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Re: More Questions than Answers

At 04:21 PM 12/15/2001 -0600, John S. Quarterman wrote:

>Can tell me any fact or proposition that is accepted and believed by
>everyone on this planet?

No, of course not.  My whole point in this most recent go-around was to 
determine what kind of trial would be accepted by Sinclair (and Tim when he 
later joined the fray).  I believe that both of them have made it quite 
clear that to obtain a conviction in my hypothetical terrorist trial, the 
source of the evidence must be compromised even if it means the death of 
that source.

>But to your main point, look at trials of organized crime figures, for
>example.  Another prominent example has already been cited on this list:
>the Nuremberg trials.

I don't think that the Nuremberg trials are an example of a trial in which 
there was a need to protect the source of the evidence.  Inside witnesses 
in the organized crime trials were placed in the witness protection program 
so the source of the evidence was compromised and could not be used to 
prevent further crimes.

Earlier JSQ wrote: You seem to equate "open public trail" with "negotiate 
or appease such evil people."

I responded:  I did not intend to equate these two different aspects of the 

>Indeed, they are two different issues.  I was simply puzzled by how they
>so often seem to be mentioned in the same posting with little distinction
>between them...As to negotiation or appeasement, I certainly haven't heard 
>many people calling for either of those; I certainly wouldn't, and 
>Sinclair didn't.

As I attempted to explain previously,  it was just my opinion of what won't 
work to prevent future terrorism.  I did not say that Sinclair proposed 
doing it and I did not intend to imply that he did.  Perhaps my opinion of 
what won't work was irrelevant to Sinclair's question of what will 
work.  If so, please forgive me.

>It may be useful to further divide the second issue:
>  a. what to do about actual terrorists
>  b. how to deal with the conditions that mae it easy for terrorists to 
> recruit
>It's in the context of b. that I keep mentioning the Marshall Plan as an
>example of something that worked in the past.

A Marshall Plan approach to a country such as Afghanistan would probably be 
helpful.  However, a number of the WTC terrorists came from Saudi 
Arabia.  I don't think that a Marshall Plan solution is needed or would be 
helpful in the case of the Saudis.  In any case, we will be accused by the 
successors to bin Laden of attempting to force our unwanted culture and 
presence on people who do not want it.  The people of Germany and Japan 
were ready for peace and needed the help to maintain the peace.  The 
terrorists do not want peace, they want chaos.

>Also in the context of b., I think a public trial according to
>internationally recognized standards would probably do a great deal to
>discourage further terrorist recruits, because the terrorists would very
>likely say and do things that would discredit themselves.

Remember that the supporters of bin Laden have said that his latest video 
tape, which certainly discredited him in my eyes, is a fake concocted by 
the CIA. Might not a budding terrorist consider the words of the defendant 
(which might discredit him in the eyes of rational people) to be the words 
of a martyr and incite him to follow in the footsteps of such a hero?

>Even more importantly, it would demonstrate that these particular terrorists
>failed to frighten the democracies into abrogating their principles.

I am not sure that a "public trial according to internationally recognized 
would accomplish this more than our actions in Afghanistan have.  The 
terrorists would probably sit around the table and laugh about it and then 
conduct a quick "trial" of my hypothetical source.

But I am somewhat flexible in this matter.  Work out the details of the 
trial with Sinclair and Tim who are more principled than I.

Take care,

Richard Huseth

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