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Example 9: Chat Room Transcript

John Ashcroft:
Hi everyone!
John Ashcroft:
Start talking - what's up?
Eva:
Hi John: May I call you John?
John Ashcroft:
Someone mumbled that our expert isn't here yet
Ryan:
I am pleased to have the opportunity to ask you some questions.
Eric:
Hello expert. Which of the legal approaches listed will have the most positive impact in reducing global terrorism
John Ashcroft:
Surprise our expert is one of you! Mark Miller, a UD expert on terrorism.
Mark Miller:
HHello I'm here.The expert or so-called expert.
Mark Miller:
I think this is the fundamental question and also the most difficult. There is no consensus amongst students of terrorism as to the response. I think
John Ashcroft:
Look, our expert, Mark Miller has arrived. Welcome, Mark!
John Ashcroft:
Who will pose the first question?
John Ashcroft:
Cat got your tongue...
Robert:
Mr. (Ms?) Ashcroft? What would be the majority world opinion of the US if all terrorists were suject to military tribunals?
Eric:
If there isn't a consensus, are there any legal approaches which are receiving more interest (or discouragement) than the others?
Sandra:
Mr. expert, what would be the opinions of the US's partners in fighting terrorism?
Mark Miller:
I think the perception of fairness is all important. But it needs to be balanced against efficiency and other concerns as well. The int'l tribunals at the Hague and in Africa have not worked very well despite recent progress at the Hague. The Am. court systerm proved to be efficient and fair I think in the Wtc bombing case of '93.
Eva:
think that we ought to consider the root cause of terrorism... Lets set these guys free, give them a "golden" handshake ...and send them off to preach American values and virtues.
Eric:
Besides the listed cases, what are the precedents? Has there been anything legally similar and what did they do?
Mark Miller:
Robert, it is difficult to say right now. In part it depends on the procedures and rules adopted. I understand that the US plans to incorporate many standard procedures and protections but it isn't at all clear right now
Ryan:
Mr. Aschroft, how about using The Hague so that the world would know that the US is fairly dealing with the terrorists?
Eric:
What changes could be made at The Hague to improve the handling of terrorism cases?
John Ashcroft:
As AG, I am concerned about security information that we may have to present to show the terrorists' culpability. I worry about any tribunal that would force us to reveal these secretsit could be very dangerous information to let out.
John Ashcroft:
Professor Miller, what solutions do you see for the security problems?
Ryan:
But there is a price to be paid. I think we need to show the world that we are fair and our legal system is the best in the world.
Mark Miller:
Eric, what precedents to avoid. I think we want to stay clear of an Israeli-like response after the Munich Olympics. Israel bombed refugee camps in leb. and Syria and killed hundreds of civilians. They also began a campaign of assassination that targeted in the end some who were totally innocent like the Moroccan killed by Mossad in Norway.
Ryan:
The security issue is a smoke screen. I don't believe that the US should be concerned about security issues at this stage.
Eric:
Mark - I tend to agree on the Israeli response. We run the risk of touching off a similar long term conflict with our current actions.
Ryan:
I agree with Professor Miller. We need to be careful not to harm innocent civilians in an effort to harm few terrorists.
Robert:
Mr. Ashcroft and Professor Miller. Would our treatment of captured terrorists be different if Osma Bid Laden was found to be dead?
Eric:
Does harm include damage to our own civil liberties?
Mark Miller:
Eva, thinking about root causes is extremely iimportant. The trials are only a dimension of the appropriate response to 9/11. I think we need to think of counter-terrorism very broadly and start thinking about statehood for Palestinians, lessening global inequities and such matters.
Ryan:
I think we have exhausted our questions. Can we go to the next exercise?
Judy:
Do national emergencies trump individual rights?
Mark Miller:
Robert, it shouldn't be. It shouldn't matter if he is dead or alive in how we try the other suspects.
Janet :
I think all of "due process" group's questions have been asked.
John Ashcroft:
I know your schedule is tight, Mark, so I just want to thank you for joining us today.?
Mark Miller:
Thank you all for putting up with my slow typing. Mark
John Ashcroft:
We hope you'll be available at another time.I'll be in touch. Thanks again.
Eva:
Mark: I kind of gave up on this discussion... As I am not a legal expert, I do not feel comfortable enough to participate in this chat room discussion. Thanks for your reaction and I agree with you. In particular on the Palestinian issue; I think, in some way, it was related to Sept. 11 and if we (conveniently) sweep this under the rug and put all our efforts into the legal niceties, we'll lose an opportunity to help solve thes conflict areas.

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