Monday, December 05, 2005

Rice Stands Firm on Black Sites

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued the first formal response to European accusations that the US is transporting detainees through their airspace to countries that may engage in torture while questioning those detainees. Rice's tone was both firm and uncompromising, essentially telling Europe that they should be grateful for America's hard stance against terrorism. (Times Online: Tough words from Rice leave loopholes).

The Secretary of State affirmed that the US does in fact practice rendition, transferring unlawful combatants to countries such as Egypt or Jordon where there are less restrictions pertaining to the methods used in extracting information. The practice of rendition was first openly implemented by former President Clinton in the mid-1990s, and was expanded by President Bush following 9/11.

Rice's statements were right on the mark and took precisely the tone required. What she essentially told Europe was to mind your own business. We're not violating your sovereignty but neither are we accountable to you. Her stock went up several points in my view after today's address.

Everything the US is doing with these detainees is in accord with international law and international treaties signed and ratified by Congress. Even the use of limited forms of torture is permitted by international treaty - including the Geneva Convention - when the information obtained prevents acts of terror. Unlawful combatants, by international treaty, may be detained without due process for the duration of hostilities. Unlawful combatants, clearly defined by the Geneva Convention, are not afforded any protections under that (or any other) treaty.

As Rice correctly stated, “the captured terrorists of the 21st century do not fit easily into traditional systems of criminal or military justice.” She continues in saying that these terrorists, “effectively stateless, owing allegiance only to the extremist cause of international terrorism”.

She is correct. In my view, whatever means are necessary to extract information from the scum that commit these acts of terror is perfectly acceptable. People that behead civilians - as these terrorists have done - deserve no protections under the law. People who strap bombs to their children and have them detonated in public locations deserve no protections. People who's sole mission in life is to terrorize the civilized world deserve no civil treatment.

I stated once before that the only outrage I have towards the use of black sites is the fact that the existence of these black sites was revealed. They are a necessary weapon in our global war on terror. Any information we are able to extract from these terrorists brings us that much closer to preventing the next outrageous act. I personally do not care how that information is extracted, nor do I care how these terrorists are treated once in custody so long as they live long enough for us to extract that information.

Kudos to Secretary of State Rice for setting the record straight and for not wavering an inch on this issue.

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1 comment :

Alan Fraser said...

It always amazes me how life-like Rice looks. It's incredible what they're doing with robotics these days.

Functionally, there's no change. Push the button and she spouts the company line. If there's any imagination in her, it's hidden so deep that even Bush couldn't find it. Whoops, reset on that...Bush has never been shown to be able to find anything.