Sunday, April 26, 2009

The law enforcement approach to terrorism

National Review's Andy McCarthy, determined to free himself of any burden of evidence linking different terrorist groups and political regimes that George W. Bush didn't like --

There is no evidence that the Taliban was complicit in 9/11. They were giving safe-haven to al Qaeda, just like Sudan did before them, but they were not involved in carrying out 9/11, the Cole attack, the embassy bombings, or other specific attacks ... Yet, despite the absence of Taliban complicity in specific al Qaeda attacks, we are at war with the Taliban because we recognize a terror network cannot function without the help of coconspirators who provide all sorts of assistance but are not involved in executing specific plots. The "specific plots" business is a red herring, and it's essential that the public understand that.

The specific reason for the war with the Taliban is that they harbored Osama bin Laden not just before 9/11, but after it. They were given the opportunity to turn over Osama and they didn't take it. It's what a prosecutor might call "harboring a fugitive" or "accessory after the fact" but why bother with such niceties when the evidence free zone of hypothetical networks linking all the supervillians is much more fun?

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