Saturday, August 03, 2002

Jason Soon has produced the phrase of the week, in his look at Taliban Dundee David Hicks, currently enjoying US hospitality at Guantanamo Bay. Surprisingly, Jason opts for capital punishment for treason.

I am not a supporter of capital punishment, but my resistance does not stem from a belief that the state should have no right to take life. Rest assured, I would have no personal qualms about executing anyone who raped or murdered me and mine. And I might not wait for state sanction, either.

However, I have to say that as a punishment for treason, capital punishment is not suited, at least for civilians. It is reasonable to assume that virtually all civilian treason is motivated by ideology or money. In the case of money, the fear is not punishment, but poverty as defined by the traitor. For ideologues, death in battle may be a positive. In a mindset that defines martyrdom as the key to never-ending carnal delights, the gas chamber becomes their version of the pearly gates.

Far better for both to be placed in isolation, prevented from mixing with other prisoners, and kept under 24/7 surveillance for the rest of the natural days. Ensure that their sentences can never be overturned without legislation, and leave them to die in jail.

Given the endless stream of woolly-headed lawyers lining up to defend these swine, why add to the bill. Try them for treason, and make sure the sentence means: die in jail; you’re not worth the effort of killing.

ASIDE: One thought has occurred to me with regard to Hicks and his apparent brother in arms, Mamdouh Habib.

There is a very vocal industry in Australia devoted to telling us that the Taliban are not whipped yet, and that Afghans should not be forced, or even enticed, to return home.

Why are none of these people raising a stink about the possibility of a couple of for-real Taliban getting sprung from Gitmo Bay and showing up in Australia to harrass the existing Afghan refugees?

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