Friday, January 30, 2009

The Confusion Over Renditions -- A Commentary

From The Boston Globe:

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S order to close the Guantanamo prison provoked comments from the right about the risks of bringing terrorist prisoners to the United States. His order banning torture, but not outlawing "extraordinary renditions," caused some on the left to complain. Both groups of critics, though, either overlook relevant parts of recent history or simply get that history wrong.

Before George W. Bush, there was no real question about what the United States should do with people who broke American anti-terror laws. It did not matter whether they were arrested in the United States or overseas. In the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, for example, one suspect, Muhammad Salameh, was caught in New Jersey. Another, Ramzi Yousef, was caught in Pakistan. Upon arrest, both were given their Miranda rights, arraigned before a US magistrate, given a free lawyer appointed by the court, tried and convicted before a jury, and sentenced to the "Supermax" prison in Florence, Colo.

Read more ....

My Comment: Richard Clarke's points are very misleading. Because witness names and evidence had to be produced in the criminal trials, situations arose in which witnesses simply disappeared, and/or the means to collect intelligence was disclosed. Bin Laden's use of a satellite phone is a case in point. The tribunals protect these witnesses and the means of how intelligence is collected.

If 9/11 taught us anything, we cannot go back to the legal structures of the past to combat these international organizations and groups.

No comments: