Monday, December 13, 2004

Self-Reliance against Terrorism

The WaPo article in the title describes how and why Germany is useless in the war against terrorists. German investigations have uncovered much evidence of terrorist activity, especially in the infamous Hamburg cell involved in the 9-11 attacks. Yet the Germans have failed to prosecute ANYONE successfully. Thus, the WaPo reports, Germany is kicking out some terrorists and sending them to countries where they can be successfully prosecuted:

After three years of failing to hold anyone accountable for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Germany is preparing to expel accused members of the Hamburg-based cell that led the hijackings and send them to countries with more aggressive records of prosecuting terrorism.

Although two criminal trials are still pending, German officials, legal experts and lawyers involved in the cases said the massive investigation into the al Qaeda cell has been stymied by this country's lax anti-terrorism laws, unfavorable judicial rulings and a lack of evidence, making it increasingly doubtful that anyone here will be convicted.

As NRO's Jim Geraghty notes, this failure shows how ineffectual the liberal prescription for terror-fighting is:

If Motassadeq [the Hamburg cell leader] walks, how many lines of dovish conventional wisdom will that damage?

* Terrorism is primarily an intelligence and law-enforcement issue.
* Military tribunals are the wrong tool for dealing with terrorism - criminal courts can handle the various complications, challenges, and burdens of proof.
* Whenever possible, the U.S. should extradite its prisoners in Guantanamo Bay to their home country.
* European governments understand the threat of terrorism as well as, if not better, than the United States.

All those concepts were rubbish to begin with and they continually are disproven by events.

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