Friday, November 19, 2010

Land of the free

Via ThinkProgress, Michael Goldfarb apparently wanted recently convicted terrorist Ahmed Ghailani executed while in CIA custody:

Maybe Goldfarb has taken Glenn Beck’s advice a little too seriously. The radical Fox News host once said that as President, he wouldn’t detain terror suspects, he’d “shoot them all in the head.” Perhaps Goldfarb is an avid National Review reader, where one writer once said that all Gitmo detainees should be let go and then killed. Or maybe Goldfarb has been listening to his former boss over at the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol, who said last year of Maj. Nidal M. Hasan after his attack on the Fort Hood Army Base: “They should just go ahead and convict him and put him to death.”
It seems execution without trial is fairly popular in conservative circles.

Yep. Conservatives really are concerned about liberty and justice. As long as your definition of liberty is low marginal tax rates.


  1. I'm going to defend Goldfarb, but I don't think your observation is a fair critique of conservatives. Surely there is a difference between how one treats one's own citizens versus how one treats non-citizens. Are we obligated to provide universal health care to the rest of the world if we offer it to ourselves?

  2. To me, there's a difference between providing universal health care and summary execution. Common decency and a modicum of morals would seem to dictate that we avoid executions without trial, whether or not the subject is an American citizen. And to be sure, it's not like these conservatives (and many Democrats, though I hesitate to call them liberals) are particularly interested in upholding the due process rights of American citizens either. See Awlaki and, as the quote says, Hasan.

    There's a clear difference between killing someone on the field of battle and executing them off the field of battle and/or while in custody. Unfortunately, my position seems not to be the position of the Serious People in Washington.