Thursday, November 20, 2008

Judge orders release of 5 terror suspects at Gitmo

"The Justice Department last month backed off the embassy bombing accusations, but said the six men were caught and detained before they could join terrorists' global jihad. The Justice Department said it needed to be proactive against threats, especially in the months after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

The detainee's lawyers denied the men ever planned to join the battlefield. Even if they had, the lawyers argued, they did not fit Leon's definition of an enemy combatant because they never joined the terrorist fighters.

The cases of more than 200 additional Guantanamo detainees are still pending, many in front of other judges in Washington's federal courthouse."

Think very carefully about this. It means we are going back to a system of treating terrorism like just any other crime, mainly in that the crime has to be committed before any law enforcement action can take place. It's very rare in this country or elsewhere that you read about people jailed for planning to commit a murder or robbery. While there are laws that could be brought to bear in such situations, it just isn't practical to do so. Why? Because doing so would in almost every case involve law enforcement people "spying" on the populace. Since 9/11 not so much the law has changed, but the methods and emphasis have been changed to give law enforcement people a bit of wiggle room. It may well be that thousands of lives and millions of dollars worth of infrastructure have been saved in the process.

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