Matt Welch wrote in Reason How far are you willing to go to win the War on Terror?
I'm interested in breaking the cycle for a moment, stepping back, and asking the Glenn Reynoldses and Thomas Sowells of the world one question: How far is too far in the War on Terror? I figure since their approach certainly has more resonance within the White House than mine, the answers would provide a more accurate weathervane than my feverish imagination. And given the eternal foreign policy divides within the libertarian big tent, it may help clarify the differences between camps.
The question is a bit open-ended, so here are 10 yes/no hypotheticals. My answer to every one is "no":
Absolutely. What they learn might not be able to be used in a court of law, and they should not disclose what they learn to the press or to anyone who might disclose it publically, but they should be free to do whatever they need to do to prevent another terrorist attack.
I believe he should have access to a lawyer, but I do not believe that it should just be treated as any normal crime.
Yes. If an American citizen was working with al Qaeda to set of a nuclear weapon in an American city I don't believe his American citizenship should prevent him from being forced to reveal his plan for destroying a lot of American lives.
Certainly the editors and reporters at the New York Times should be investigated for treason. And possibly journalists at WaPo and other media outlets.
Sure. It should not be done as a routine matter, and it should require specific authorization from the President, but a bullet is much less expensive than going to war.
Absolutely, plus some tools not available in non-terrorist cases. But certainly any tool available for drug enforcement, organized crime enforcement, etc should be available.
Seize it, but not sell it.
No, there is too much classified now, but if it is leaked the penalities on the leaker, and those protecting the leaker, should be increased.
My belief, crudely summarized, is not only that you do not need to imitate totalitarians to beat them, but that it doesn't actually help.
You do not need to be totalitarian against everyone, but terrorist cells in this country should have no protection, and an American citizen that joins a terrorist cell should lose his rights as an American citizen.