Arrest vs. conviction
Posted by aogFriday, 06 June 2003 at 15:52
TrackBack Ping URL
As the buzz about finding WMD in Iraq goes on, I think about a comment
left here where the author states that invading Iraq without absolute proof of WMD implies that
detaining people without evidence beyond a reasonable doubt is morally correct, which is a clear contradiction to what is perceived as being "morally right" in our culture.
Last I checked, it's ok to detain or arrest people on fairly weak evidence and certainly without "evidence beyond a reasonable doubt". I thought the latter was the reason we have trials after arrests. It is also the case that if the police arrest someone for crime A and in the process find that, while the evidence for crime A is weak there's overwhelming evidence for crimes B, C and D who would object to trying the detainee for the latter? As The New Republic notes
, along with many others, the one thing we do know is that there was little argument about the claim that Iraq had WMD, the question was how much and how dangerous. The invasion was a good bust because there was a reasonable likelihood of a crime and the target was already in clear violation of other warrants (UNSEC resolutions). The defense of the Ba'ath is an extreme example of the worst of the rules lawyers who are willing to use any technicality to free someone who is guilty far beyond a reasonable doubt.