A good read by the man who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others.
Should We Make a Treaty with al Qaeda?
The opposition to Alberto Gonzales seems to think so.
Since the early 1990s, al Qaeda has, at the very least, killed American soldiers and desecrated their remains in Somalia; urged the murder of all Americans ? civilians and military alike ? wherever on the globe they may be found; conducted simultaneous sneak attacks on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, resulting in the mass murder of over 240 civilians (the vast majority of them Muslims and non-Americans); killed 17 American seamen in an attempt to blow up the destroyer, the U.S.S. Cole; murdered 3,000 Americans in hijack attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; and spearheaded guerrilla wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that have killed well over a thousand American military personnel and countless civilians.
In addition to killing civilians in sneak attacks ? commonly, detonating bombs within nondescript cars parked or driven in broad daylight in densely populated areas ? they also secrete themselves among their once and future victims. They wear no distinguishing insignia to segregate themselves as a militia. They use mosques and schools and hospitals to plan and store weaponry. They feign surrender and then open fire on unsuspecting coalition forces attempting the civilized act of detaining, rather than shooting, them. As for treatment of their own detainees, their practice ranges from execution-style homicide to beastly beheading ? usually captured on film and circulated on the Internet to buck up the other savages while scaring the living hell out of everyone else.
So here's an idea: Let's make a treaty with them.
Let's reward this behavior with a grant of honorable-combatant status. Let's give them the same kind of benefits the Geneva Conventions reserve for soldiers who play by the rules: who identify themselves as soldiers; who don't intentionally murder civilians; who do not threaten schools, hospitals, and houses of worship by turning them into military targets; who grant quarter honorably; and who treat their captives with dignity and respect. Let's provide al Qaeda with "amenities such as dormitories, kitchenettes, sports equipment, canteens, and a monthly pay allowance in Swiss francs" ? the Geneva prescriptions for POWs that Lee A. Casey and David Rivkin Jr. outline with characteristic clarity in the current issue of National Review.
Of course, we'll have to find someone from al Qaeda able to sign the treaty....
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