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Yes, the US government has the right to incarcerate foreign nationals suspected of terrorism without formal charges or the advice of an attorney.

A rough and brief draft of my paper—choppy but major issues I am planning to discuss are included, even if just called upon briefly. Plan on elaborating and backing up paragraphs.



The US government has the right to incarcerate foreign nationals suspected of terrorism without formal charges or the advice of an attorney. They should not be put on trial without an attorney due to the fact that they are unfamiliar with our legal system and laws, but they should be placed in prison and held there if they are considered to be a threat to the United States. People coming in from foreign soils, with one intention and one intention only—to harm the citizens of the United States of America—should not be put in our legal system and treated the same way as members of this country when their ultimate goal was to destroy pieces of our government and country that we have fought and worked so hard for hundreds of years to maintain. The 6th and 8th Amendments protect Americans to a fair and just trial, not foreigners who could possibly be terrorists.
Some of the terrorists in question are suicide bombers; they have a different view on life than Americans do. At the least, they believe in something so strongly that calls them to destroy our country, so why should we give them the privilege of being put in our justice system to save their life? And whos to say that if we do spend the money and time on their trial and treating them “properly in the American way”—giving them a trial before placing them in jail—that they won’t somehow get a bomb into the courtroom and cause even more damage. We are trying to finish a war, and for that reason we can not waste time and money on lawyers and court time—they are going to have to wait if they are considered to be a threat to our country. And yes I know these are hypothetical situations but can we take that chance? If we are too easy and let matters slide, America as a country will be taken advantage of. “Now Americans are trying to come to grips with their new sense of insecurity and vulnerability. As they contemplate the road ahead, the U.S. public needs to accept three unpleasant facts. First, there will continue to be anti-American terrorists with global reach for the foreseeable future. Second, these terrorists will have access to the means—including chemical and biological weapons—to carryout catastrophic attacks on U.S. soil. And third, the economic and societal disruption created by the September 11 attacks and the subsequent anthrax mailings has opened a Pandora’s box: future terrorists bent on challenging the U.S. power will draw inspiration from the seeming ease with which the United States could be attacked, and they will be encouraged by the mounting costs to the U.S. economy and the public psyche associated with hasty, ham-handed efforts to restore security. In light of these realities, getting homeland security right should be Washington’s top priority” (Hoge 184).
Some say innocent people are being placed in prisons and that is unjust. A boy prisoner in Guantánamo was questioned and “the kid says ‘I never did jihad [participated in a holy war against America]. I’d have done it if I could, but I had no chance. I just got thrown into jail.’”(Hersh 3) A lot of the people from these countries in question believe and practice their religion so strongly that we simply can’t take the chance to let off someone who might be part of the terrorism because later on they might be. Some of the acts that have occurred in the prisons were torture for the prisoners and I’m not suggesting these actions were correct and reasonable, but these foreigners are so dedicated and set in their way of life and religion that even though it may be wrong, needed information would not have been gotten from them otherwise. “Getting the interrogation process to work was essential. The war on terrorism would not be decided by manpower and weaponry, as in the Second World War, but by locating terrorists and learning when and where future attacks might come” (Hersh 2). Yes, with the recent torture in the prisons we might be “making things worse for the Unites States, in terms of terrorism…if we captured some people who weren’t terrorists when we got them, they are now.” (Hersh 3) But can we take that chance?


Evaluations:

This evaluation is from Hondezy:
Your intro is pretty good. Mentioning the admendments are for americans and not for random suspected terrorists is very good. However, try to make the last sentence in the intro some kinda thesis, I don't think the paper is on the 6th and 8th admendments as someone might think after reading the first paragraph. In paragraph 2 avoid using I and starting the sentence with And. I know you can do that, But try to keep it in non-first person as much as possible. say... Is the United States to take a chance on people like that? something like that. Definately need a lead in to your quote that starts with "Now... beacuse it took a second to figure out that it was a quote and I have no idea who is saying the quote the whole time I'm reading it. Also explain the quote in the sentence following the quote or at least comment about it. I believe quotations go like this... into jail’” (Hersh 3). period after parenthesis... Hope i'm not wrong on that just make sure. This sentence should be broken up some: Some of the acts that have occurred in the prisons were torture for the prisoners and I’m not suggesting these actions were correct and reasonable, but these foreigners are so dedicated and set in their way of life and religion that even though it may be wrong, needed information would not have been gotten from them otherwise. —It is very long. Again explain your qoutes towards the end there. Add a conclusion paragraph. I know you said you plan on elaborating more so everything I said I'm sure you would have caught. The paper is pretty convincing, and you don't stray from your point. Good paper, I agree with your position, and probably would have been convinced if I didn't have a position already.

~

Its good that you return to the idea of “can we take that chance?” which keeps the focus of your paper. There are some long sentences which makes it hard to follow at some points. Some of what you write feels as if you were talking, so consider if you want your paper to sound like a conversation.
Content-wise, there are some things worth commenting on:
“giving them a trial before placing them in jail . . .” this statement doesn’t quite refer to the prompt. The question is whether or not the government should be able to not charge foreign nationals while keeping them incarcerated. A trial and formal charges are separate. And denying them a trial based on courtroom security concerns is frivolous—the same concerns can be said of any facility, such as the jail.
“we simply cant take the chance to let off someone who might be a part of the terrorism because later on they might be.” If we were to incarcerate people because of their potential to do harm, we would have to put everyone in jail. Punishment before crime is even committed on the chance that it will be?
“Even though it may be wrong, needed information would not have been gotten from them otherwise.” First, I never read that the prison abuse scandals resulted in any information collection, simply humiliation of the prisoners. If you know otherwise, you should quote and site a source—but don’t assume. Second, you are introducing a separate issue (torture). By establishing a controversial opinion on this, you risk losing support from otherwise like-minded people. Someone reading your paper might decide against your ideas about formal charges and right to an attorney based on your ideas about torture, which is not the real issue.
hope i was helpful, i meant everything in a constructive way. contributed by spearmint




I like your overall stance in regards to the ability of the US government to incarcerate foreign nationals, despite not agreeing with you. Your citations are good in providing support for your arguments, but it doesn't seem like you have a thesis statement, which may or may not be good for your overall paper; people tend to want to know what you're going to be telling them in order for them to be interested. I think it's great that you incorporated the 6th and 8th Amendments, but you should probably define what the Amendments are, since the average person doesn't know what most of the Amendments are and what they mean. I also had one major qualm about the way you were presenting your argument in the main body of your essay:
"A lot of the people from these countries in question believe and practice their religion so strongly that we simply can’t take the chance to let off someone who might be part of the terrorism because later on they might be."
In regards to format and style, though, I think you should avoid putting your personal opinions into your paper; it makes it seem less decisive and undermines the point you're trying to get across.

Overall I thought it was a good paper, and your arguments were strong, minus some minor things that weakened your arguments a bit.

Contributed / evaluated by spidey32586

Let me begin by comending you on a good effort; however, there are some possible downfalls that I would like to point out.

- contributed by Sal


Final Paper

For hundreds of years, the United States has fought for its ideals and principles and has come to the status of one of the world’s most powerful countries. With high status, enemies always emerge and within the past few decades, the enemy of the U.S. has changed. Now “we face an enemy that targets innocent civilians…we face an enemy that lies in the shadows, an enemy that doesn’t sign treaties. They don’t wear uniforms, an enemy that owes no allegiance to any country. They do not cherish life. An enemy that doesn’t fight, attack or plan according to accepted laws of war, in particular the Geneva Convention” (Hersh 2004, 5). The United States government needs to encompass this new enemy and should have the right to incarcerate foreign nationals suspected of terrorism without formal charges or the advice of an attorney. For the protection of the U.S. and its citizens, suspected terrorists should be placed in prison until they are not considered to be a threat to the United States.

The Constitution does not give foreigners the right to enter the United States. “But once here, it protects them from discrimination based on race and national origin and from arbitrary treatment by the government. In decisions spanning more than a century, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution's guarantees apply to every person within U.S. borders, including ‘aliens whose presence in this country is unlawful’” (The Rights of Immigrants). However, terrorists are not just immigrants, refugees, and non-citizens coming to this country searching for a better life for themselves and their family; they are coming in from foreign soils, with one intention and one intention only—to harm the citizens of the United States of America. The Constitution protects Americans, not foreigners who could possibly be terrorists. Terrorists should not be given the privilege of being put in our legal system and treated the same way as members of this country, when their ultimate goal was to destroy pieces of our government and country that we have fought and worked so hard to maintain. The United States is trying to finish a war, and for that reason the U.S. can not waste time and money on lawyers and court time—these suspected terrorists are going to have to wait.

The Geneva Convention set specific standards for the treatment of prisoners of war, but “the Bush Administration had determined that they were not prisoners of war, but ‘enemy combatants,’ and that their stay in Guantánamo could be indefinite, as teams of C.I.A., F.B.I., and military interrogators sought to pry intelligence out of them. In a series of secret memorandums written earlier in the year, lawyers for the White House, the Pentagon, and the Justice Department had agreed that the prisoners had no rights under federal law or the Geneva Conventions” (Hersh 2004, 1). The fourth Geneva Convention declared “an occupying power can jail civilians who pose an ‘imperative’ security threat, but it must establish a regular procedure for insuring that only civilians who remain a genuine threat be kept imprisoned” (Hersh 2004, 40). Terrorists are not prisoners of war, but enemy fighters that have to be detained until they are considered not to be a threat to the United States and with hopes of receiving valuable information from them.

Terrorists can not be treated in the “proper American way” in a time of war; the kindness and fairness of the United States has been taken advantage of. There are recent incidents of terrorist prisoners in Michigan who have been sending letters to terrorists overseas and in this country encouraging them to continue their jihad against the United States. These prisoners have circumvented the U.S. judicial system by continuing to be effective combatants in prison. Terrorists were effective in planning 9-11 before they were caught, put on trial, sentenced, and imprisoned. “Enemies who threaten to kill U.S. citizens must be taken seriously. Enemies who make good on those threats must be eliminated” (Hayes 2004, XVII). Some say innocent people are being placed in prisons and that is unjust. A boy prisoner in Guantánamo was questioned and “the kid says ‘I never did jihad [participated in a holy war against America]. I’d have done it if I could, but I had no chance. I just got thrown into jail’”(Hersh 2004, 3). Terrorists believe and practice their religion so strongly that the U.S. simply can’t take the chance to let off someone who is suspected of terrorism because later on they might play an active role. Some of the acts that have occurred in the prisons were torture for the prisoners and I’m not suggesting these actions were correct and reasonable, but these foreigners are so dedicated and set in their way of life and religion that even though torture may be wrong, needed information would not have been gotten from them otherwise. “Getting the interrogation process to work was essential. The war on terrorism would not be decided by manpower and weaponry, as in the Second World War, but by locating terrorists and learning when and where future attacks might come” (Hersh 2004, 2). Yes, with the recent torture in the prisons the United States might be “making things worse in terms of terrorism…if we captured some people who weren’t terrorists when we got them, they are now.” (Hersh 2004, 3) But can the U.S. take that chance? I’m not condoning physical and/or psychological abuse, but I do believe that these prisoners must be kept confined with the hopes of getting information about future activities of Al Qaeda. “One way of combating the kind of attacks we saw is, of course, better security in the United States, but this will not necessarily prevent a terrorist attack, as long as that terrorist is prepared to die. In the end, the key to fighting this war successfully has to be good intelligence” (Hoge 2001, 298). The bottom line is that information is needed to end this war.

Procedures and guidelines need to continually change in order to be effective and encompass new situations. Americans “are trying to come to grips with their new sense of insecurity and vulnerability. As they contemplate the road ahead, the U.S. public needs to accept three unpleasant facts. First, there will continue to be anti-American terrorists with global reach for the foreseeable future. Second, these terrorists will have access to the means—including chemical and biological weapons—to carryout catastrophic attacks on U.S. soil. And third, the economic and societal disruption created by the September 11 attacks and the subsequent anthrax mailings has opened a Pandora’s box: future terrorists bent on challenging the U.S. power will draw inspiration from the seeming ease with which the United States could be attacked, and they will be encouraged by the mounting costs to the U.S. economy and the public psyche associated with hasty, ham-handed efforts to restore security. In light of these realities, getting homeland security right should be Washington’s top priority” (Hoge 2001, 184). The United States government’s first priority during this time of war is protecting its citizens and for this to happen suspected terrorists must be detained with hopes of obtaining information from them.


References:

Stephen F. Hayes. 2004. The Connection. New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

Seymour M. Hersh. 2004. Chain of Command—The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib. New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

James F. Hoge. 2001. How Did This Happen? Terrorism and the New War. New York: PublicAffairs.

“The Rights of Immigrants.” [web page] 16 February 2002; http://www.aclu.org/ImmigrantsRights/ImmigrantsRights.cfm?ID=9361&c=22 [Accessed 3 April 2005].


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