by Patrick Appel
A reader writes:

I'm consistently bothered by the fact that in any discussion of how we treat suspected terrorists, everyone seems to forget about the "suspected" part. This is how you end up with people discussing whether or not terrorists deserve the benefits of due process, which misses the point entirely.

The whole reason for due process, is that until a person is tried in a just court, we have no way of actually knowing whether they are terrorists or not. Somehow the entire debate gets framed around whether or not these dangerous men are deserving of a specific process, the whole time forgetting that the very reason for the process is to make sure that innocent people are not unjustly punished or imprisoned. In fact, based on what I've read and heard, it appears likely that many of the Gitmo detainees are not actually dangerous at all, but were swept up in an over-zealous attempt to imprison anyone remotely related to al-Qaeda. I think it is important that this possibility stays as part of the conversation, and that we don't simply treat this as a philosophical question of whether a murderer deserves a lawyer.

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