Given the near-hysterical outcry in Congress whenever somebody turns the air conditioning on while captured Al Qaida murderers are in the room, the Pentagon is considering establishing wet squads to go out and murder the murderers. He who needs no additional traffic has pointed out that the story is full of innuendo and factual inaccuracies. Maybe so. But let’s take it as the truth. Is anybody surprised? It’s not worth it to try capturing Al Qaida. As I’ve pointed out before, taking prisoners is dangerous and dirty business, and risking your ass to do so is preferable to calling in an air strike only if there is some intelligence value to be gained. Captured Al Qaida can no longer be interrogated for intelligence and operational information in any meaningful sense of the word, and unless there is evidence sufficient to support criminal charges, Al Qaida captured in Iraq can no longer be held more than 48 hours. So it’s like a great big catch and release trout fishing program, except the trout are bloodthirsty bastards with RPGs and dull butchers knives, with which to slit the throats of unarmed aid workers.
So why waste time capturing them, when you could simply waste them? Yes, I agree it’s nasty. And yes, it denies their basic humanity, brings us down to their level, etc. But if you think the Al Qaida and Ba’athist scum should really be granted the full protection of the U.S. Constitution and laws, then you do to their victims what they do – you dehumanize the victims. You just do it in a much more polite, pious manner. Let’s not forget – they don’t follow the law, they don’t grant due process, and they not only view all their victims (and all of us) as animals, they view us as particularly evil, demon-possessed animals not worthy of living. Treating them better than they treat their victims, in many ways devalues the life of the victims. I mean really – we’re crying about these bastards being draped in an Israeli flag, and calling it torture? You let me get ahold of them for a week, they’d be getting force fed gefilte fish on matzo, and made to wash it down with Manishewitz.
So yes, I’m opposed to assasination generally – but in this case, I don’t see that we have a choice. Once again, the West has probably become too civilized to live. (And if you watch MTV for three minutes, you’ll conclude it’s simultaneously become to uncivilized to continue living. But that’s for another day).