Alternatives to Law Enforcement

A nice point from David Shorr:

So Michael, I don't disagree with a word of your review of the relative merits of law enforcement versus military action in combatting terrorism. Except I no longer believe the Right is really making an argument for the military as a counterterror tool. Think about it, how often do we hear proposals from political leaders for how our military can and will win the war on terror for us.

Right. We've moved past a debate about "law and enforcement and intelligence" versus "military action" to a debate where the alternative to law enforcement is just lawlessness -- people get arrested and thrown in prison, just like with law enforcement, but they have no recourse and no opportunity to prove they don't belong there. But a system based on arbitrary indefinite detention, warrantless surveillance, and torture isn't a system of war it's just a system of indiscriminate criminality and abuse of power.