Why do we allow the other side to control the language??
Today there is some discussion of 11 former Gitmo detainees on the Saudi most-wanted list.
Recidivism – closely related to the word ‘relapse’ – implies that one has changed… then changed back. It also proceeds for the concept of ‘corrections’ so dominant in the penal activity elements of our society.
The reason Guantanamo exists in not for corrections (which implies due process) – it is for confinement or for detention. The very reason Gitmo was chosen is because it’s not on US soil and thus provides planned prohibitions on due process. The fact that they are not on US soil is intentional because we do not want to grant them access to US courts where normal US rightsd (such as habeas corpus) must be granted.
These are men that we caught on battlefields participating as combatants. It’s folly to entertain the idea that they might be open to a process of ‘correction’ or even ‘brainwashing’.
These characters won’t change, corrections won’t ‘take’ and that should not be the goal in the first place, especially when we admit that Gitmo is offshore for the very reason of depriving them of due process. Due process is not a concept you apply to enemy combatants in a war. It’s not a concept contained in the Geneva Conventions, either.
If we don’t put our foot down refuse to have the conversation about recidivism without embarking in a ‘correction’ of the concepts we are discussing, we can expect to lose the argument.
It may be a painful hair to split, but when we capture an enemy combatant on the battlefield, we make no moral distiction about whether that person’s actions were right or wrong. We judge simply that they were on the battlefield, bearing arms, and thus we detain them for the duration.
If we allow the concept that detainees are criminals entitled to due process, then we must also grant that other nations can try our soldiers for ‘crimes’ when our soldiers are captured. I think most would agree that this is not a good precedent to set. Our supreme court may occasionally and sadly look offshore for precedent these days, but non-US courts are frequently far, far more bold. Once a foreign court decides – hey, the US tries them, we should too – then we are in deep, deep doo-doo for good.
After only a few trials offshore like this, a draft would be an absolute requirement.
We are capable of pointing out that the conversation contains concepts that don’t apply. Our failure to do this is one of the reasons we seem to be ‘losing’ this argument with the left.