17 April 2009

Terrorism = Crime

Recently released memos confirm what we all already knew: the United States has been in the business of torturing human beings ostensibly for reasons of national security. We know that terrorism, while it leads to an unnecessary loss of life, is far from a grave threat quantitatively [PDF] or, I would argue, qualitatively. Some of the prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay did not appreciate Obama's directive that the camp be closed and "prosecutions" suspended - they wished for the death penalty as they wanted to be martyred. Methinks that the obvious solution, which should have been implemented form the get-go, is simply to treat terrorists as criminals. Accuse them of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, vandalism, and so on. Grant them the full protection, scrutiny, and punishment of the criminal justice system. We all know that that system is far from flawless; but to treat terrorism as a seaparate category has already brought out the worst aspects of liberal political community.

Here's hoping to better days for our liberal project?

1 comment:

Luke said...

Agreed. But that would be "transnationalism." And we couldn't have that now, could we.