Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Schrodinger's War

From Jonathn Schwarz over at This Modern World comes our latest term for the Global War on Terror/Struggle Against Global Extremism/Battle Opposing Nouns: Schrodinger's War.

One exciting thing about America today is we all get to experience quantum mechanics on a huge scale. Just as Schrodinger’s cat is both alive and dead at the same time, the United States is simultaneously at war and not at war.

For instance, here’s the Assocated Press just now on Jose Padilla:

A divided Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from Jose Padilla, held as an enemy combatant without traditional legal rights for more than three years, sidestepping a challenge to Bush administration wartime detention powers.

It’s not surprising they’d put it this way. After all, Bush & co. tell us we’re at war and he’s a wartime president every two seconds.

But here’s the thing: according to the Attorney General of the United States, the person prosecuting Padilla, Congress has not declared war:

GONZALES: There was not a war declaration, either in connection with Al Qaida or in Iraq.

It’s easy to understand why the Bush administration wants it both ways: we’re at war because that gives them more power…but we’re also not at war because they would then have treaty obligations, such as under the Geneva Conventions.

And so Jose gets shafted, and has to start all over again - and remember, he goes right back to jail even if he's found innocent, whch I'm sure will inspire his defense team to greater effort.

JENNY MARTINEZ: The president's order certainly doesn't say he's not an enemy combatant. And there is nothing the government has said that would lead us to believe that they no longer consider him an enemy combatant or that they couldn't just return him to the military brig any time their[sic] want.

They don't like how the criminal trial is going, if they lose some motions in the trial, if he gets acquitted, there's nothing in what the government has said to indicate that they wouldn't just take him right back to the brig. In fact, that's either what they've done or threatened in other cases.

Is Padilla a terrorist? I remember that the people who say so are also the people who said Iraq had WMDs. I rememer something about being greeted as liberators. Flowers were mentioned. Oh, you know I could go on all day like this, which is why it so surprises me that anyone still believes them.

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