[lit-ideas] Re: Hersh and the Devil's Advocate

  • From: "Stan Spiegel" <writeforu2@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 15:25:08 -0400

That's an old Machiavellian argument, isn't it? The ends justify the means,
don't they?

That 90% or more of those held were there by mistake doesn't change
anything. Humiliate them. Torture them. Isolate them. Who knows? They might
know something.

Of course, if the shoe were on the other foot, and you were there by
mistake, that would be different, wouldn't it? Legal niceties should
prevail. National survival be damned.

This is too old an argument to waste any time on. The fact is national
survival isn't at stake. This is not a black and white case of "Kill or be
killed." Armageddon isn't here. Everything we do will provide a model for
what they will do. This prison is not filled with al queda prisoners. It's
filled with people. People like you and me -- caught up in the chaos and
turmoil of a war.

Bush's and Rumsfeld's thoughtless and ruthless behavior isn't supportable.
And Bush's latest argument that we're there to free Iraq and move them
towards Democracy certainly can't support or tolerate such behavior. I still
don't know why we're in Iraq -- unless you "follow the money," and
acknowledge we're there for the oil -- but if we're there for the reasons
we're told, this behavior can't be forgiven.

The only way we can find such behavior forgivable is in a fight to the
death. Is that what's going on here?

Stan Spiegel

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Scribe1865@xxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, May 16, 2004 2:53 PM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Hersh and the Devil's Advocate

> Assuming that SH is correct in his New Yorker piece, what's the problem?
> National survival comes first. The Devil's Advocate says that If the
> law isn't adequate to deal with a new situation -- international terror
> groups with access to WMD -- act first, then shape the law to reflect
standards for
> the new type of conflict.
> The US is fighting an "asymmetrical" war with sophisticated terrorist
> who have no particular national affiliation. The Devil's Advocate argues
> the military should be able to do ANYTHING short of civilian atrocities to
> fight al-Qaeda. ANYTHING, including assassination of foreign citizens,
> interrogation of captured al-Qaeda, holding families of wanted terrorists,
> anything else that will win.
> Change the iconic hate figures here. Subtract the Bush Presidency. Imagine
> that we have a good Democrat in office. Imagine that we are not fighting
> Theofascists but International Dianetics (L. Ron Hubbard) Terrorists.
> Got that? Okay. Now do you want the US to subdue the Dianetics Terrorists
> do you want the Dianetics Terrorists to defeat the US?
> If we cannot fight the murderous followers of L. Ron Hubbard using current
> standards of international law, should we let them win rather than violate
> standards? If the US wins it can always improve its standards and
> if the US loses, you better brush up on your scientology.
> To insist on legal niceties in an unprecedented situation is like driving
> your car off a cliff because the map you have says a road should be there.
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