Phil Carter is still plugging away, proving that when an officer is newly minted, they take his brain away; when he makes captain, he gets the brain back but they take his tongue; and when he gets RIF’ed, goes to law school and starts working for Slate, they give him the tongue back but only if he agrees to drop the common sense, and back slowly away.
Today, Phil gives us this gem:
To some extent, I think the government should have the power to detain prisoners of war.
Wow, don’t you think you’re conceding a lot there, Phil, by saying that a government that captures enemy troops on the battlefield should (to some extent) have the power to detain prisoners of war? What’s next? Conceding that a government involved in a just war should, on some occasions, probably permit its soldiers to fire on enemy soldiers? I mean, how generous do you want to be to Chimpsky McBushHitler and Hal I Burton, his vice president?
In the absence of the ability to detain people captured on the battlefield, the alternatives are
(1) let the bastards go right after the battle, as if the fellow you just bayonetted in the leg lost a game of “capture the flag” and his mommy is calling him home for dinner;
(2) kill the bastards and don’t take prisoners at all, because, like a substantial number of fighters now turning up in Afghanistan, they are still hell bent on killing you and lifting your military head up to smile kindly upon them only exposes your jugular.
It’s this simple: catch and release is a great tactic for trout fishing, but it’s a lousy way to run a war on highly motivated, bloodthirsty enemies. Newsflash, Phil – just because Mahmoud doesn’t have intel value to us right now, doesn’t mean that he’s going to retreat to Tibet and hang with the Dalai Lama. (Big hitter, the Lama). As the Gitmo detainees are released, we will hear an increasingly common story of detainees turning up dead in firefights in Afghanistan or Iraq. Recent arguments that “a lot of these guys were running away when captured” simply don’t hold water; the fact that a man retreats one day, doesn’t mean he won’t fight the next, or slit your throat that very night as you sleep.
I want to like Phil, I really do, but he is proof that if a guy espouses the right beliefs, he can have a great career with the left-of-center elite, even if his work is far from first rate. That little non sequitur above is a great example. Phil’s writing career seems to be taking off, and that’s good for him, and I wish him well; I just wish he wouldn’t mail in chunks of his brain with each article. If he keeps up this trend of saying dumber and dumber things, while moving further and further left, he will soon make no sense at all. And you know what that means. Yep, Pulitzer bait.