• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds


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    Thursday, January 13, 2005


    I have a feeling that people reading this blog so far might label me anti-war and a libertarian.

    Today I heard from my friend Matt that Marty Lederman was quoted in the New York Times commenting on the recent court decision that the CIA was not bound by torture laws when acting outside the boundaries of the United States.

    Good. I have two concerns. First, why should US laws be inacted in the jurisdiction of other countries. If I steal in Vietnam, deport me, or try me according to Vietnamese laws. This may not be the most lenient option for me, but I chose to steal and I should pay the consequences. I guess a country should protect it's citizens, so deportation is more likely, and then the US could help Vietnam and prosecute me in US courts for stealing. But I disagree with going abroad and being bound by a multiplicity of laws which may possibly overlap and/or contradict each other.

    This has two implications. It simplifies the life of an expat, and it contradicts court decisions earlier which allow US citizens who engage in pedophilia abroad to be tried according to US laws. Although I believe pedophilia should be vigorously prosecuted, it seems logical to be, for example, "Socialist Republic of Vietnam vs. John Doe" argued in an American court or America gives up its right of protection and allows its citizen to be prosecuted under Vietnamese law.

    Second, yea for torture. I'm sick of America always trying to play good buddy/parent. Every parenting book tells you to be an authority figure and not your child's friend. Why should it be different with a country? If the CIA captures someone in another country implicated in malicious actions against the US, get his info. A robber gives up his right to life outside of jail when he steals, his right to remain silent when he speaks, and an enemy to our country gives up his rights when he engages in terrorist attacks.

    1 comment:

    MGO said...

    Provacative post, Triet. Mysterious man, indeed. I do support the power of investigators to apply duress to extract critical information, but not torture. But you've raised another question. What do you think of the Bush administration denying Geneva Conventions protections to prisoners that did not follow the rules of war? I think it's fair - since they chose not to follow the Geneva Conventions, the US should not be bound as well. But I'm curious what you think.