Terrorism

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What Do You Do About The Terrorists?

"The question is begged immediately, as it was the other day at Brookings," said Wilkerson, “What do you do about the terrorists? What do you do about the people who struck us and killed three thousand Americans? What do you do about al Qaida?”

Well the first thing you have to admit to yourself is that George Bush, Dick Cheney and the rest of them did it wrong. They brought the war instrument out to deal with a group of terrorists that on any given day amount to no more than about 10 or 20 thousand people. Once that war instrument is taken out of its sheath, you have no choice, you have to use it, but then you do you must understand that you just justified those guys' existence in a way you never have before because in the old way you were treating them as criminals and in the new way you are treating them, no matter what you call them, as warriors; legitimate warriors. No matter how many times you say the opposite; certainly legitimate warriors in the eyes of 1.3 billion Muslims.

I've been reading the newly de-classified DOJ memos

The Department of Justice declassified those Office of the Legal Counsel memos from the Ashcroft/Gonzales years -- the ones the argued that the President had the right to do anything to fight terrorism, including suspending the First and Fourth Amendments, and the ones that argued that torture was OK.

I have always been struck by the absurdity of the notion that legal memoranda were to be regarded as top secret. I have concluded that the only reason that the memoranda in question were classified was that if real lawyers and law professors had read these things any earlier, the whole Bush/Cheney rationale for the notion that the President can do anything would have come crashing down around them. John Yoo is an intelligent guy, but these memos are not in the least bit convincing to anyone who has more than a smattering of knowledge of the cases being cited.