The Global War On You Know Who

"The West is facing a concerted effort by Islamic jihadists, the motives and goals of whom are largely ignored by the Western media, to destroy the West and bring it forcibly into the Islamic world -- and to commit violence to that end even while their overall goal remains out of reach. That effort goes under the general rubric of jihad."
-- Robert Spencer

Sunday, December 18, 2005

McCain Amendment Strengthens Terrorists

There is an argument to be made that a man tortured for six years while in custody of the enemy has too much baggage to be trusted with restructuring his own government's interrogation rules. Federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy examines the consequences:
Al Qaeda terrorists captured in battle by members of our armed forces — the American soldiers they are trying to kill — would not only be protected from rough interrogation. They may very well have to be given Miranda warnings as well as free lawyers — underwritten by the Americans they are trying to kill.

Cynically tacked on to the 2006 defense appropriations bill (and thus holding hostage provisions for our troops in wartime), McCain’s amendment was approved by a 90-9 Senate vote on October 5, and a margin of 308-122 in the House on Wednesday. The landslides might well have gone the other way if adequate thought had been given to the (presumably unintended) consequences of the measure’s terms.

. . . Remember, constitutional rights are guarantees against our government. They are not rights we would ever have extended to the whole world. The world, after all, contains enemies who would destroy our rights. The very purpose of forming government was to secure those rights from such enemies. It is impossible to separate the substance of the Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment protections from the fact that those protections are designed to benefit only people who have joined the fabric of our society. Their content would be very different indeed had they been intended to serve others, especially our enemies.

. . . [The amendment] would mean, for example, that an al Qaeda terrorist in the custody of our armed forces in Afghanistan would have more rights than a nonviolent illegal alien detained in Texas after being caught trying to sneak across the border.

. . . Al Qaeda terrorists captured on overseas battlefields would have to be given Miranda warnings before they could be interrogated. Forget about water-boarding. They would actually have to be advised that they are under no obligation to speak to interrogators, that if they do speak their statements can be used against them as evidence in court, and that they are entitled to have a lawyer — paid for by the American people — present and assisting them at all times during questioning. We would also theoretically have to provide such lawyers on request — lawyers who, naturally, would counsel their terrorist clients not to tell our government anything.

. . . Al Qaeda, which shouldn’t even get Geneva Convention protections, will now be cloaked in the majesty of our Bill of Rights.
I'm sure Al-Jizz and the ICRC will be thrilled.


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