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View Diary: Enough with Hysteria on "Indefinite Detention" - Give Me Facts. (198 comments)

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  •  Something from overseas (detachment is good) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, ZappoDave, Geekesque

    compliments of Al Jazeera

    Gist being, that since the Hamdi case...


    ...what we've seen since then is that her (SC Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's) language was still not specified enough, like when do military operations in Afghanistan end? We've been involved in various phases in war there for now a decade and so there is still the implication that hostilities can be long-standing and permanent.

    And the way that both administrations [Bush and Obama] have interpreted that language is by using the language from the Hamdi case to essentially justify near-permanent detention, because hostilities are endless.

    What you see in the [NDAA] bill is the effort to use phrases from cases in order to justify the practice, but to strip out in various ways the meaning of the phrase that might have limited the reach of detention powers."

    •  This article largely describes concerns (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZappoDave, Geekesque, Fogiv

      about the slippery slope the administration has embraced in accepting dangerous ambiguities in the laws of war, but doesn't add anything on the specific question about what the current version of the NDAA does beyond describing the tactics it uses to push the disputed language.

      But just to step outside the narrow limits of this diary, I would like to address this broader issue by saying that we shouldn't lose sight that real ambiguities exist, and that in some cases there are no practical ways to eliminate them.  We cannot allow the fact that some ambiguities are purely interest-based to make us deny the existence of genuine ambiguity.

      For instance, legal war must be an act of self-defense, but the individual actions within it do not require a standard of self-defense - i.e., a soldier doesn't have to claim that someone he judges to be an enemy soldier was pointing a gun at him to justify shooting him: All that's needed is for them to reasonably conclude the other guy is an enemy soldier.

      This gets very complicated with networked international guerrilla terrorism.  Many countries simply have no control over their own territory, or else insufficient control that makes law enforcement a moot or dubious proposition.  Institutions of power will naturally try to deal with ambiguity by increasing that power, and the only way to prevent that is to offer superior alternatives - e.g., by evolving national and international oversight mechanisms to designate what is and is not a battlefield rather than just extending it to the whole world.

      So there are real ambiguities involved, and the only way the true villains can get away with exploiting them is if we fail to adequately address them.

      A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it. --The First Law of Mentat

      by Troubadour on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 04:44:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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