Sunday, December 02, 2007

U.S. Claims Right To Seize/"Kidnap" Criminal Suspects In Other Countries

Uh...well, normally I'd suspect that this was some kind of misunderstanding. But these days it sounds all too plausible.

[via Metafilter]


Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Interesting. Law and justice are not synonyms, then.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1. the principles and regulations established in a community by some authority and applicable to its people, whether in the form of legislation or of custom and policies recognized and enforced by judicial decision.


1. the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness: to uphold the justice of a cause.
2. rightfulness or lawfulness, as of a claim or title; justness of ground or reason: to complain with justice.
3. the moral principle determining just conduct.
4. conformity to this principle, as manifested in conduct; just conduct, dealing, or treatment.
5. the administering of deserved punishment or reward.
6. the maintenance or administration of what is just by law, as by judicial or other proceedings: a court of justice.

Law is the system we set up for realizing justice as best we can.

If you start 'justifying' extra-legal means as a way of obtaining justice, then you being a process subject to abuse and lack of control, and thus capable of less 'justice' in the long run.

11:39 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

They're not synonymous, then, if we most scroll down to the sixth definition before they even start to resemble each other.

Law can often be a barrier to justice, that's the irony, your slippery slope argument notwithstanding. It's a caution to the rigid thinking of legalists.

3:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with Tom's contention that justice should be served, despite the law, is that our government does not have the authority to do so.

So while I'm willing to stipulate that it's possible that there may be some pursuit of justice beyond the application of the law, our government is not the proper purview for the pursuit of that justice, since we the people have never granted it that power.

Our government officials may use the apparatus of government, including its coercive powers like a monopoly on violence, only in their capacity as servants of the state. To permit them to do otherwise is to bastardize the very nature of our government, which is one of laws, not men. So our government may pursue justice only to the extent that our laws allow.

Such extra-judicial searches for justice would either elevate the Chavezes and Putins of the world to our level, or debase our leaders to their level, depending on how you look at it. This is true since any attempt by our leaders to pursue justice outside the constraints of our formative documents can only be arbitrary and capricious and have inevitably lead to long trains of abuses.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Slippery slope again.

But I'm not contending anything, if you read what I wrote. Just musing, thinking of Martin Bormann...

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I just don't understand the point, then.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Think about it, then. Law isn't everything and is a distorted prism through which to form one's worldview. Justice isn't confined to law, the practical arguments as to why it should tend to be notwithstanding.

Neither does "international" law conform to DA's definition of law, unless you're a one-worlder.

Me, I don't remember agreeing to that.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, and that has what, exactly, to do with Winston's post?

9:32 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

To you, nothing. To someone capable of abstract thought, everything.

2:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a not-so-abstract thought experiment:

Would it be all right if other countries took the same attitude as the US did in the UK court and start 'rendering' American
citizens/residents out of America to stand trial for crimes committed against said countries?

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My previous comment demonstrates that I'm certainly capable of abstract thought, probably more than you. My degree is from this department:

and they're not in the habit of granting such degrees without the ability of abstract thought.

Run that through your walnut-sized brain.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Why did you ask such a bankrupt question then, anonymous? You can't post your diploma on every comment, especially when you won't even sign your name, even a fake one.

DA, meet Martin Bormann.

Of course, I acknowledge your practical arguments. I was just musing past them, Charlie Bronson-like. It is good to think on why law is not synonymous with justice, especially in this literalist and legalistic age.

For instance, some people think just because a university hands them a sheet of parchment, it means they're capable of abstract thought. Ridiculous.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My compliments to the creator of the comic character 'Tom Van Dyke', the type usually reserved for ridicule in Woody Allen movies, although to actually name *it* would be crude.

You know the type, those who like to make deep-sounding but vague pronouncements and cite philosophical and historical touchstones, all the while ignoring the elementary strictures of engaging in logical or philosophical discussions: for example, sounding deep, slippery and vague in an effort to convince others that he or she is so soaringly brilliant and wise; when in reality, he or she is either neck-deep in bullshit or afraid to really take a stand and establish a genuine argument, lest their sophistry be exposed.

Or to put it more succinctly, why don't you actually attempt to construct an argument instead of defacating all over this and other threads on this blog with suggestive and professorial comments meant to derail discussion into your treasured intellectual cul-de-sacs? Is it because of your innate need to demonstrate your immense capacity for *abstract* thought?

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And so you can perhaps learn how to do so, here is an example of how you might make an argument (you know, one of those things with premises and conclusions, and that needs to be valid and cogent etc.), perhaps the argument that seems implicit in your incredibly abstract and impressive comments:

[1. Law and justice are separate entities; they may overlap, though not necessarily.
2. The pursuit of justice is superior to the mere pursuit of law enforcement.


3. We should permit our government to pursue extra-legal justice.]

Of course that leaves a couple of lacunae one can drive a truck through:

1. Thus far, law-based government has proved the institution most capable (thought admittedly not perfect) of pursuing justice, so therefore until a superior, and more universally accepted, tool for pursuing justice is invented, justice should only be pursued to the extent that it is permitted by the laws of our government.
2. From where does the government derive any justification for pursuits beyond the powers it has been granted by the people, without sacrificing the sovereignty of the people?

Five minutes. That's all it took. But you're too busy 'musing' and pleasuring yourself to your citing of figures from history to attempt any similar such construction.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TVD, your reference to Martin Bormann puzzled me until I found this:

“Unfortunately this earth is not. . . a fairy-land, but a struggle for life, perfectly natural and therefore extremely harsh.”

Is that what you are referencing?

I asked what I thought was a straightforward question.

I was just musing past them, Charlie Bronson-like.

I don't think you can derive a serious case based on the 'philosophy' of a Hollywood entertainment product.

An oblique chain of thoughts makes it difficult to distinguish verbal gymnastics from even not-so-serious musings, and a reminder that coherency isn't just for masers and lasers.

While my capacity for abstract thought only resulted in an AB in Biology from here, complete in Latin from here,
I can't see where the question was an unjustified one, let alone deserving of a snappy answer.

11:15 PM  

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