Wednesday, October 04, 2006

War by Other Means

"If the views of the Bush administration's critics were to prevail, and we were to treat September 11 and other terror attacks as crimes, our system would grant al Qaeda terrorists better legal treatment than that afforded to our own soldiers.
...Our founding fathers established this constitutional system because of their concerns over the power of the government. It expresses a worry that the national government would use otherwise unlimited powers to engage in the suppression of political opposition. Sharing that suspicion, many legal conservatives have consistently pressed for the decentralization of power over domestic affairs. But it would be a mistake to believe that the Constitution's framework for criminal justice should apply to war. The former involves the fundamental relationship between the people and its government, and so ought to be regulated by clear, strict rules defining the power given by the principal to its agent. The latter, however, involves a foreign enemy who is not part of the American political community, and so should not benefit from the regular peacetime rules that define it. Applying criminal justice rules to al Qaeda terrorists would gravely impede the killing or capture of the enemy, as well as compromise the secrecy of the United States's military efforts."

-- Excerpt from John Yoo's "War By Other Means"

John Yoo, a professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). A Korean-born American, he is best known for his work from 2001 to 2003 in the United States Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel and helped formulate many of the Bush administration's policies for dealing with enemy combatants.

In the news: ++ Two Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan ++++ Hijacker of Turkish jet surrenders ++++ Disenchantment with Hamas grows ++++ North Korea's nuclear test plans trigger alarm ++++ Nigeria: Militants Launch Fresh Attack ++++ IRA's efforts to dismantle military structures are praised by watchdog ++++ Ramadan violence in Iraq leaves at least 52 dead ++++ Islamic Radicalism under the Cover of Political Pragmatism – The Islamic Liberation Party ++++ Hezbollah’s Global Reach ++++ CENTAF airpower summary ++++ Canada Sending Tanks, Extra Troops to Afghanistan

Smoke billows from a burning armoured vehicle of a Canadian military convoy in Kandahar on Tuesday. Taliban insurgents killed two Canadian soldiers and injured another five during an attack in the Panjwaii district. (AP / Allauddin Khan)

The Russian-Georgian crisis: Many Georgians resent Russia and its influence in Abkhazia and another breakaway region, South Ossetia. + Georgia urges Russia to halt navy drills ++++ Q&A: Russian-Georgian ties


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