Tuesday, July 18, 2006

1% chance, 100% uncertainty

Ko Colijn, ‘De een procent doctrine’ [The one percent doctrine], p26, 1 July 2006, Vrij Nederland
Based on the new book by Ron Suskind

It’s a shocking but real doctrine much repeated by American officials in the aftermaths of September 11: if it is necessary to detain 100 people just to root out the one terrorist, the end justifies the means. And it is under this policy that atrocities in Guantanamo continue to take place…worse, perhaps, it was under this policy that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were launched. We could not be certain whether these countries were threats to security, nor could we be one hundred percent sure whether Saddam Hussein possessed ‘weapons of mass destruction’. But the one percent chance that this could be the case was all that was needed.

“Forty years the Cold War lasted, and all that time we have, consciously but with fear, lived with the less-than-hundred-percent risk.

Could we als apply with [policy of deterrence] to ‘the terrorist’ as the enemy,
like with the Soviet Union? No, says the Bush administration, and even Koffi
Annan agrees with him. In international politics it is not unusual to lay the
burden of proof on the suspect. In this way, Iran, as a party to the non-proliferation treaty, must declare its nuclear installations with the Atomic
Energy Agency and convince director El Baradei that it has a peaceful atomic
programme. If not, then the country is in violation and can be punished.

And Guantanamo? In the domanin of the law other values naturally apply, and the opinion of [the US] is absurd. Just as much as a hundred football supporters in
Rotterdam can be detained without any suspicion, the US can sweep the world with a net in order to capture one terrorist and allow the unintended catch to rot
without legal assistance. You are one hundred percent not guilty until proven

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