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45034Re: 1812 Re: Impressment and US sovereignty and supposed Brit disrespe ct of same

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  • Jim & JoAnn Gallen
    Jan 31, 2012
      I do think that the existence or lack of a state of belligerency is important. A country can do things to a belligerent that it cannot do to a neutral. In my mind the issue here is not whether Britain, or another country, has the right to seize a deserter or whatever, but whether it has the right to go onto the ship, or territory, of a country with whom it is not at war to do so. I think that a more recent comparison would be American Vietnam era deserters who went to Canada. If they were caught under American jurisdiction they could be and were arrested and prosecuted. In my view what the British did in stopping and boarding American shipping to get the deserters would be comparable to the U.S. forcing down Air Canada flights to take off deserters. In my opinion either one of them would have been illegal and wrong. Jim raises the point that sometimes an act may be illegal but powers do it anyway if it is deemed necessary. It was probably illegal to kill Bin Laden the way it was done but the heck with it. I believe that I recall that there were cases in which planes were forced down to apprehend terrorists. Those may have been illegal but, under the circumstances the acting powers thought that the act was justified. The same argument could be made about the seamen. It may have been illegal to board American ships to get them but was the need so great that it was justified anyway? A defense based on the wartime needs of Britain is not necessarily based on legality.

      Are these postings achieved so that we can access them without keeping them in the in-box?

      Jim Gallen
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