Wednesday, January 05, 2005

No easy answers

It's going to take me awhile to get my mind around this one, but it seems we won't be able to avoid it.

The problem is what to do with detainees from GWOT, and this WaPo article outlines it.

Callimachus has some thoughts on the subject, and links to additional discussion. Here's a good point:

The issue here is a particular government's dealings with non-citizens who go to war against it, in or out of uniform. But that's no reason to shrug it off. Governments have a historical tendency to eventually treat their own the way they treat others. "Law and order" are paired in our national rhetoric, but there's always an element that would trade "law" for "order" any day. What did Jefferson say was the price of liberty?

I believe that would be "Eternal vigilance," but that certainly doesn't imply that we simply stand guard without occasionally going aggressively after those who threaten our way of life.

We must always strive to maintain a society where everyone is treated with dignity and judged impartially, but by what law do we judge jihadists? Callimachus also points out that the Geneva Convention is not written with our current situation in mind. Thus, coming up with a standard by which to try terrorists is an imperative, but that is no easy task.

More on this one later...