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National Review Online

 

What Have We Learned?

September 10, 2011

By Stephanie Hessler

We have learned that we should treat foreign terrorists as wartime enemies, not as criminal defendants.

Before September 11, terrorists were prosecuted as ordinary criminals. But 9/11 taught us that radical jihadists are not deterred by the prospect of a criminal prosecution. In the last decade, we changed our focus from punishing terrorists to preventing terrorist attacks.

After ten years of vigorous debate, there seems to be a growing consensus around specific counterterrorism policies designed to safeguard our national security. These include targeted killings, detention at Guantanamo, and military commissions. We have acknowledged that Mirandizing suspects to preserve evidence for a criminal trial may undermine the counterterrorism goal of gaining intelligence to thwart attacks and neutralize security threats.

President Obama seems to have learned these lessons as well: There is no longer talk of closing Guantanamo; Osama bin Laden was targeted and killed; military commissions have been reinstated after a two-year suspension; and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's military trial has been resumed.

Original Source: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/276724/what-have-we-learned-nro-symposium?page=4

 

 
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