Friday, May 03, 2013

McCain and Abel

Nothing's wrong as far as I can see 
We make it harder than it has to be 
and I can't tell you why 
no, baby, I can't tell you why  
--I Can't Tell You Why, The Eagles 

Am I my brother’s keeper? 
--Genesis 4:9

If Cain were Abel 
he would give you a flower
--R.D. Laing 

In one of our many national divisions, we are riven by how we think terrorists should be adjudicated. Those who know our legal system can prosecute criminals effectively say try them in the Federal court system; opposing them are those who think a terrorist is a new kind of animal, and that we must twist ourselves into contortions in order to deal with them; usually this involves invoking an extrajudicial approach.

President Obama seems to favor the first approach, but he has been ineffective in imposing his view. In his first term he promised to close down the black hole that is Guantanamo Bay, yet it remains an open gulag. "Terrorist Mastermind" Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he of 183 waterboardings infamy, has still not been tried in court.

Leading the opposition, oddly, is former Prisoner of War and Arizona Rep. Senator John McCain, he who had previously led a principled argument against the use of torture on prisoners in the War on Terror, from both a pragmatic and a moral position. Now he is leading the call for military tribunals for terrorists on the grounds that they be re-branded "illegal enemy combatants", a fuzzy construction conferring a false military quality to their being. This is based in the false presumption that because terrorists are such an aberrant being, we must become aberrant to deal with them.

Fact: The U.S. is not involved in a low-intensity conflict in CONUS, is not in a state of insurgency nor is there a unconventional or guerrilla (UW/GW) warfare scenario either extant or ready to blossom into a full-blown war.  There has never been a combat action in the U.S. conducted by terrorists. Terrorists are simple craven criminals.

Sadly for McCain, his current posture directly opposes and perverts his previous objection of torture, namely, it would make us no better than them. It makes him seem disintegrated or worse, forgetful or a madman.  Instead, he is probably just pandering to the disjointed madding crowd, which amounts to the same thing.

The provenance of the terrorist is immaterial.  Whether U.S.-born,  immigrant or foreign national, a terrorist commits homicide, kidnaps, bombs, attempts murder and violates firearms statutes, ergo, they are criminals to be tried by U.S. courts of law. That's simple.

Next: Pt II McCain and Abel

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Blogger Peter of Lone Tree said...

The symbolism of Cain & Abel:
Cain was a grower of plants to eat.
Abel was a hunter of animals to eat.
Their conflict, however long and involving what peoples, is the triumph of one style of getting food over another.
From Wikipedia:
Modern scholars typically view the stories of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel, to be about the development of civilization, during the age of agriculture. Not the beginnings of man, but when people first learned agriculture, replacing the ways of the hunter-gatherer.

Friday, May 3, 2013 at 7:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger jo6pac said...

If you go into comments here harpie brings up the fact that 0 could release everyone now. This site is owned by Marcy Wheeler a lawyer and most the write here are also. It's always a fun read.


That's just how evil the whole system is.

Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 12:00:00 PM GMT-5  

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