To the editor:
Mike Hoeflich's article ("How low will U.S. go?," Journal-World, Aug. 30) would be disturbing had it been written by anyone. The fact that professor Hoeflich is on the KU law faculty is especially troubling. Hoeflich considers the possibility that "there should be no limits to what the United States must do to keep our nation safe after 9-11." He ends by considering - albeit uncomfortably - the possibility that our national survival may depend upon our adopting the means and methods of terrorists proportionate to their acts.
Just as a matter of practicality, there is significant evidence that the "collateral damage" inherent in adopting the tactics of terrorists, such as kidnapping and torture, includes the efficient manufacture of many new terrorists.
The most disturbing aspect of his essay, however, is that he feels the need to move to the "dark side" because "they," who undeniably mean us harm, leave us with no choice. In this he is in reality suggesting that the power of law, of presumption of innocence, of human rights, are no match for the excesses of human depravity and brutality.
He could be right. Our ability to destroy each other may well have evolved more effectively than our ability to live in peace. I suggest, however, that the only moral position is to continue to embrace the ideals which our and other civilized societies have cherished for centuries. To do any less is, as the cliche goes, to admit that the terrorists have indeed "won."