Benjamin's Reviews > Patriot Games

Patriot Games by Tom Clancy
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Sep 04, 08

Read in January, 1995, read count: 3

While Patriot Games is standard Clancy fare, it does make some good points about the rule of law and the treatment of terrorists. Clancy opens by quoting former FBI Director William H. Webster, saying: "[Terrorism is] a crime by any civilized standard, committed against innocent people, away from the scene of political conflict, and must be dealt with as a crime....[I]n our recognition of the nature of terrorism as a crime lies our best hope of dealing with it....[L]et us use the tools that we have. Let us invoke the cooperation we have the right to expect around the world, and with that cooperation let us shrink the dark and dank areas of sanctuary until these cowardly marauders are held to answer as criminals in an open and public trial for the crimes they have committed, and receive the punishment they so richly deserve." Later, Clancy argues through one of his characters that suspects have rights more to protect us from ourselves (from our baser nature) than to protect the criminals. Unfortunately, the main characters eventually move away from these positions for dramatic effect and emotional impact. Regardless, these are important points--more important today even than when Clancy first wrote them. Sadly, both Clancy and the current Administration have moved away from such principled positions.
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