Comments: Jose Padilla

It would have been better had President Bush gone to Congress in late September 2001, to ask for a declaration of war against all states which are, and had recently been, supporting international terrorism. But even that would not have been the perfect solution. The Jihadist militants are not necessarily fighting under the flag of the state, but rather under the banner of their own violent, Salafist Islam. Thus, I favor the three-front approach: continue to wage war in those specific geographical areas where Al-Qaida fighters are or have been concentrated (Afghanistan), use International police to capture those who work in cells far from any battlefield, and fight their theology with the aid of professional theologians--including "moderate" Muslims--who understand that the militant Salafist theology is unauthentic, unconvincing, and unappreciated by the vast majority of people throughout the world.

Posted by Tim Roberts at June 2, 2004 05:30 AM

You're right, Tim; we have to use all available tools to fight terrorism, but the issue here is: what do we do when we apprehend terrorists? They aren't POWs because they have no allegiance to any particular country, they aren't in uniform so technically they are spies or saboteurs, and American citizens caught in that situation are technically traitors.

There is also a more sobering thought: if those caught cannot be detained without endangering intelligence sources, a strictly pragmatic approach would dictate that it would be better to kill them outright rather than capture them.

Posted by Debbye at June 3, 2004 05:17 PM

I must plead ignorance concerning the letter of the law concerning what we "must" do with captured terrorists. Hopefully, our forces are not required to immediately publicize the 5 "w's" and 1 "h" of every single detainee. Hold them as long as possible, get every bit of actionable intelligence we can, photograph, print, and DNA them, then turn them over--happy and healthy--to the liberals as a door prize [sarcasm-riddled].

Posted by Tim Roberts at June 3, 2004 05:30 PM

LOL, I like your solution! No way would the liberals want to handle that hot potato. Canada has turned people like Jabarah and possibly Arar over to the US (modern-day Pontius Pilates, perhaps?)

I don't think there are actually any laws specific to captured terrorists which is why Moussaoui was not properly investigated when he was first picked-up. The military tribunal option was used during WWII for captured German spies and sabateurs, but I'm a bit lean on that aspect of US history myself.

Posted by Debbye at June 3, 2004 07:43 PM