Thursday, October 14, 2010

Current Events 1

“Don’t Try Terrorists, Lock Them Up” by Jack Goldsmith is an article about the terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay. He discusses whether we should use military or civil court systems to try terrorists. Mr. Goldsmith refers to one detainee, Mr. Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani who has been there for twelve years. The quandary is that even if the terrorists are tried and found guilty, the United States does not feel comfortable in releasing them until the conflict with the terrorists is over. In the end, he concludes that perhaps indefinitely holding terrorists until the conflict is over is the best solution; that trying them in court is not actually permissible or in our best interests.

My opinion is that the Obama administration can barely stomach war and want to focus on the image trying the terrorists in Federal court will make. But I feel that in the end trying them in court will humanize the enemy and give voice to his reasons rather than reject his methods; ultimately supporting the terrorist mission. It is better to only try high value targets such as the Time Square Bomber or upper echelons of Al Quaeda where evidence is clear and the consequences of letting them go free is dire.

Trying the terrorists in court will help our nation vent its anger and frustrations over the entire problem. If the military courts try the terrorists most likely they won’t convict them since their rules of evidence are different and a little lax, but mostly because the terrorists probably haven’t broken the rules of war under which they would be tried. If the Federal courts try the terrorists then the classified information might come out in public, they won’t allow aggressive interrogations, and they won’t let them go even if acquitted because they would do it again and the conflict is not over. In the end the whole world will be watching what will do and they will act accordingly.

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