News today from a survey of security analysts that says something pretty damn scary:
The world faces an estimated 50 percent chance of a nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attack over the next five years, according to national security analysts surveyed for a congressional study released Wednesday.
Using a poll of 85 nonproliferation and national security experts, the report also estimated the risk of attack by weapons of mass destruction at as high as 70 percent over the coming decade.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee surveyed analysts around the world in late 2004 and early this year to determine what they thought was the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction.
The study was commissioned by committee Chairman Sen. Richard Lugar (news, bio, voting record), R-Ind., whose nonproliferation efforts in Congress have been credited with helping the states of the former Soviet Union lessen their stockpiles of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
“The bottom line is this: For the foreseeable future, the United States and other nations will face an existential threat from the intersection of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction,” Lugar said in a statement.
But hey, lets shut down Gitmo and send these poor misunderstood folks home.
It’s hard to believe how the left can be so wrong on this situation. They want criminal trials to be held like these people are simple criminals. They are not. They are unlawful combatants and they have already had their trials and have been found to be enemy combatants. Those few deemed to have not been combatants have been released with about a dozen of those being found once again on the battlefield.
Every single detainee currently being held at Guantanamo Bay has received a hearing before a military tribunal. Every one. As a result of those hearings, more than three dozen Gitmo detainees have been released. The hearings, called “Combatant Status Review Tribunals,” are held before a board of officers, and permit the detainees to contest the facts on which their classification as “enemy combatants” is based.
Gitmo-bashers attack the Bush administration’s failure to abide by the Geneva Conventions. But as legal analysts Lee Casey and Darin Bartram told me, “the status hearings are, in fact, fully comparable to the ‘Article V’ hearings required by the Geneva Conventions, in situations where those treaties apply, and are also fully consistent with the Supreme Court’s 2004 decision in the Hamdi v. Rumsfeld case.
But really, the only point in keeping these unlawful combatants rather then executing them is gaining intelligence. Under the Geneva Conventions we have signed they are subject to execution once found to be unlawful combatants which isn’t hard since once a enemy is found fighting out of unifom they are automatically a unlawful combatant.
Ace brings up a question to those moonbats screaming about the interrogation tactics at Gitmo:
The implication, of course, is that we should treat them more or less kindly, and give them all the comforts that, say, prisoners in a medium security prison would enjoy. No harsh treatment, no stress positions, no withholding of comforts like central air, etc., except in cases of violent behavior.
But he refuses to address the central question: If you’re not going to employ any coercive tactics against terrorists, how the hell do you expect to elicit information from them — information, mind you, that will often (if not always) save innocent human lives?
Are there any coercive tactics he approves of? If so, it is his duty as someone who fancies himself an intellectual braveheart and straight-shooter to announce what levels of coercion he’s comfortable with and would approve of. The tactics he is currently so, well, gob-smacked about — denying air conditioning, chaining to the floor, playing loud rap music — seem fairly mild. So it does seem, at least by implication, that Excitable Andy approves of no coercive tactics against terrorists whatsoever during interrogations, apart from raised voices and lots of cursing.
Does he imagine that some impotent yelling and cursing will actually elicit any information? Does he think that terrorists will break just because some mean CIA contractor calls him a “coward” or even a “faggot”? (And would Andy approve of using that sexual hot-button word against a terrorist? I bet he wouldn’t, even if it actually were useful.)
There are competing moral concerns here. One is to treat those captured in battle (or through covert snatches) humanely; that’s the old “We have to be better than our enemies” line.
The other moral concern is to protect and save as much innocent human life as possible. Terrorists work in cells, in which they protect they small number of terrorists they know by name as best they can. If we’re to find other members of that cell — including the leader — we’ll have to do a bit more than yell and scream and jump up and down during interrogations to get those names, the locations of those safe-houses and meeting-places, those secret email accounts by which messages are exchanged, etc.
And each of those terrorists allowed to remain at liberty — to plot, to act, to facilitate murder, to detonate bombs in pizzarias or on school buses — represents some fraction of an innocent human life taken, vaporized, stolen by vicious thieves from the living world.
The moral question is posed in stark and unavoidable terms: to what extent is it moral to engage in otherwise-inhumane behavior to serve a humane cause? When do the ends justify the means? Certainly not always; but certainly, Excitable Andy, not never, either.
I think we all know how the wackjobs will answer buts its a great question anyways.
I spent an hour talking to Mr. Smith about his experiences behind the walls of Gitmo. Our first topic of discussion was the latest outrage: Senator Dick Durbin?s comments likening American?s activities at Guantanamo Bay with Nazi concentration camps:
RTG: I?d like to talk about the accuracy of Durbin?s comments.
Smith: What exactly were his comments?
RTG: The first allegation is that, the conditions were deplorable. The exact quote is taken from an FBI agent who reported what he saw?
Smith: Stop there. I have reason to doubt this already since in general, the FBI isn?t permitted carte blanche access to detainees. In fact, it?s pretty rare to find an FBI agent on the base.
RTG: Because we?re dealing with foreign?
Smith: Unless there is a direct threat against a US interest in the continental United States, the FBI isn?t normally called in for interrogation proceedings.
RTG: Duly noted. However, the report accuses the US of bad behavior, such as ? I?m quoting here ? ?chaining detainees hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor with no chair, food, or water.? Is that accurate?
Smith: I?ve never seen that particular tactic. It?s basically the same has having a detainee stand in an uncomfortable position for long periods of time. The point is to make him uncomfortable and to reward him when he starts to give up some information.
Smith: One thing you need to understand is that we?re dealing with a network of terrorists in Iraq, not just pockets of terrorists. In other words, they provide material support, share intelligence on coalition forces and give sanctuary to other terrorists. From the specific conspirator we?re talking about, we are ascertaining a collection of data relating to his associates. Furthermore, we can provide the troops on the ground with intelligence about planned attacks. It saves lives.
RTG: After you?ve exhausted all your resources, and the detainee has given all the information he has to give, what happens to him?
Smith: I?m sorry to say he?s released back to his native country.
RTG: What would you prefer happen?
Smith: I?d prefer to have the authority to hold these people indefinitely to prevent them from returning to the battlefield.
RTG: Can you tell us some of the tactics used on this detainee?
Smith: We keep him standing for long periods of time to induce stress. We play music, as we talked about. The use of disturbing imagery, such as pictures of 9/11, can be used.
RTG: In what way are pictures used?
Smith: They remind the detainee of the horrors of terrorism.
RTG: Right, but how specifically do you use the images? Do you post them on the interrogation room walls?
Smith: We can do that. We can also pin them to the detainee?s clothing, or on a chain around his neck.
RTG: Does that seem to work to finesse information?
Smith: It?s a very complex psychological effect, and yes, it does work.
RTG: Okay, what are some other of those kinds of tactics? Am I right in assuming they are supposed to humiliate him in some way?
Smith: Humiliate or merely make uncomfortable. Standing for the US anthem, discussing their sexual desires, having a female interrogators ask those questions which make them feel violated… all those techniques have proven useful.
RTG: How long does this go on?
Smith: It depends on a lot of factors.
RTG: Has there ever been a detainee who waltzed into Gitmo and sang like a canary?
Smith: Yes, definitely. I was given a detainee a few months ago who refused to take part in the intake process. I walked in, asked him his child?s name, and he burst into tears and started talking. He was just at his limit by the time I got him, so I got the glory.
There is much more at her site. Man, don’t know how those prisoners withstood all that torture, what with the standing and air conditioning. Poor widdle guys having to eat better food then the Marines get. Sigh.