Tuesday, December 05, 2006

To the Moon, Enemy Combatants

The recent pictures from a video of Jose Padilla, the alleged enemy combatant accused of plotting to set off a "dirty bomb," were truly appalling. I was astonished by how lax the security seemed to be. Although he had on dark goggles and earphones to block his vision and hearing, had his hands and feet shackled and was surrounded by guards, it just didn't seem like enough was being done to protect us from this dangerous man. If you recall Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal Lecter was wearing a hockey mask and was completely tied down, and even then he managed to escape. David Blaine would be out of those restraints in a second, especially if he had already negotiated a percentage of television rights and T-shirt sales. If Padilla is as dangerous as they say, should the guards really be taking such chances with security?

But it is not only the risk of escape that we should worry about. As Ann Althouse has pointed out Padilla may have been made to wear goggles to prevent him from sending messages to terrorists by blinking in Morse Code. But what about the other ways he might have sent coded messages? According to his lawyer, Padilla "often exhibits facial tics" and "contortions of his body" because of the treatment he has received while he was in captivity. Could these facial tics and boily contortions also be attempts at sending messages? What is being done about that?

This casual attitude to security made we wonder if we perhaps are just too humane to fight the war on terror with the necessary tenacity. Perhaps it's the fact that all of our values evolve from the American Bible, as Dennis Prager recently pointed out, that makes us such a compassionate country. But I'm afraid that coddling Padilla sends terrorists the message that we are weak. The video was taken on a day that Padilla was given a break from tough interrogation measures to be escorted to the dentist for a root canal, no doubt a welcome relief from the routine of waterboarding, sensory deprivation and extreme isolation. Perhaps some liberal interrogator decided that instead of a stick and stick approach to getting Padilla to break, they should use a little carrot by letting him have a root canal, unless, of course, they were using new alternative interrogation methods inspired by the movie Marathon Man. But if he really was being taken to have a routine dental procedure, it's certainly more than he would have gotten in many places, such as the Middle East, where they would just as soon cut off his head as fix his teeth, or England, where I believe they don't have any dentistry at all.

The day this story about Padilla appeared, NASA announced that it was planning to put a permanent base on the Moon by the year 2024. I thought it was odd that they would announce such an expensive plan when all of the government's resources should be going into the War in Iraq and tax cuts for the wealthy. Certainly, science should be our lowest priority at the moment. But then I realized what was really behind this announcement. NASA isn't building a research station to house a bunch of evolutionists and global warming hysterics and Big Bangers. The real purpose of the base is to set up a prison colony for enemy combatants that will be impossible to escape from. Not only will the Jose Padillas of the world be unable to escape from a prison on the Moon, they will be completely out of the reach of the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. Constitution, and their meddling defense lawyers. With a lunar prison, the government would be free to seize other American citizens it has decided to declare enemy combatants and whisk them away to the Moon where it could hold them indefinitely without even having to file charges or have a trial or tell their families where they are. Once again, George Bush has proved himself to be a visionary. I knew all this space exploration would finally be good for something.

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6 comments:

Mark said...

I must agree with you on your allegation of indifference to dentistry in England. It reminds me of a quote I once saw in a newspaper: "...teeth are funny things. They can last for thousands of years, lying in the dirt in Africa. But put them in an Englishman's head, and they're gone in 20".

Daarxide said...

a prison on the moon is only the first step (in the good direction). it would be of great profit for humanity to transform all life sentences into free interstellar trips to new frontiers of the universe for all the stray souls that rot in jail!

Pi said...

You must bear in mind that the security forces hands are tied on this matter. They cannot use stun guns in the event of an escape attempt, for example, as the suspect is older than six.

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