Walter E. Williams

 For those of us who were around during World War II, can we imagine anyone, much less a government high official, having said, "The treatment of detainees is a taint on our country's reputation, especially in Germany, and there are many questions that must be answered. These questions are important because the safety of our country depends on our reputation and how we are viewed, especially in Germany"? If you substitute "the Muslim world" for "Germany" in that statement, you have House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's, D-Calif., statement.

 Here's my question to you: If there's a biological or chemical terrorist attack, killing and wounding tens of thousands of Americans, how much would you care about "our reputation and how we are viewed in the Muslim world"? What will you think of leftist politicians, intellectuals and news media people preoccupied with whether we're treating Taliban and al-Qaeda detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to the Geneva Convention?

 Let's be clear about one thing. I'm not suggesting that we treat captured terrorist suspects the way the Japanese treated American POWs during World War II. While harsh interrogation techniques are by no means a guarantee that useful information will be acquired to thwart a deadly attack, our interrogators should be permitted to employ every method at their disposal.

 There's an important terrorism issue for Muslim communities, especially those residing in Western countries. They should be concerned about backlash and retaliation against Muslims in the wake of a large-scale disaster. Muslims must in no uncertain terms make it clear, as have spokesmen for the Free Muslim Coalition (, that the terrorists do not speak for them, and they must report terrorists within their communities.

Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
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