RANGER AGAINST WAR: Canadians Get It Right <

Monday, June 05, 2006

Canadians Get It Right

The AP article, "Canada Foils Terror Plot with Arrest of 17 Suspects," by Beth Duff Brown, is a wonderful accounting of what I've said for years: terrorism is a criminal activity that can be dealt with on all levels by appropraiate police functions. Canadian police handled this case as do the French, Italian and Germans, when dealing with terrorist threats in their respective countries. That is, by apprehension and incarceration of the supects, followed by timely judicial action.

In speaking of those apprehended, the assistant police commissioner actually said, "(They) had the capacity and intent to carry out these attacks." These are precisely the criteria one must use when making a realistic assessment of a potential terrorist threat. The concepts are not interchangeable--capacity does not equal intent; intent does not equal capacity. Without the presence of both, one does not have a credible threat.

The suspects were arrested and will be charged and dealt with through the legal system in a transparent and democratic manner. This is the opposite of the opaque U.S. approach, which would have us believe that the suspected terrorists gain an advantage when the democratic model is followed.

Unfortunately, President Bush has never justified this position, nor do U.S. authorities seem to think that our citizens can handle the facts.

Canada is to be commended for not throwing the suspects into military solitary confinement without being charged, nor tortured them or placing them in open-ended incarceration absent charges. It also appears that this arrest was accomplished without indiscriminate screening of Canadian phone calls, as well. Chat rooms were monitored, but there is no reasonable expectation of orivacy in a chat room. Also, Canada does not enjoy a Bill of Rights, as we in America are supposed to.

Our Northern neighbors have demonstrated in a big way that terrorism is a manageable threat that can be neutralized in a calm and deliberate manner, without sacrificing the civil rights of the populace. I can think of no better way to deter these criminals than by unwavering adherence to democratic principles, and the might of such conviction and example. Ferret out these perpetrators, and have them stand trial by the light of day. Sunshine is a great sanitizer, as Oliver Wendall Holmes said.


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