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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

From a Swiss Reader 
Walt, who writes in from time to time, gives us (a) europerspective on the release of Hamadi by German authorities, me, and (ahem) "Jew money in Swiss banks."



Your letter to the German Embassy is a highlight. Germany has since the Nazi judges were finally pensioned off (not fired: Nazi network) years after WWII independent judges. Judges in Europe are elected with 2/3 or _ majority and have to be confirmed periodically. Berlusconi tried to change to 50%+1 but failed on the Italian president.
Life sentences mean in Europe after about 15 years the case comes up to a review board. If considered no danger the prisoner is released. This is not a parole process but a lengths defined by the law.


So this guy was found guilty 15 years ago, no provision at the time was made for a never release. He spent his time and seems to be considered no more dangerous. European prison system has nothing to do with revenge. The way the USA handles prisoners considered terrorists makes look European sharper of the fingers of our governments. In your blog you forgot to tell why this guy was the only death.



Fascinating. So a real live Euro can look at a known hijacker, a man known to have tortured and beaten a US serviceman in front of a planeload of passengers, and then murdered this sailor in cold blood - again in front of a planeload of horrified and terrorized passengers, and then dump his corpse on the tarmac, and consider him by some magic known only to the German prison system, to have been wholly reformed and "no longer a threat." And then, within the context of a global war on terrorism of global reach which the German government recognizes, actually release him.

If this is true, then this simply further demonstrates the inane obtuseness of the European moral sense.

If the German government felt it no longer needed him in its prison system, then why not extradite him to the United States then? He can stand trial for murder, or simply be declared a combatant and languish in Gitmo like a veal calf until the cessation of hostilities (read: the 7th of Never.)

There is no reasonable way this dog can no longer be considered a threat. And there is no way he can not be considered a combatant in the global war on terror.

By hijacking an American airliner loaded with international crew and passengers, and then causing it to fly from Europe to Algeria to Beirut, and then murdering an American - a citizen of a nation not even a party to the Arab-Israeli conflict - he became a global terrorist by definition.

And since the civilized world is at war with global terrorism, and since no law recognizes a statute of limitations on murder, Hamadi is therefore a combatant.

Walt, I find your reasoning here absolutely specious.



You are widely read but I have problems with your black and white approach and giving not the complete picture.



Hamadi hijacked a civilian jetliner. Hamadi then tortured and beat a passenger, who happened to be an American serviceman. Hamadi then murdered that passenger and dumped his body on the tarmac. Hamadi was found guilty of the charges, and sentenced to life. Hamadi, however, was released after only 15 years, and set free to return to Lebanon. This was against US requests to have him extradited.

It's not a matter of black and white versus shades of grey. All relevant information is contained above and in my original post. The thing is, Mein Herr, some things really are black and white: Hamadi is a terrorist and a murderer. Germany should not have let him go.

Had Europeans been a bit more focused on "black and white" versus "shades of gray" a few decades ago, the Holocaust could not have gradually gained momentum, allegiances to Hitler and Mussolini could not have been rationalized, Vichy France could not have provided safe haven to Klaus Barbie, the village of Lidice would still exist, every nation would have followed Denmark's lead and protected their Jewish citizens against Nazi murderers and their henchmen. Europe would not have looked the other way while Srebrenica was raped and sacked under their guns, with tens of thousands of men and boys slaughtered, and Europeans would not need to be so ashamed of their sordid and filthy 20th century history today.

I try to see shades of gray where shades of gray really exist. I try to use nuance, if nuance helps me articulate a course of action which will more effectively kill Al Qaeda and advance the cause of liberty.

Shades of gray only exist, though, because of a conflict between mutually exclusive goods.

What good was served by releasing Hamadi? Well, I guess it's good for Hamadi, anyway. But his release puts other lives in jeopardy.



Ask US Irishmen if IRA are terrorist or freedom fighter….the answer will be the full specter. Europeans see it in a similar way with Palestinians. What we know for sure is that peace is only achieved by compromises hurting both sides.



I've never yet met an American or Irish who didn't consider the bombers of Omagh and their ilk to be terrorists, thugs, and beasts, pure and simple. Don't try to ascribe European fecklessness to Americans. That fantasy doesn't exist. That's like a drug dealer or a wife beater trying to justify his crimes by arguing that everybody does it. No, everybody does not do it. Not everyone's moral discernment is that crippled.




Your omitting of facts concerning Jewish pre WWII money in Swiss Banks is highly unfair.

1.You are well aware the US treasury collected after WWII from all insurance companies of all countries the live insurances policies of Jews and has never been handed back or compensated.



Again, the "America does it too" defense. Even if true (Walt does not provide any supporting documentation that I've been able to find, so far, though some of the links he provides are pretty extensive), it's also irrelevant.

The United States lost hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded in the gargantuan struggle to rid the world of fascism and to put an end to the Holocaust (though we did not know the full extent of the Holocaust until the later part of the war, and Auschwitz did not hit full stride as an extermination center until 1943.)

The US has plenty of moral capital. The Swiss banking industry is more focused on capital of another kind.




2. No other country to my knowledge investigated its role in WWII. Switzerland government had it three times done. 1950, 1962 (finished 1970) by Edgar Bonjour “History of Swiss Neutrality” (published in 6 books, I guess more then 3000 pages). December 1996 task to Prof Bergier to create an Independent International Commission (I attach a list of Commission Member). The publishing of document started 1997 and was 2002 finished. Then thousands of pages and annexes.



Hey, if they did a better job of it the first time, they wouldn't have to "reinvestigate" it every generation, and they wouldn't still be coughing up settlements into the 2000s.

Splash, out

Jason

Comments:
Jason,

Stethem was picked for torture and murder because he was American and had a military ID. He was specifically chosen because of his nationality and affiliation, not at random.

Hezbollah also has another 283 American servicemen they have killed, in Beirut. I am saddened that our government has not been more forward in its rhetoric and actions towards Hezbollah, but cannot see a way to effect any change in this.
 
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