Quote of the day—Noam Chomsky

Government turns to clandestine terrorist operations when it is afraid of it’s own population.

Noam Chomsky
[I was reminded of this quote by various links to this article and related stuff.

But from actually reading the bill I don’t see what the big fuss is about:

Subtitle D—Detainee Matters


(a) IN GENERAL.—Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.
(b) COVERED PERSONS.—A covered person under this section is any person as follows:

(1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
(2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

This appears to be consistent with my understanding of the Geneva and Hague Conventions in regards to acceptable conduct during war. When someone aids the enemy, on or off the battlefield, they are subject to detention, interrogation, trial, and if not a privileged combatant, even execution.—Joe]

5 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Noam Chomsky

  1. Joe:
    Talked about this here.

    A lot of the FUD centers around section d: (d) Construction- Nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

    Apparently, I’m the only one who thinks that means that neither the President’s authority or the cope of the authorization for use of military force is either expanded or limited. that seems like a pretty radical interpretation, I know. Many also think that it applies to anyone anywhere, not just to those listed in paragraph b, which you cited.

    Seriously, I am being accused of being a fool, and a poltroon, and a sheep, all because I figure that, if the National Command Authority is looking for an excuse to start rounding up all us dissidents, this ain’t it.

  2. It is hard to believe that section (d) actually means anything when the rest of that section of the bill enumerates the how it is expanding the authority of the President. The way I look at it is, “Is it a good law no matter who is President, and no matter who we are at war with?” If the answer is no, then it is a bad law. And I am concerned about the wide possibility of abuse for this law, and I don’t understand why it is needed. Particularly why it is needed now. I am simply stuck wondering, “Cui bono”?

    Also, I have a huge issue with expanding how we allow the military to take custody and dispose of prisoners under the laws of war when there is not an actual war going on. As there is not a war, nobody can possibly be violating the laws of war. So any objection we have to their conduct can only be dealt with under criminal law, and foreign nations are not under the jurisdiction of the United States. Unless we want to annex Yemen, Iraq, Afganistan, etc. as US territories and claim that they are subject to the laws of the United States. Would solve our foreign oil problem.

  3. 1031(c)(1) “Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.”

    At what point do we declare a war against a school of political thought and military strategy over? When we’ve eliminated the last al-Queda cell? When terrorism is a fogotten concept? When Islam has been wiped from the collective memory of humanity? how long? It’s been 10 years already. In another 10? 20? Never?

    I’d also like to see less vague language defining covered persons, “associated forces” and “beligerent acts” can cover a lot of ground. Never give to the government any power you cannot take away.

  4. Because the only people who are defining belligerent act or direct assistance are the president and the military. Also, precedent. Allow this to pass unnoticed now and there is much less justification for stopping a different variant later.

  5. @ravenshrike, There are far, far more important things to worry about and spending time on this minor point takes time and energy away from the more important matters. It’s like rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

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