(GWAVA: SPAM) Re: 9-11 Detentions

Mark Graber mgraber at gvpt.umd.edu
Sun Apr 9 11:10:56 PDT 2006

I confess to being somewhat puzzled by Professor Wilson's posts. 
Consider points he claims liberals in the academy are not challenging.

"(1) that clandestine regime terror is not a new form of war that is
significantly dangerous in the new world;"

Well, Bruce Ackerman has a new book suggesting that new forms of terror
require distinct constitutional responses.  I take this to be Mark
Tushnet's response as well, in several articles.  I suspect a great many
liberals dispute the way in which many conservatives think terrorism is
a distinctive threat, but disputes over what kind of distinctive threat
are different than recognition of a distinctive threat.

"(2) that the new forms of counter-intelligence designed (by game
theory) to counteract the strengths of terror networks have little
benefits compared to their costs;"

Whether these forms of counter-intelligence were designed by game
theorists seems unclear.  And the game theorists I know do not endorse
them.  But the crucial demand by many liberals is for more congressional
oversights.  Hard to know whether what is going on has more benefits
than costs given the complete secrecy.

"(3) that the people being detained bear no relationship (either
operationally or 
informationally) to the actual attacks launched and being planned
against American and Western cities;

Some are, some are not.  I think everyone agrees on this.  The issue is
whether what is being done is adequately distinguishing threats from
people who were in the wrong place.

(4) that Republicans are actually using terror as an excuse to win
elections unfairly (the student probably believes this); 

Well, Karl Rove has announced this.

(5) that the world that existed in the 1970s still exists today and Iraq
is just like Vietnam and Bush like Nixon.

I would not praise Bush that highly.  See 1.  No liberal academic that I
know of believe or teaches this.

Do students have simplistic views.  Of course.  Liberals students,
conservative students, and what ever.  Do those of us who teach public
law have overly simplistic views on foreign policy.  of course.  But not
as simplistic as the above.

Mark A. Graber

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