TAKE NO PRISONERS -- LITERALLY
The latest New York Post column by Ralph Peters -- last seen accusing journalists of treason -- isn't going to get much attention, given today's Sotomayor and Prop 8 news, but it's kind of a doozy:
WE made one great mistake regarding Guantanamo: No terrorist should have made it that far. All but a handful of those grotesquely romanticized prisoners should have been killed on the battlefield.
The few kept alive for their intelligence value should have been interrogated secretly, then executed.
Terrorists don't have legal rights or human rights. By committing or abetting acts of terror against the innocent, they place themselves outside of humanity's borders. They must be hunted as man-killing animals.
And, as a side benefit, dead terrorists don't pose legal quandaries....
Does this mean we should have just summarily executed, say, Guantanamo detainee Mohammed Jawad, who was captured in Afghanistan at age 16 or 17, accused of throwing a grenade at an U.S. military vehicle, which would seemingly make him, at most, a guerrilla soldier, not a terrorist? Ah, but it's reported that he was trained by Al Qaeda ... in the use of grenades, a skill I'm sure the illiterate, non-English-speaking Afghan could have used to kill mass numbers of innocent Americans in their beds, somehow. Yeah, he's definitely too much of a super-ultra-mega-monster to be treated like, y'know, a prisoner of war, even though the only act of violence he's charged with was an act of war.
Sure, if you step back, the ordinary rules of war seem absurd -- in the midst of battle you shoot to kill, but killing a soldier captured alive is regarded as brutality. But that's a widely recognized and understandable practice -- except it's not understandable to Ralph Peters, if the enemy in question is not a uniformed soldier but a terrorist (and a terrorist is anyone we say is a terrorist). Then, well, kill him. Kill 'em all.
Rules of engagement? I got your rules of engagement right here.
The Peters column loses steam after that -- he keeps coming back to the notion that if we have to take in Gitmo detainees, they ought to go to Cape Cod, because, well, Kennedy-bashing never gets old and hey, you may as well go to urbanized coastal Massachusetts because it's not as if America has any high-security prisons in sparsely populated states or anything. But really, kill 'em all is a much better solution.