08 May 2006

Bush Backpedals on Gitmo

Our fearless leader has decided that it would actually be a good thing to close our offshore military prison for suspected terrorists at Cuba's Guantanomo Bay... three months after clashing with the German prime minister over the issue. According to an article in the
New York Daily News, White House NSC spokesman Frederick Jones said,
"The United States has no intention of permanently detaining individuals, that is not our goal. We want to see all these individuals brought to justice."
The article goes on to say,

The U.S. has 480 detainees at Guantanamo and has freed or handed over to other countries 272 of them.

Amnesty International has said torture and inhumane treatment were 'widespread' at Guantanamo Bay and other U.S.-run detention centers - charges the United States has strongly denied.
What's really interesting is that this article makes little overt mention of the primary problem with the camp at Guantanomo: it is a place where people are placed in legal limbo. They have no right to trial, no recourse other than simply waiting (and the occasional Qur'an-flushing contest). This is a perversion of justice, and it goes against everything the American system stands for.

If Jones and his cohorts in the Bush administration are so concerned about justice, why have so many been interned for so long at Gitmo without trials? Why do we continue to abridge the personal freedoms of so many who our justice system allegedly presumes to be innocent?

Why have we waited five years for this?


Izzy said...

Obvious moral issues aside, there's a legal matter: the administration tries to deal with this by calling the Gitmo inmates "enemy combatants" and essentially defines the term as "anyone we don't like, or people who maybe might be opposed to us, or americans who we can't prove anything against."

It's not just morally wrong, its unlawful, and hopefully even this Bush-controlled SCOTUS will tell the president what's wrong with this.

Of course, he'll probably just "signing statement" the ruling and continue on anyway, given his complete disreguard for the rule of law.

luaphacim said...

Ah, EB, have you no faith in this country? Me neither.