Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Death Squad John

John Hinderaker is at his barbarous, savage worst in a couple of recent posts at Power Line: Cold Fury and Kill, Don’t Capture, both from July 10th. In both of them, he advocates extra-judicial killing. Cold Fury starts out this way:
The terrorists have posted a video of their multiple desecrations of the bodies of Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker, the two American soldiers who were captured in Iraq. The video apparently shows one of the corpses being beheaded; thankfully, it appears that both men were already dead by that point.

The terrorists who were responsible for this atrocity need to be hunted down and killed. When Russian diplomats were murdered by Iraqi terrorists, Vladimir Putin publicly directed Russia's secret service to track down the perpetrators and kill them. And Russia doesn't even have any armed forces in Iraq.

Has our government issued a similar order? Not that we know of. We chose this war; we chose this battlefield; we chose to send men like Menchaca and Tucker to Iraq because we believed it was important to our security. Their brutal murders have exposed, once again, the face of pure evil that we are fighting in this war. They must be avenged, and the American public must know that they have been avenged, not forgotten.

What Death Squad John, as Spotty will henceforth refer to him, neglects to mention is that there were some peculiar circumstances surrounding the kidnapping and brutal murders of Menchaca and Tucker. This looks as though it was revenge for the rape and murder of family members by soldiers in the same unit as Menchaca and Tucker. An old-fashioned honor killing. Which doesn’t make it less brutal or wrong. But it does kinda explain things a little.

You know, Death Squad John, you and your ilk may have done all the choosing you refer to in the quoted language, but Spot did not. And Spot and many others do not want the US military to organize itself into hit squads to exact revenge for us. That’s exactly what Menchaca and Tucker’s killers did. Are you truly so frightened that you cannot see the irony of that?

And Spot cannot resist the spectacle of Death Squad John holding out Vladimir Putin as a moral exemplar.

Kill, Don’t Capture has the same bloodthirsty quality to it. Death Squad John refers with approval to another right wing nut who apparently agrees with DSJ that:
Violent Islamist extremists must be killed on the battlefield. Only in the rarest cases should they be taken prisoner. Few have serious intelligence value. And, once captured, there's no way to dispose of them.

That right, Death Squad John; take no prisoners! Shoot ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out!

Spotty grieves that a lawyer – an officer of the court sworn to uphold the law – would write words such as these. Among the laws that attorneys agree to uphold are, of course, our treaty obligations. That brings us back to those pesky Geneva Conventions, and in particular Common Article 3 which prohibits carrying out of punishments – and certainly executions – without a trial in a real court or tribunal with at least the bare minimum of due process. Just shooting everyone on the “battlefield” – or maybe in a house in the middle of the night – doesn’t quite do it, in spite of what Death Squad John, John Yoo, and Huckleberry Graham may say about the Geneva Conventions.

It’s high time we quit listening to pants shitters like Death Squad John and behave like real Americans.

Tags: advocates

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