Friday, December 14, 2007

Terrorists in Jail

One area of argument in the ‘war on terror’ is that terrorists should be prosecuted as common criminals. To do otherwise is to give them a status that they do not deserve. Not to mention the risk incurred by placing them in facilities outside of the law.

The other side of the argument is that prison is a breeding ground for rebellion in all cultures. To place terrorists into the prison population is to run the risk of spreading the ‘religion’ that they believe so strongly in. They don’t carry their arms openly, do not wear uniforms yet use military weapons and tactics to prey on civilians, have no official government support. This argument believes that terrorists are similar to pirates. In past years, pirates were hung. Today, this is not really accepted, so interrogation and separation from society for the rest of their lives seems a more humane way of dealing with them. Besides, useful information may be obtained through means that would not be available to use on civilian prisoners. (I do not necessarily agree.)

One thing that is not commonly known: During World War II, Japanese soldiers were taught to give no quarter. They would kill themselves before being captured. It would be the height of dishonor to be captured. As a result, the United States captured few Japanese soldiers. Usually, they were captured because they had been knocked unconscious. Because they had received no training in prisoner’s rights, they did not know that all they had to say was name, rank and serial number. So it was not uncommon to obtain vital information that saved some of our men’s lives. Terrorists probably have better education in this regard. Have you noticed that the terrorist organizations are not screaming about their prisoners? I suspect that at least part of the reason is that it is so dishonorable. Because they do not have government support, their position is unknown. Giving them civil protections would change this equation drastically.

No comments:

Post a Comment