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October 03, 2004


I am trying to keep the posts factual and save commentary for the, well, comments. So:

I have seen no evidence that the U.S. was involved in the arrest of the suspect's wives or brothers. The language in the report is a little opaque, but it does sound as if the wives travelled to Cairo voluntarily and were arrested on arrival. I can only assume and hope that the U.S. had nothing to do with it. (I assume the wives were not involved in terrorism, because from the descriptions I very much doubt that Egypt would shrink from adding them to the mass trial.)

However. The part about their families did remind me of this part of Sebastian's post:

"Third, it is a well understood conservative principle that people tend to push past the bounds of the legally permissible. Even though we have banned the use of torture in our country, the line between torture and non-torture is still skirted from time to time. Overzealous law enforcement people sometimes go a bit further than we allow. If we move the line to allow for exporting torture, where will those who go a bit further go? They will go to using a person's children against them. They will send a man and his wife to these other countries so the wife can be tortured in front of him. I can't predict exactly how it will work. But I know for a fact, and you do too if you think about it, that law enforcement pushes the line and pushes it hard. If we move the line so far as to allow suspects to be sent to other countries to be tortured, the actuality will go even further."

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