Intelligence Squared US Video – “Treat Terrorists as Enemy Combatants, Not Criminals”

I just wanted to link to a fascinating debate I watched yesterday on counter-terrorism policy: namely, a debate around the motion “treat terrorists as enemy combatants, not criminals.” The participants were former President George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen and former CIA Director Michael Hayden (in favor of the motion), and David Frakt, an Army lawyer who represented Guantanamo detainees, and Stephen Jones, a criminal lawyer who defended Timothy McVeigh (against the motion).

The debate was organized by an organization called Intelligence Squared US that organizes “Oxford-style” debates. I had never heard of them before, but apparently they are broadcasted on NPR and Bloomberg TV, and they have also podcasts available on iTunes. Something to definitely watch out for in the future.

Also, there’s a vote on the motion by the public at the end of the debate, whether for or against. It’s interesting because they poll people on the motion before the debate, and after the debate, so it’s interesting to see how they progress.

But enough talk – well, by me anyway – here’s the video:


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  1. #1 by Arnaud Adélise on 28 September 2010 - 23:51

    It was a very interesting debate. I recommand it. The most interesting point is that both sides seem to consider that the category of enemy combatants is actually implied by the Geneva Convention. No one seems to question the origin of this distinction (Bush administration) nor its purpose (preventing prisoners from obtening the Pws rights). Still many convincing arguments are made and the public reacted strongly to them.

    Thanks again for the link.

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