The Corner

Welcome to Boumediene World, Chapter 2

Back in June, I wrote an article here called “Welcome to Boumediene World.” The Supreme Court had just decided, in the Boumediene case, to give constitutional habeas corpus rights (i.e., the right to petition the federal civilian courts) to alien enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay; a panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals promptly presumed to reverse the commander-in-chief’s determination that the Uighur combatants — ethnic Chinese Muslims who were apprehended training in terrorist camps in Afghanistan — were not enemy combatants. Now the next shoe is about to drop. The Washington Post reports that a federal judge in Washington may be about to order the Uighurs released into the United States — i.e., to dwell freely among our population. This is the very nightmare scenario I warned about. The courts’ steps are outrageous, but predictable and inevitable. A lot of the blame here, however, goes to the administration and the military. They have long taken the position that radical Islamic ideology is not the problem, and that we need only worry about actively those taking up arms against the United States. They don’t want us to talk about jihad — the better to keep us in the dark about jihadist ideology. Thus, the government rationalizes, the Uighurs are not a threat to us, only to the Chinese. That was all the daylight the judges need to say: OK, then release them in the U.S., since no other country — except China, where they’d be persecuted — will take them. The government’s self-defeating argument is preposterous. Jihadists — and there is not question that the Uighurs are jihadists — do not recognize distinctions based on the Westphalia world of nation-states. In their view, it is Dar al Islam or Dar al Harb: i.e., you are either part of the realm of the Muslims or the realm of war, and the goal is to turn Dar al Harb into Dar al Islam by any means necessary. Releasing trained jihadists into the United States on the theory that their beef is with the Chinese and they have no problem with us would be a delusional act of suicide.

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