Friday, July 31, 2009

What He Said

As these cases come before Federal judges, the government is being told to release Gitmo detainees who have not been charged and tried and against whom there is not enough evidence to justify continued detainment. It turns out that is 28 of the 33 cases brought so far.

If the members of Congress who voted for the MCA [Military Commissions Act] had their way -- and that includes all GOP (except Chafee) plus 12 Democratic Senators, as well as all GOP House members (except 7) and 34 Democratic House members -- then all of these detainees against whom there is virtually no evidence (including Jawad) would still be sitting in a cage, possibly forever, with no mechanism to secure their release. One should be hesitant to attribute bad motives to someone based on political disagreements, but some positions are so morally depraved and just plain tyrannical that a rational person has no choice but to do so. Voting to empower the President to imprison people for life with no charges and no judicial review -- particularly where the individuals were not captured on any "battlefield," thus ensuring a very high risk of error and/or abuse -- falls squarely into that category.

Every time a federal judge orders another Guantanamo detainee released on the grounds of insufficient evidence (and that does not mean "insufficient evidence to convict"; it merely means: "insufficient evidence even to justify their detention"), just remember that the vast majority of the current members of Congress voted to deny those detainees any opportunity to have a court review their imprisonment, the most basic and defining right of Western justice. Put simply, they knowingly voted to deny innocent people the right to have a court review their indefinite imprisonment. If that isn't morally depraved, what is?

Of course, the Military Commissions Act, like the FISA Amendment Acts, was one of those many Bush-era laws which Democrats were oh-so-sad to see enacted, and they vowed so solemnly that once they were in the majority, I mean: once they won the White House, I mean: once they had 60 Senate seats, then they would be fixing it for sure. I'm sure that'll happen any minute now.

  Glenn Greenwald

Yeah, me too. And…

Meanwhile, according to a new international poll from The Economist, the U.S. population is as willing or more willing to tolerate torture when compared to citizens in countries such as Egypt, Iran, Russia, Indonesia and China (citizens of the latter two countries are substantially more anti-torture than Americans). Among Americans, roughly 52% say that "all torture should be prohibited" while 43% say that "some degree of torture should be allowed." Only in Nigeria, India, Turkey and South Korea is there a substantially higher pro-torture sentiment than in the U.S.

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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