RANGER AGAINST WAR: Waffling on Terrorism, or, WOT <

Friday, September 29, 2006

Waffling on Terrorism, or, WOT

Ronald Reagan once quipped in a presidential debate: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? The question is still a good one, and the latest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) says that when it applies to terrorism, the answer is "No". Furthermore, why has there been only one NIE since 2002 on the topic of terrorism? And nobody needs a NIE to know that the economy cannot sustain our WOT.

Following are some personal observations on the terror front--

(1) The NIE indicates that the U.S. is not safer as a result of the Iraq invasion and occupation. This NIE is either [A] incorrect, or [B] correct.

If incorrect, then why do we have intelligence agencies, especially if they are not producing better data after the vaunted intelligence reorganization following 9-11? If correct, then why are we still in Iraq? Personally, I think the NIE is being correct because it mirrors my view;, so, why are we there, shooting ourselves in the collective foot?

(2) Assuming the absurd--that the U.S. military killed every man, woman, child and goat in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the problem of terrorism would still exist. The death of Osama bin Laden will not end the threat, either.

(3) Remember when Habeas Corpus was a bulwark of Constitutional law?

(4) In the past, the Bush administration had the good graces to lie about torture. Now it's being institutionalized, as long as rape or mutilation is not involved. I'm proud of these exceptions; otherwise, America could be denigrated for allowing inhumane treatment of captured persons.

(5) As a result of #4, American soldiers don't have a match's chance in a windstorm to survive capture in either Iraq or Afghanistan. If there was any chance of survival before, it is surely gone now. The new U.S. torture policy is a death sentence for captured U.S. military personnel.

(6) Why is the FBI no longer used to interrogate terror suspects? Isn't the FBI the U.S. lead agency for enforcing U.S. code? The FBI can arrest, detain and extradite.

(7) How did the CIA become the lead agency to question terror suspects? If the CIA questions suspects, what is the legal basis for this in international law? The CIA cannot arrest and detain, since they are not law enforcement agents. (If I were in the FBI, I'd file a grievance that if the CIA can torture, then the FBI should be allowed to, also. Fair is fair.)

(8) If the National Security Agency (NSA) intercept program is as efficient and all-encompassing as we are led to believe, then why do we need to rely on torture?

(9) President Bush recently said the flow of terror funding had been staunched due to his policies. Does this fund interdiction include the billions of dollars earned from the Afghani drug trade?

(10) President Bush also recently said that all U.S. presidents from Washington on used military tribunals. Historically, I doubt this statement is true, except during the post-Civil War period. What military tribunals is he referring to? Perhaps this is secret info, protected for the national good, and it was kept out of my civics books.

(11) The U.S. Congress may/will pass the legislation concerning torture, military commissions and habeus corpus, but this does not imply moral correctness nor compliance with international law.

The U.S. is out of step with the rest of the world, and our military will pay the price.

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