Mr. Bleckley's article on detainee mistreatment is a beautiful example of how political correctness is undermining politics. According to the article, the Senate is trying to pass a bill regulating the treatment of detainees, stating that such mistreatment is illegal under the "fifth, eighth and fourteenth amendments." President Bush has responded that legality comes second to necessity. Well Mr. President, you're wrong. Legality comes second to nothing. Of course, if the president or the Senate actually read the Constitution they would realize that it is meaningless in this matter. The 11th amendment states, "The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state." This means the Constitution has no power in international jurisdiction.
So the governing doctrine in this matter is the Geneva Convention. The purpose of the Geneva Convention, however, is to define the conventions of warfare. Terrorism is, by definition, unconventional warfare. Any country that is attacked by unconventional means is no longer bound by the Geneva Convention when dealing with that particular enemy. So essentially, there are no legal limitations on the treatment of detainees. We may interrogate them however we see fit. Some, like Mr. Bleckley, have moral qualms about this. I wonder though, if his loved ones were sitting on his proverbial bomb, would his hands be so easily kept clean?
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