RANGER AGAINST WAR: Yellow Journalism for Yellow Actions <

Friday, July 28, 2006

Yellow Journalism for Yellow Actions

This is a letter I posted to the WSJ, in response to their indictment of Germany for releasing terrorism suspect Motassadeq:

"Osama in Genevaland (7/13/06)", which implies the Germans are soft on terrorists because of their recent release of convicted terrorist Motassedeq, is jingoistic yellow journalism at it's best.

The criminal justice approach combined with a vigilant police and intelligence function is the only credible response to terrorism. A justice system such as our current one, that seems more concerned with keeping military and government secrets than exercizing its judicial powers, is not democratic but dictatorial in nature. Government secrets lead to secret courts and secret police--isn't this why we opposed the Nazis and the Communists?

By declaring a War on Terrorism, this administration has conferred legitimacy upon terrorists. But terrorists are not legitimate soldiers. Terrorists are criminals--not warriors --and must be treated as such. This is why we have a Federal Code and court system. The prisoners in Gitmo, Afghanistan and Iraq were not arrested, but rather were captured by the U.S. military within the borders of their respective countries following our invasion. This is in juxtaposition to Mounir El Motassedeq, who is a terrorist, and carries out his activities off the field of battle and across international lines.

Germany rightly prosecuted him, but it was the U.S. that refused to provide needed evidence for prosecution of the case. This is why the Germans were forced to release him.


Unlike a Taliban rifleman--who is a POW and certainly not a threat to U.S. security--a terrorist like Motassedeq poses a grave threat to all civilized countries. Yet U.S. policy treats the rifleman as a criminal, while refusing to assist in the prosecution of a true terrorist. One is a criminal, and one is a POW. Why is this so hard for this Administration to grasp?

The Journal concludes by smugly stating, "Germany may be able to afford such legal exquisiteness (such as the release of a suspected terrorist when lacking sufficient evident to prosecute); as the main terror target, the U.S. and its citizens cannot." First, we are not the main terror target; one needs merely to scan global terrorist attacks over the past decade or so to realize that. Next, if we cannot afford "legal exquisiteness"--ours, a country based on adherence to the rule of law--then we do not deserve the title of "democracy".

The U.S. would be wise to follow the European lead in applying democratic concepts to the problem of terrorism.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 7:41:00 PM GMT-5  

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