Janet Albrechtsen writes a cracking piece in today’s Oz about the Jihadist problem and explains why treating them just like normal civil criminals is a very bad idea sadly far to many “progressives” just don’t seem to get it at all.
It takes a sweet but rather dim-witted Pollyanna view of the world to suppose that men infused with an ideology to kill infidels and trained to do so need only spend some time in the equivalent of a detox centre to get those dirty jihadist thoughts out of their minds. These guys don’t have a drinking or drug problem. They have a killing problem.
But in a society where we think we can treat every transgression, from swearing to homophobic language, with a stint in rehab, it’s no great surprise that we now think terrorists are just miscreants of a slightly nastier kind.
This has always been the liberal mindset. Terrorists, we were told, ought to be treated and prosecuted as criminals in ordinary courts, because we can’t really be at war with a transnational group of religious nutters. The obsession with simple moral absolutes meant that denying habeas corpus rights to alleged terrorists caught on the battlefield was equally wrong. Liberal justices in the US Supreme Court agreed, leading Chief Justice John Roberts to declare, in dissent, that the American people had just lost “a bit more control over the conduct of this nation’s foreign policy to unelected, politically unaccountable judges”. Soldiers would henceforth have to collect evidence and take witness statements from the battlefield like a cop busting a drug ring. As Justice Antonin Scalia said in his dissent, “how to handle enemy prisoners in this war will ultimately lie with the branch that knows least about national security”.
Now let us just imagine a twelve step program for Jihadists…
“My name is Omar and it has been six months since I made my last bomb…“
Hmm, it just does not seem to work as a joke, perhaps that is because there is nothing to laugh about here and some very hard headed thinking is needed to tackle this issue.
I don’t always agree with Ms Albrechtsen but I do like the way she’s not afraid to tackle all issues. And I love the way she outlasted ALP bovver boy Mark Latham after what he said to her.
Why bother Iain – its obvious you and Ms Albrechsten are both on planet Janet on this one!
So catch them ‘in the act’ and take them out. That’s what happens in wars – you kill the enemy. But if you take them as a POW then you have international conventions (and your own laws) to abide by. Albrechsten makes no real point here, as usual.
And of course Janet, like Iain, convieniently ignores the fact that over 85% of Gitmo detainees were captured by Pakistan forces rounding up civilians.
She further ignores the fact that a great deal of those people were incorrectly captured, tortured and held in Gitmo sans habeous corpus.
And she still wonders why some of them turned to terrorism after their release??? sheesh!
Ah your old mantra PKD but events of very recent memory suggests that in terms of fighting the Jihadis the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is rather irrelevant. You like wise ignore the fact that these people should be considered in the context of an ongoing war, Now if we were talking about our home grown would be terrorist like Mr Benbricka then i would even agree that issues like evidence and Habeas Corpus are paramount, but the point that Janet makes is not that such legal niceties should be done away with but that by just sticking to them because of some blind adherence to the principle is not going to make us any safer. And that is after all the point of detaining enemy combatants in the first place.
Yes Iain its an old mantra and one you have no sensible answer to.
If you were (like many Gitmo detainees) grabbed off, say the bus, one day by Queensland police and sent to Gitmo without any right to appeal I somehow suspect you wouldn’t be quite so blase about discarding basic human rights in the name of the war on terror…
now the Obama administration has dropped the ‘war on terror’ phrase – then the war musty be over right?
Therefore your old meme of “they can be held as POW’s as we’re at war” no longer holds true.
Does that leave you with any other reasons to hold men indefinitely without trial?