Tougher Than Terror: To Fight Criminal Terrorism, We Need to Strengthen Our Domestic and Global System of Criminal Justice, Not Militarize It

By Slaughter, Anne-Marie | The American Prospect, January 28, 2002 | Go to article overview

Tougher Than Terror: To Fight Criminal Terrorism, We Need to Strengthen Our Domestic and Global System of Criminal Justice, Not Militarize It


Slaughter, Anne-Marie, The American Prospect


THE DEBATE OVER MILITARY TRIBUNALS HAS BEEN largely conducted in terms of the trade-offs between national security and civil liberties. But this debate has tended to obscure an equally important issue: How does the question of where to try accused terrorists fit into the larger goals of fighting terrorism? The Bush administration has tried to prepare the public for a protracted new cold war, punctuated by occasional hot wars. New hot phases of the war on terrorism could take place in any state deemed to be supporting global terrorism--a list that might include Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Yemen, and Syria. Yet because of the nature of terrorist acts, a war on terrorism must be fought not simply against states but also against individuals.

So a protracted war against terror must combine military force with the resources of the criminal-justice system. And this exercise must be multilateral in two complementary senses: Military campaigns and their aftermath require the assembly of coalitions, the cooperation of allies, and the use of international peacekeeping forces and relief efforts under the aegis of international agencies. Furthermore, a war against terror necessarily requires the cooperation of many nations in hunting down and bringing to justice individual suspects. Simply to try all suspected terrorists before U.S. military tribunals intended for emergency battlefield conditions would put America at odds not only with its own domestic constitutional safeguards but with international conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war. In the long run, this would jeopardize alliances, put Americans overseas at risk, and set back our own values as well as the war effort.

In some respects, international terror is analogous to international organized crime. Fighting more traditional organized crime poses many of the same difficulties: the tension between securing convictions and jeopardizing informants, security risks, and the difficulty of collecting sufficient evidence to convict. But we have developed laws and procedures that make it possible to hunt down and prosecute drug lords, traffickers in women and children, illicit arms traders, and money launderers--all operating through global networks. We can fight global terrorist networks the same way, by relying on greater international collaboration.

Developing a global criminal-justice response to terrorism first requires building networks of law-enforcement officials to match global criminal networks. Here the Bush administration has started well. Networks of police officers, intelligence operatives, immigration officials, and financial regulators have already yielded important dividends. Indeed, Tom Ridge's job as Office of Homeland Security director is to coordinate these networks, not only across the nation but across the world. The European Union is moving to institutionalize its law-enforcement networks even further by creating a European warrant.

Yet cooperation between the United States and its allies is still uneven. Several European countries initially hesitated when the United States asked them to freeze financial assets of organizations suspected of funneling funds to al-Qaeda. Recently, however, Interpol and U.S. officials reached agreement on a common database to which all 179 Interpol members will contribute and have access. Thus the United States is now reaching out to the world's principal international law-enforcement agency.

A related challenge is to develop a mature global court system. The "where will the terrorists be tried" debate has been miscast, because it inevitably assumes that there is one answer. The media have constructed an artificial trichotomy among military tribunals, national courts, and an international tribunal. In fact, all of these forums are likely to be necessary, at different times and for different purposes.

THE ROLE OF MILITARY TRIBUNALS

Military tribunals have been used historically to try spies and saboteurs. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Tougher Than Terror: To Fight Criminal Terrorism, We Need to Strengthen Our Domestic and Global System of Criminal Justice, Not Militarize It
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.