From: Andrew Clough (
Date: Thu Oct 25 2001 - 14:31:12 MDT

At 11:43 AM 10/25/2001 -0400, you wrote:
>Samantha Atkins wrote:
> >

> > Mike Lorrey wrote:
> > > Prisoners of War do not have 5th Amendment rights, since their actions
> > > are not considered 'crimes' per se. Moreover, nobody has a 5th amendment
> > > right in respect to knowledge of events yet to occur.
> >
> > Citizens and foreign nationals pulled in in an open sweep on no
> > grounds or very weak grounds or their nationality or the
> > ethnicity or their religion or age and gender or some
> > combination ... are "prisoners of war"? Excuse me?
>In a war of insurgency, as this one is, there are no front lines to
>'capture' prisoners on. This ain't no Stalag 13, no "Hogan's Heros",
>lady. Wake up and smell the patchouli. The enemy has infiltrated our
>homeland, they walk among us, dress like us, and try to act like good
>little westernized muslims.
>Since this is NOT a civilian criminal case. This is a war. They ain't
>the same thing. Intelligence collection, especially in preventing more
>war crimes, is of paramount importance.

         Though we disagree about quite a few things, I'm afraid I agree
with Samantha here. Coercing information out of these prisoners would not
be a good idea. First of all, If these people were prisoners of war they
would be protected by the third Geneva convention. However, war has not
been declared, and these were not troops "captured at the front lines,"
"openly bearing weapons," or many of the other things that have to be true
for somebody to be a POW. Where does that leave us? These people are
technically civilians.
         Because Bin Laden's network operates on the "need to know"
principle I doubt that any of people we are holding have information that
could be used to prevent other terrorist attacks, at least in the short term.
         Until these people are convicted they deserve the protection of US
law, including the 5th amendment. After conviction criminals do have to
give up some rights, and I could live with the use of truth serum so long
as it wasn't "cruel and unusual punishment," just so long as we are dead
sure that these people really were terrorists. The evidence against these
people was pretty impressive, but the stuff that I know about was
circumstantial, and so not enough to violate constitutional rights over.

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