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View Diary: Wikileaks Documents Reveal Hazards of Blindly Relying on Secret Evidence (10 comments)

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  •  A serious question (0+ / 0-)

    What would you do about the truly dangerous terrorists who can only be discovered by methods and sources that must be protected?

    I think your diary is excellent, but I assume:
    1)  There are truly evil people out there who want to cause mass destruction.
    2)  Some amount of "black ops," should be used to increase our safety.

    While I think that the bush administration clearly erred much too far on the side of denying people rights, I am not sure how to draw the line, or how to understand where the line is being drawn at any time.

    Do you disagree with my assumptions?  If not, how would you solve the problem?

    Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

    by Actuary4Change on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 10:19:14 AM PDT

    •  I don't want to speak for Daphne, but (1+ / 0-)
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      I don't think she's denying that there are dangerous terrorists out there in the world, nor do I think she would argue that use of special forces or "black ops" should be prohibited in all cases.

      The problem is what happens during and after the point at which these alleged terrorists are caught.  Do you allow them legal counsel and access to the evidence used against them, or do you detain them indefinitely?  Do you bring them to a civilian court, or to a military commission?  Do you limit their prosecution only to their own individual case and treat them fairly in accordance with international treaties, or do you attempt to glean additional information from them using harsh interrogation standards?  I would expect that anyone who was truly concerned about human rights would choose the former option in each of my dichotomous questions.

      There isn't any way to be 100% free from the threat of terrorism, and no amount of special forces changes that.

      •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

        but it does seem to me to pose a problem when the only evidence for holding someone comes from methods that we would not want revealed in court, or to the attorney's for the accused.

        Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

        by Actuary4Change on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 10:48:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  sure, but that's not the fault of the defendant. (1+ / 0-)
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          I say that if the government is so sure that an alleged terrorist is an actual terrorist, then they should bring him to civilian court -- they think the evidence is strong enough, so what are they worried about?

          If the evidence they have is not strong enough to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, then the defendant must be acquitted.  Yes, that means that it's possible that a real terrorist might be freed, but that's the price we pay for adhering to the principles of law and justice, because the potential harm from doing that is far less than the harm that has been committed on undermining the rule of law.

        •  What would be an example (1+ / 0-)
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          of methods we (the government?) do not want revealed in court?

          And more specifically, in what ways that are different than CIPA standards for dealing with classified information, in court?

          What would be examples of classified information that couldn't be revealed to attorneys, who have specifically and necessarily gotten security clearance to deal with these cases?

          Our interrogation methods are pretty well known now. The degree and source of fabricated and tortured confession and accusation is well known in many cases.

          What secret, here, are we really protecting?

          •  The examples I would use (0+ / 0-)

            the identity of undercover operatives.

            the capabilities of electronic intelligence gathering.

            As a historical example, during WWII, Brittain went to great lengths to hide from the Germans the fact that they had broken the ENIGMA code.  If we had a similar situation today, how could we prosecute?

            Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

            by Actuary4Change on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 11:36:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe not following the rule of law (0+ / 0-)

      with respect to such dangerous terrorists will do more harm than good by undermining the very rule of law?

      Our whole system of law is based on the idea that it's worse to condemn one innocent man than to let ten guilty men go.  Letting those guilty men go will almost certainly result in harm, but less harm.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 11:39:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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