The Guantanamo Bay detention facility will remain open because Congress says so in the latest Defense spending bill (ht JM Ashby at BobCesca.com). Our
The stupid twats and despicable lawmakers are saying that the Administration is not allowed to transfer the detainees to American soil for criminal prosecution. The far left will be blaming the President for not closing it in spite of the fact that he legally can’t do so–actually, they’ve been doing this for years so it will only continue, just in greater volume. And the right will be crowing about how he has broken yet another campaign promise.
First of all, Congress is afraid that these “baddest of the bad, and worst of the worst” will break out of Federal Max security prisons. This so dumb it beggars belief. I’m very familiar with those facilities and their security procedures. This is not and never will be a concern. We’ve kept MUCH more dangerous people in those facilities with nary a problem.
Second, the idea that this country accepts the denial of habeas corpus rights to detainees (technically we don’t call them prisoners, which is exactly what they are, war prisoners) so long as they aren’t on our soil is a distinction without a difference. Out of sight means out of mind I guess. In WWII the prisoners were kept in camps right in our cities. As a child my father used to go talk to Italian war prisoners through a prison camp fence in Charleston, SC. It makes it much harder to deny these people justice when we don’t have to see their suffering.
Third, the fact that these people are even considered detainees or even war prisoners was and is a colossal mistake. We should have treated them as criminals, arrested them as such and prosecuted them as such.
Unfortunately, since so many of the detainees rights have been violated and FSM knows how much of the evidence against them has been obtained (i.e., via coercion plus unreliable or secret sources who are unavailable or unable to be present at trial for testimony) the odds of actually getting a conviction in an honest criminal court might be impossible. So all that poisonous fruit will come back to haunt the prosecutors. I blame effing Bush and Co. If they’d handled this properly in the criminal courts to begin with, we wouldn’t be worried about all this kind of crap. I consider myself an expert on our Criminal Justice system (I’m also Queen of the world in my own tiny mind but I digress) and the choice to use military force against Al Qaeda, essentially a criminal enterprise, will go down as one of the worst mistakes in U.S. history. And how often do you see anyone on the teevees or press making this larger and crucial point. We used to be a gold standard in liberty and due process (at least compared with the majority of nations) but not anymore and it’s all because of the idiotic, never ending “war on terror” and the bullshite of renditions and Guantanamo. We STILL haven’t learned the big lesson here and we never will at this rate.
Okay, rant over.