Abdulmutallab

 I should find a nice comprehensive article to link to about the interrogation of Abdulmutallab.  This one from Nick Bauman (filling in for Kevin Drum) is a little bit dated, but gets the main points across.  Mostly, I just want to say how sick I am of the stupid Republican fear-mongering on this issue.  God forbid we should give a terrorist a lawyer when we can pull off his fingernails.  You don't get to pick and choose who the Constitution applies to.  This is like the morons who support the 1st amendment until somebody says something they disagree with.  The Constitutional protections for those under prosecution protect all of us.  We don't get to just say, "oh, this is a really bad guy, let's skip the lawyer and fair trial business for him."  Well, if you're the Bush administration or their flunkies, I guess you do say that.  Slippery slope arguments are certainly over-done, but it is quite clear that once you start picking and choosing who gets Constitutional protections, you've set an extremely dangerous precedent.  Furthermore, its just dumb from a policy perspective as the Abdulmutallab case makes clear.  We've gotten good intelligence from him precisely because we did not torture him and his father worked with US authorities to help get him to cooperate.  Any chance that would've happened if we sent him to some secret site for "harsh interrogation."  Not to mention, all the torture methods we use were designed to elicit false confessions.  Thus, one of the things that upsets me about all the torture apologists and their Fox-news/sheep followers, is that not only is this policy immoral, it is demonstrably stupid. 

 

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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