Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Abandonment of Due Process
The terror policy of the United States is based on the idea that it is politically acceptable to kill anyone who identified as a terrorist. This is a good thing if we are infallible and if we can be assured of getting it right a hundred percent of the time.
Four dead Americans along the way? No problem. We are killing our way to victory.
What we are failing to understand is that mistakes happen. Innocent people are put to death. Innocent people have spent 20, 30, or more than 40 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. And why that doesn't inform our decisions is beyond comprehension. If we can't get it right in an American courtroom, how do we know we're getting it right, without due process, halfway around the world?
Do we have adequate safeguards here? Do we hold people accountable for their decision to pull the trigger? We seem to have adopted a strategy of carrying out our terror policy that involves wholesale slaughter. On our way to this paradise is a lack of due process. I am never going to mourn the killing of scumbags or terrorists, but I do mourn the fact that we have lost our way.
The proof of this is that no one reads posts about drones, and no one cares about the killing of people by remote control based on hastily-gathered intelligence.When we get to the end of this policy, there's nothing but a stack of bodies. There's a body count. If that's what victory is going to look like, then I can only conclude that we're chasing ghosts.
I don't know if there will be a day when a suspected terrorist will be killed on American soil by a drone strike. We know it is certainly possible. The American people won't care unless we end up getting the wrong person. Until then, we're going to be asleep on this subject.