Goldsmith on Bridging the US-European Divide on Terror

by Peter Spiro

Jack Goldsmith had this op-ed in yesterday’s FT, in which he argues a convergence on anti-terror thinking among Americans and Europeans. The Europeans, on the one hand, appear now to understand that ordinary criminal processes won’t do the trick, where the US is coming to understand that anti-terror practices will be subject to law. Here’s the money graf:

These developments reflect a recognition on both sides of the Atlantic that the pre-9/11 trade-off between liberty and security must be adjusted to reflect the novel dangers posed by terrorism. They also reflect the belief that this adjustment must be embedded in durable institutions that uphold western conceptions of justice. How far this convergence goes will depend on many unknowns, including the location and scope of the next terror attack. But it is wrong to think of the gap as unbridgeable. Quietly, almost unnoticed, the blueprint for the bridge is coming into focus. For the sake of transatlantic collective security, our politicians should recognise this fact and succour it. Exaggerating these differences for political reasons will only undermine the joint fight.

Looks to me more to be taking aim at the Robert Kaganlawfare” crowd than Democrat elements.

http://opiniojuris.org/2007/08/02/goldsmith-on-bridging-the-us-european-divide-on-terror/

One Response


  1. These developments reflect a recognition on both sides of the Atlantic that the pre-9/11 trade-off between liberty and security must be adjusted to reflect the novel dangers posed by terrorism. They also reflect the belief that this adjustment must be embedded in durable institutions that uphold western conceptions of justice. How far this convergence goes will depend on many unknowns, including the location and scope of the next terror attack. But it is wrong to think of the gap as unbridgeable. Quietly, almost unnoticed, the blueprint for the bridge is coming into focus. For the sake of transatlantic collective security, our politicians should recognise this fact and succour it. Exaggerating these differences for political reasons will only undermine the joint fight.

    Ah Jack Goldsmith is at it again. From my German friends I understand that Wolfgang Schauble is considered an extreme right winger in that country. So an extreme right wing German says things that an extreme right wing Cheney would say.

    Jack’s effort is another effort to confer some legitimacy on what he helped to put in place. Enormous time and effort is being spent by the United States in all those fora to convince other states to acquiesce to our approach in this war.

    Europeans may also resist the efforts to encourage those countries to slide towards internment of people on spurious bases, secret incommunicado detention, and torture and I hope they will do so.

    The question is who is holding the pen drawing the blueprint – persons who actually care about liberties and human rights or persons who are perfectly willing to have some humans exist in blackholes without law where the state can do with them as they will. Both types are on both sides of the Atlantic and I certainly hope that the barbarians are not again given the upperhand. Europe has seen how that went and it did not go so well.

    Best,

    Ben

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