At long last, I am pleased to say that we have an EXCELLENT new Attorney General in Washington D.C. (We already have an EXCELLENT AG in Washington State, in Rob McKenna.)
(Downtown Seattle, WA)
A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)
…the ability to question al Qaeda fighters is essential to preventing future acts of terrorism. As Judge Gonzales rightly noted during his confirmation hearing, the war on terrorism is essentially a war of information. The United States simply must use all available legal means to obtain the information and intelligence necessary to protect the American people from further terrorist attack — a position shared even by the witnesses at the hearing who were hostile to Judge Gonzales.
the recent confirmation hearing only reinforced the fact that Judge Gonzales has essentially won the debate over the Geneva Convention.
the Bush administration's legal interpretation of the Geneva Convention enjoys overwhelming support. It is not only well grounded in the text, structure, and history of the convention — as documented in authoritative international-law treatises — but has also been affirmed by three federal courts across the country and endorsed by the 9/11 commission and the Schlesinger report, as well as numerous legal scholars and international legal experts from across the political spectrum.
The Geneva Convention provisions make sense when war involves nation-states — if, say, hostilities broke out between India and Pakistan, or China and Taiwan. But to pretend that the Geneva Convention applies to Al Qaeda, a non-state actor that targets civilians and disregards other laws of war, denies the reality of dramatic changes in the international system.
A treaty like the Geneva Convention makes perfect sense when it binds genuine nations that can reciprocate humane treatment of prisoners. Its existence and its benefits even argue for the kind of nation-building that uses U.S. troops and other kinds of pressures in places like Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq; more nation-states make all of us safer. But the Geneva Convention makes little sense when applied to a terrorist group or a pseudo-state. If we must fight these kinds of enemies, we must create a new set of rules.
The Geneva Convention is not obsolete — nor, despite his critics, did Gonzales say it was. It protects innocent civilians by restricting the use of violence to combatants, and in turn give soldiers protections for obeying the rules of war. Although enemy combatants may have killed soldiers or destroyed property, they are not treated as accused criminals. Instead, nations may detain POWs until the end of hostilities to prevent them from returning to combat.
In that important respect, the Geneva Convention will become increasingly obsolete. Rather than attempting — as Gonzales' shrill critics do — to deny that reality, we should be seeking to address it.
No news channel is covering the whining and bitter partisan complaints that will be hurled at Mr. Gonzales throughout the day. And that's a shame as left wing senators on full display torturing the Alberto Gonzales nomination would give the American voter the opportunity to witness just how far left the democrats are now residing.
We should rejoice at their unequivocal affirmation of the universal human longing for freedom. Their enthusiastic embracement of the democratic process stands as a disciplinary repudiation of those glibly contending that certain cultures, such as Islamic ones, are inherently unreceptive to self-rule.
If 72 percent of the registered Iraqi voters had cast their ballots in a completely risk-free climate, we would be shouting to the rooftops with glee. But every single voter went to the polls knowing he or she could be killed. Does this not put the lie to the endless refrain that the Iraqi people reject us as "occupiers" instead of welcoming us as "liberators"? You can't tell me the Iraqi people aren't supportive of America's action in deposing Saddam Hussein when three fourths of them chose to participate in the democratic process.