The trial of 19 alleged al Qaeda members had been designed to showcase how serious Yemen was in the fight against terror. But the Islamic militants, accused of plotting to assassinate Westerners and blow up a hotel frequented by Americans, were all acquitted for lack of proof, the presiding judge ruled Saturday.Here is the kicker.
Several of the defendants did confess to having been in Iraq to fight U.S. troops there and had Iraqi stamps on their passport, the court heard. "But this does not violate [Yemeni] law," the judge said.Believe it or not, I am a softy - but even I have my limits. I am to the left of many when it comes to International Law, but now and then, this screams through my head from back in the day before legions in the West decided to queue up to hand in their balls.
"Islamic Sharia law permits jihad against occupiers," he said.
Muslim extremists remain popular, and the four-month trial of the suspected terrorists often produced elements of a farce, as an at-times raucous crowd followed heated discussions between the defendants and the judge.
All but one of the alleged militants have denied the charges, several stating they were arrested simply because they had fought in Iraq. But one defendant, Ali al-Harthi, acknowledged in court that he had returned home to perpetrate jihad, or holy war, against Americans in Yemen.
From behind the bars where they stood clad in blue prison uniforms Saturday, the 14 Yemeni and five Saudi defendants greeted the verdict with cries of "Allahu akbar" (God is great).
Oh, along the same line - via Powerline, Ralph has popped a circuit breaker again.
Killing terrorists during a conflict isn't barbaric or immoral - or even illegal. We've imposed rules upon ourselves that have no historical or judicial precedent. We haven't been stymied by others, but by ourselves.Seriously, what do we do in The Long War? Some nations are not serious when we let them take terrorists to trial (not just Yemen). We take them to GTMO, and they continue their war via lawyers. Do we follow Le Clerc's example and line them up and shoot them? Not in this century, not in this war. Don't like the concept personally. Would I be shocked about a modern version of what happened with the 41st Infantry Division in the Pacific in WWII, or what happened at 1130 April 29,1945? No, not shocked. Might even understand it. Roll something in a spider hole, or send someone down there to get them up?
The oft-cited, seldom-read Geneva and Hague Conventions define legal combatants as those who visibly identify themselves by wearing uniforms or distinguishing insignia (the latter provision covers honorable partisans - but no badges or armbands, no protection). Those who wear civilian clothes to ambush soldiers or collect intelligence are assassins and spies - beyond the pale of law.
Traditionally, those who masquerade as civilians in order to kill legal combatants have been executed promptly, without trial. Severity, not sloppy leftist pandering, kept warfare within some decent bounds at least part of the time. But we have reached a point at which the rules apply only to us, while our enemies are permitted unrestricted freedom.
Isn't it time we gave our critics what they're asking for? Let's solve the "unjust" imprisonment problem, once and for all. No more Guantanamos! Every terrorist mission should be a suicide mission. With our help.
Tough questions that should have an easy answer. Should.