Jul 1, 2008

The hunting of the snark

"The government suggests that several of the assertions in the intelligence documents are reliable because they are made in at least three different documents. We are not persuaded. Lewis Carroll notwithstanding, the fact that the government has 'said it thrice' does not make an allegation true. See LEWIS CARROLL, THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK 3 (1876) ('I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true.')"
— The ruling of a panel of federal Judges in the first legal review of the government's evidence against a Gitmo detainee, Huzaifa Parhat, a fruit peddler who fled his home in the People’s Republic of China in opposition to the policies of the Chinese government. A few years ago, he wrote his wife, giving her permission to remarry.

In an effort towards fairness, and in order to keep what American readers I may have, I would like to point out that Churchill did exactly the same thing during WWII, ordering thousands of people locked up, including Jawaharlal Nehru, without charge. He suffered, too, though, "Naturally I feel distressed at having to be responsible for action so utterly at variance with all the fundamental principles of liberty, Habeas Coropus and the like," he said. "The public danger justifies the action taken." Nehru, needless to say, disagreed.

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