Thursday, March 19, 2009

The truth about Gitmo

"It did not matter if a detainee were innocent."

War crimes trials. Now. What the fuck are we waiting for?

***

If all we had done was arrested whole villages, questioned everybody, then released them, well, that's a breach of human rights, but it's not that severe, and I think in the circumstances it would be something we could forgive. But we are not talking about that. We are talking about abducting people we knew to be innocent, detaining them for many years (and we don't need to add "without charge", because we knew they were innocent and had done nothing we could charge them with) and torturing them. This is not a policy aimed at stopping dangerous men from hurting us, as is claimed, and it's a claim that has huge emotional appeal, so that however criminal our actions, there is a bedrock of expediency and somewhat justified fear that would underly the wrongdoing. This is something way beyond that.

Imagine. Someone comes and snatches you from your bed, takes you away from your family for years, tortures you, breaks your mind, does not inform your family or anyone you know of your whereabouts, refuses you the barest of human rights, and all because you live where you live.

We should be burning the place down to get to the men who did this. They need a long spell in jail to reflect on what they have done. We can never claim again to be ruled by law if we do not rectify this.

5 Comments:

At 7:47 pm, Blogger nobody said...

Zen wrote,

"We should be burning the place down to get to the men who did this. They need a long spell in jail to reflect on what they have done."

Who was it that went to the mountain and beheld a "burning bush"?

"We can never claim again to be ruled by law if we do not rectify this."

Well, there's something with a bit of meat to it.

Obama made reference to the US being a country ruled by law in his inauguration address. So far two have used that to defy him. First was an army still loyal to the shrub that discontinued some pensions because they were suddenly considered illegal, now we have AIG claiming bonuses were legally agreed to before the fact.

And that's the thing of written law, it lets crowbars be inserted between the words to twist them.

The power "we" here in the US have to "rectify" a situation that can never truly be made right is currently embodied in Obama's administration. Every time he overturns some shit from previous administrations, every time he becomes outraged by something that outrages me, it gives me a little hope that he will be able to overcome the historicity that would bind his hands and prevent him doing what is right.

The gitmo situation is not right, and it can never be made right, but at least some kind of honest progress might be made in that direction.

 
At 7:49 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Yeah, just not by Obama.

 
At 8:27 pm, Blogger nobody said...

Not by Obama alone, but if the job gets done that may suffice.

 
At 8:28 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Obama is just more of the same. But black.

 
At 9:44 pm, Blogger nobody said...

"Obama is just more of the same. But black."

It may be the black that saves him. Black people in the US are holding their heads up. They look to him not to let them down. Many have little to lose.

 

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