REWIRING THE LAW FOR THE MARKET-STATEDr. Philip Bobbitt
, author of The Shield of Achilles
, on NSA eavesdropping and terrorism in his NYT op-ed (hat tip Memeorandum
):"In the debate over whether the National Security Agency's eavesdropping violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, we must not lose sight of the fact that the world we entered on 9/11 will require rewriting that statute and other laws. The tiresome pas de deux between rigid civil libertarians in denial of reality and an overaggressive executive branch seemingly heedless of the law, while comforting to partisans of both groups, is not in the national interest....Furthermore, not only are there presumably conspirators within the United States, but conversations between two foreign persons could be routed, via the Internet, through American switches to give the appearance of a domestic-to-international connection. It is difficult to imagine getting warrants now in such situations, because the standard of probable cause to conclude that the target is a terrorist cannot be met."Read the whole thing.
Members of paramilitary networks are not merely a random collection of individuals but are connected to an evolving, organizational entity with an institutional life that, while different in many ways, are not unlike states and corporations which have long had special status in both domestic and international law. Even members of organized crime, a less dangerous grouping than al Qaida, are subject to RICO prosecution.
Policies, laws and attitudes must change to reflect this reality.ADDENDUM:
The esteemed Colonel Austin Bay has weighed in as well