of a lot easier to just kill them on the battlefield from which they were captured.

    JD, I have some important news for you. We didn’t capture KSM or the other top-level detainees on the battlefield. We didn’t even capture him in a country with a battlefield. I repeat, one consistent ‘move the frame’ trope of the Administration is to take special rules for battlefield captures, then declare that with terrorism the battlefield is everywhere and apply these special rules universally.

    When you have captives who weren’t picked up on the battlefield, or sneaking in behind our lines with a suicide vest, or anything like that, well, you’re going to need some sort of tribunal to separate out rear-echelon terrorist officers from goatherds turned in by jealous rivals. We didn’t do that, and I suggest it’s because the inevitable acquittals in a few cases would damage the need for Presidential Infallibility that goes hand-in-hand with the extirpation of meaningful oversight or challenge of executive decisions. And not only liberals but all manner of true conservatives—even John Ashcroft!—eventually became alarmed by the Bush Administration’s insistence on reviving the despotic practic of lettres-de-cachet.

    The best explanation for the Bush Remnant’s support doesn’t lie in national security, but in their abnormal psychology. The Universal Battlefield lets a leading Keyboard Kommando like Hugh Hewitt pretend his office in the Empire State Bulding is on the front lines. And the desire to kill captives in cold blood (I suppose after an Abu Ghraib rape session first) has more to do with the lure of transgressing civilized norms than any benefit that would inure to the United States.

    I am not a liar, and you, frankly, are a pervert.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  36. Lazarus,

    in 35, you lied. Hewitt does not have an office in hte Empire State Building.

    As for you delusions about the terrorists held in Gitmo, they are getting a fairer trial than they would give you before beheading an Infidel like you.

    PCD (c378fd)

  37. Did you follow the link, PCD?

    Hewitt’s own web site says:

    HH: I’m really fascinated by the question of whether or not it’s ever good journalism to consort with the enemy in search of interesting stories. And there’s not denying, Michael, where you get scoops. It’s fascinating to read. You’ve got a great deal of courage, of physical courage, in doing this. So no one’s denying that. I’m just wondering whether or not there’s a line that you have in your mind reconciled yourself to crossing not once, but scores and scores of times, to report on the enemy, and whether or not that’s a good thing. And you think it is, I think I hear you saying, because the public will not otherwise know what it is that you’re reporting. Is that a fair summary?

    MW: That is fairly accurate, and let’s look at it this way. I mean, you’re sitting back in a comfortable radio studio, far from the realities of this war.

    HH: Actually, Michael, let me interrupt you.

    MW: If anyone has a right…

    HH: Michael, one second.

    MW: If anyone has a right to complain, that’s what…

    HH: I’m sitting in the Empire State Building. Michael, I’m sitting in the Empire State Building, which has been in the past, and could be again, a target. Because in downtown Manhattan, it’s not comfortable, although it’s a lot safer than where you are, people always are three miles away from where the jihadis last spoke in America. So that’s…civilians have a stake in this. Although you are on the front line, this was the front line four and a half years ago.

    Maybe I should have said “studio” and not office. I’d say the point is pretty clear though.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  38. Andrew, please tell us where the battlefield would be in the war on terror?

    reff (bff229)

  39. Andrew, please tell us where the battlefield would be in the war on terror?

    Rules for battlefield captures should apply to skirmishes in Iraq and Afghanistan (leaving aside whether this is against terror).

    Where is the battlefield in the war on drugs? Can inner-city residents be sent to Gitmo without trial? Alleged dealers kidnapped in Mexico?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  40. You avoided the question. You also tried to draw up a straw man, but your chalk broke.

    Try, try again…

    Where is the battlefield in the war on terror?

    reff (bff229)

  41. Where is the battlefield in the war on drugs? Can inner-city residents be sent to Gitmo without trial? Alleged dealers kidnapped in Mexico?

    This exceeds even your standards for overstatement. Show us the Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Drug Cartels. Then we’ll answer your question.

    Steverino (e00589)

  42. There is no battlefield in the War on Terror. The War on Terror is a rhetorical device, just like the war on drugs.

    Where we are conducting military operations, captives are POWs (perhaps unlawful combatants).

    Not at O’Hare Airport.

    Your turn. If the War on Drugs is too difficult, let’s try where you think rules drawn up for traditional combat should hold. Everywhere?

    I notice complete silence on the question of what Hugh Hewitt said. Crystalizes it all, doesn’t it? A pre-teen boy hiding under the covers, crackling “This is the front on the F Train” into a cheap walkie-talkie.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  43. Andrew, I’ll accept your premise that there is no war on terror.

    Where is the battlefield in which KSM was actively fighting to kill Americans? If KSM had been captured at O’Hare Airport, that would be the battlefield he chose. If, in a declared war (and OBM did declare war on America) the second in command becomes a legitimate target for kill/capture, and anywhere he can be found becomes the battlefield. Exceptions may be found in “neutral” settings, but, in the case of KSM, Pakistan is not “neutral” in the effort to stop terrorism, and defeat the self-declared enemy OSM.

    Also, the “War on Drugs” is not a war either. That is a rhetorical term used by both government and the media to describe the effort by law enforcement to deal with the drug problem. Neither is the “War on Poverty” a war, and, as may be summised from your pathetic example of the war on drugs, one which we are losing because of the stupidity of liberals such as yourself.

    As for traditional combat, anywhere there are opposing sides, in uniform, under the leadership of governments, face off, that can be described as the battlefield. Also, persons out of uniform, who choose to go into non-traditional fronts, such as in espionage, expand the battlefield in a war. So, yes, anywhere could be included in traditional battlefields. What the declared war on terror, both by the US and by OSM and his ilk prove, is that traditional warfare is not relevant in this fight, and that anywhere an enemy can be found is the battlefield.

    Seems like Imad Mugniyah, a top Hezbollah commander, learned that the hard way in Syria yesterday….

    reff (99666d)

  44. Andrew….just a reminder, of something you must have already known, of course, because of your vast knowledge of the military and law…

    Posse comitatus prevents military actions in America when the actions are to maintain peace, law enforcement or police actions on state/private property. So, in either the war on drugs, or the war on poverty, the military is prohibited from acting in a law enforcement manner….but, they can kill/capture legal or illegal enemy combatants when given orders to do so….

    reff (99666d)

  45. 37, Lazarus, Hewitt lives in Irvine, CA. Try again. Also, I worked for Hewitt’s producer on another show in the LA market.

    PCD (c378fd)

  46. Where’s the battlefield in the War on Cancer, Andy?

    This is a very silly argument you’re making. That this is a new paradigm for war, with stateless actors, does not mean that it is not a war.

    Pablo (99243e)

  47. Pablo, your point is exactly why it is scary when liberals try to fight a war…they want everyone to follow the rules, starting with those they don’t agree with, and in this war, there are no rules….

    reff (bff229)

  48. Give Andy a break. He just regurgitates the talking points as fast as he is given them. It clearly doesn’t mean he understands them or their implications, but he’s as much of a brick wall as stef. Always certain and seldom right is their creed.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  49. There is no battlefield in the War on Terror. The War on Terror is a rhetorical device, just like the war on drugs.

    Wrong, Andrew. There is no Authorization for the Use of Military Force in the “war on drugs”. But there is an AUMF for the War on Terror. So, the War on Terror is NOT a rhetorical device, despite your attempt to spin it that way.

    I’d say “nice try”, but your effort here is pathetic.

    Steverino (e00589)

  50. Just so AJL doesn’t try to weasel any further…

    Andrew, show us something similar to this for the war on drugs.

    Show us language that includes this:

    (a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

    which applies to any drug organization.

    Steverino (e00589)

  51. Guys what AJL is getting at is an expression of the anxiety that if the “battlefield” is anywhere then “anybody” can be declared an “unlawful combatant”. The point being that in THAT case you don’t want to just “shoot em on the “battlefield”” because then our agents/military would be able to dissapear-interrogate-execute anyone it deemed “dangerous”. Or hey, throw them a “trial” then execute them. Ie. all the more reason that “terrorists” should be given legitimate trials with legitimate evidence. Not to protect them, but to protect us.
    I have confidence that our national watchdogs are doing a great job without special extra-legal powers.
    I also have confidence that they are human and will act accordingly (ie. abuse their power for whatever reason, intentionally or not) if given too much leeway.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  52. Lazarus, Hewitt lives in Irvine, CA. Try again. Also, I worked for Hewitt’s producer on another show in the LA market.

    And this prevented his broadcasting sometimes from the front lines in the Empire State Building how, exactly? You don’t believe Hewitt’s own web site? The point is simple: Hewitt, Keyboard Kommando, viewed his broadcast from the ESB as something courageous. It’s a wonder he didn’t demand a Purple Heart for burning himself on his coffee.

    Show us language that includes this:

    The AUMF authorized a war against Al Qaeda and its hosts in Afghanistan. I don’t deny that. It’s not a carte blanche for an ill-defined “War on Terror” wherever the Bushies deem it to exist. The Administration’s contention that the AUMF somehow suspended habeas corpus at O’Hare Airport or anywhere else it claimed lost at the Supreme Court, as well it should have.

    As Ed Wood points out, none of you have dared to make explicit that the battlefield is now everywhere, preferring one half-baked attack on my position after another. If you guys really want to fight a war on the front lines so much, go to the recruiting office and leave our civil liberties alone.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (9232bf)

  53. The AUMF authorized a war against Al Qaeda and its hosts in Afghanistan. I don’t deny that. It’s not a carte blanche for an ill-defined “War on Terror” wherever the Bushies deem it to exist. The Administration’s contention that the AUMF somehow suspended habeas corpus at O’Hare Airport or anywhere else it claimed lost at the Supreme Court, as well it should have.

    Again, you missed my point. You earlier asked where the battlefield of the war on drugs was. I pointed out that the war on drugs had no military authorization, and so your attempt at drawing a parallel was completely invalid. Be a man and admit you were wrong on this point. And stop trying to bring in side points, it’s making you look more ridiculous with each post.

    Steverino (e00589)

  54. Steverino, the AUMF does not create a “War on Terror”. It authorized our campaign against the Taliban/Al Qaeda.

    Where do you think battlefield rules apply in this so-called War on Terror? O’Hare Airport? Your living room? Talk about dodging the question!

    Andrew J. Lazarus (9232bf)


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