Monday, June 16, 2008

Wrong guys

One of the foreseeable consequences of our bad decision to abandon precedent and allow the torture and mistreatment of prisoners is that a lot of mistakes were made.

Lord knows, the actual criminal justices system makes plenty of mistakes, despite all the protections of due process, legal assistance and presumption of evidence. It defies reason to think that the seizures on the battlefield and war zone will be more efficient. Now, obviously we don't want soldiers in combat to have to mirandize detainees. That's unreasonable, impractical and unnecessary.

But we therefore have to acknowledge the certainty that many of the people detained are not, actually, guilty of anything. Therefore it makes sense to treat all detainees as humanely as tactical conditions permit and the policy should be, as it always was before, to treat all prisoners properly. Again, this can't be emphasized enough. many of them will not only be innocent, but some will be allies and friends caught up by mistake. Of course, abusing friends, allies and neutrals may be a good way to turn them into enemies.

This news article explains some cases:

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