Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Campos Pile

What a load of pure drivel (via Real Clear Politics). This law professor says the plight of one Taliban foot soldier shows how awful we are:

His real crime is that he was born in Afghanistan. This negligent act caused him to be conscripted by Taliban soldiers, who forced him to become a cook's assistant in the city of Narim. When Narim was attacked, he fled the city before surrendering to the Northern Alliance. These soldiers then turned the cook's assistant over to the American military, who imprisoned him at Guantanamo Bay.

The administration takes the view that being conscripted into the Taliban as a cook's assistant makes someone a terrorist, and that fleeing from aerial bombardment constitutes "engaging in hostilities" against United States forces. The administration also believes that such people should have no access to lawyers or courts, and that they should be "detained" - this is a polite word for being locked in a cage - and subjected to "coercive interrogation techniques," (which is a polite phrase for torture) until the end of the global war on terror, which is to say for the rest of their lives.

First of all, unless I am mistaken, we have 500 prisoners in Gitmo and the population of Afghanistan is about 25 million. Clearly, being born in Afghanistan isn't his real crime. Trying to kill us is the crime. And in point of fact, it isn't even a crime really since he was captured on the battlefield and not while robbing a 7-11.

And the second paragraph? My goodness, the idiocy flows. Why yes, being conscripted into the Taliban military counts as being our enemy. Duh. He wasn't a member of Doctors Without Borders, now was he? Being a cook isn't really relevant to being a member of the enemy's armed forces.

And yes, fleeing does not in fact make him less of a combatant. Why should we be penalized by winning? Or are we only allowed to wage war unsuccessfully? Fleeing is not surrendering and a fleeing enemy combatant can stop running, regain their courage, and kill our people again. So running is not a defense. Indeed, killing a fleeing enemy is a time-honored way of winning a war.

And God help me, but these prisoners are not entitled to civilian defenses. Or did I miss the mass trials of German and Italian soldiers (conscripts I might add) from 1942 to 1945 for their so-called crimes? At one time, trying prisoners as if what they did in war was similar to civilian crimes was considered a terrible thing to do. When did this get turned on its head by the Left?

I grant you that some prisoners are in cages. But that is because they tend not to stay put unless locked up and guarded. Why should their imprisonment behind bars be an issue at all?

And no, you annoying twit, we are not torturing those we detain. Coercive techniques are unpleasant and clearly coercive, but unless you insist that anything less than a chocolate on your pillow each night is torture, this assertion is idiocy pure and simple. Are we not allowed to question them? These thugs are generally unlawful combatants yet we are treating them consistent with the protections offered actual regular uniformed troops. And should anyone treat them contrary to our standards, they are punished.

And as for holding them forever? Well, we don't know when this war will end. And we have in fact released some after military review. But as long as we are at war and our enemies try to kill us, they can just sit in jail for all I care. They wanted the all-day ticket to Jihadworld? Fine. Enjoy your stay at Gitmo, the official hotel for Jihadworld. Complete with a Koran instead of a Gideon's Bible and your choice of rice pilaf or falafil on Tuesdays.

Man, what an "idiot." And that's a polite term for a whole stream of nouns and adjectives that I'd prefer not to commit to virtual paper.

UPDATE: Oh, and let me be clear on a point that I obscured by noting that most of the people at Guantanamo Bay that we hold are unlawful combatants. The prisoner in question was Taliban and we considered Taliban as enemy prisoners of war--that is, lawful combatants in a regular armed force. This fact, however, should have undermined the good professor's argument that he should have charges read to him and be lawyered up to defend against them.

As I said, it was once considered a horrible thing to charge captured enemy soldiers with civilian crimes. I just don't understand how it can be "liberal" to now insist that enemy soldiers be charged and tried for crimes. The vast majority of Taliban soldiers we captured have been released. We clearly have reason to hold this one despite his "cook" status. And if we are satisfied he won't be a threat, we will release him. And if we are wrong, like we have been on a number of occasions, we'll see him again.