Vain trappings

When the pesky U.S. Constitution gets in the way of a government’s desire for lethal revenge, Christopher Hitchens has a brilliant workaround: just strip your targets of citizenship first, then assassinate them (“Reason can define rules for treason”, The Australian, 18/10). But why stop there? Boring court cases could be avoided for all sorts of things ranging from murder to tax evasion, simply by declaring the defendants’ rights void.

Trouble is, people have become accustomed to the vain trappings of civilisation and are rather attached to due process. Sorry.

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