Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tortured Logic of The American Inquisition




Guantanamo Bay is famous for one thing! Illegal imprisonment and the suspension of habeas corpus… TWO things!… illegal imprisonment and the suspension of habeas corpus...and, prisoner abuse—three! Three things!
Illegal imprisonment, no habeas corpus, prisoner abuse and the complete suspension of reality…(sigh) Right! Guantanamo Bay is famous for, not necessarily in this order and subject to modification, four or more things, those being the….(etc).

Not even Monty Python’s ultra-hilarious sketch “Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition!” reaches the level of absurdity that plays out at Camp X-Ray in Cuba. Amongst its more-than seven hundred prisoners were ignorant teenage boys, farmers, a crippled old man and an informant on radical Muslim’s for MI5 (the British intelligence service), all of whom were included in Donald Rumsfeld’s catch-all phrase, “the worst of the worst”.

Since around 2004 Gitmo’s cells have been slowly emptying, with not one “detainee” brought to trial in the US (or anywhere else for that matter). The Guardian now reports that the US is trying to return its nine remaining British inmates to the U.K in a package deal and interestingly enough the U.K, government is refusing. Why?

For one thing the U.K. is currently insisting that only one of the nine is actually a British citizen. And the other thing is that if the U.K. were to accept all nine anyway, the US is insisting they be kept under 24-hour surveillance indefinitely.
As these prisoners haven’t been proven guilty of anything, the U.K can’t just stick them in one of their own prisons—that would be illegal. Letting them live outside of prison but under constant surveillance would also be illegal under British law.
And then there’s the fact that these men have been held illegally in the first place so to accept their status as some kind of criminal without evidence would also be illegal.
Finally the US has no right to dictate the terms under which a British citizen may live in their own country anyway, nor the conduct of British law.

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have good reason to empty Camp X-Ray in light of public discontent threatening to change the political scene. Even if Democrats win both houses this November, that still leaves almost two-years of inevitable deal-making and stone-walling to suppress and scrub the shame of Gitmo—two years in which Bush as Commander In Chief can employ his executive powers to clean the place out.

But with America’s “strongest ally” in the “war on terror” currently (finally!) refusing to be complicit in covering-up illegal detentions and prisoner treatment, what then for these nine? Will they be the only ones left? Or will the one acceptable Brit be released and the rest shipped off to who knows where? First this administration wanted them, in fact need them, and now it wants to wash it's hands of them.
These captives may not be screaming from the rack or hot pockers, but it's still torture.

11 comments:

Peacechick Mary said...

I hadn't thought of the Python twist and now that you apply it - it all makes sense, in a Monty kind of way. I didn't know about the Brits "you made the bed, you sleep in it or with it" approach. Good chess players, those Brits.

Carl said...

It astounds me the way the Bush administration tramples on basic concepts: you don't torture people, you don't invade a country unprovoked, and you don't violate another nation's sovereignty by dictating how their citizens must be treated. Unless you're willing to indulge in regime change of course, but see rule two.

The loophole is in this phrase: "the U.K. is currently insisting that only one of the nine is actually a British citizen."

There's where the deal will be made.

pissed off patricia said...

I agree with Carl, this administration seems to think that what they do will have no consequences. Maybe not for them but it sure as hell does for the rest of us and the rest of the world. They may be dictators in this country, but they can't dictate to the world.

betmo said...

well, there are always the other secret prisons where there are approximately 14,000 iraqis and afghanis being held the same way-- and tortured to boot. how does one scrub that away? i find it hard to believe that 14,000 folks are the 'worst of the worst.'

t's mom said...

that's because BushCo are agents of EVIL. they don't give a DAMN about morals, values or integrity - look at how they are handling the Foley issue - Monica Lewinsky simply performed heterosexual oral sex on Clinton - Foley PROPOSITIONED UNDERAGE BOYS FOR SEX and then tried to claim that it was all caused by being sexually abused by a priest. SCAPEGOATS, EXCUSES, LIES. they refuse to accept responsibility for ANYTHING and they falsely claim to be "pious Christians" and "righteous paragons of morality and family values". they are the OPPOSITE OF THIS. It's EXACTLY how Hitler, his Nazi regime and the Third Reich came to power. "Fascism will come to America wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." Bush is the ANTICHRIST come to corrupt the world. He is CALIGULA - his cabal, the Axis of Evil, is akin to the empire of Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, and is becoming synonymous with wanton hedonism, cruelty, tyranny, and insanity.

Anonymous said...

"...with not one “detainee” brought to trial in the US (or anywhere else for that matter)."

JFYI, the French ones are awaiting trial (that will be the 12/14 I believe). They are free now, but were put in jail when the US sent them to France.

Anonymous said...

"...with not one “detainee” brought to trial in the US (or anywhere else for that matter)."

JFYI, the French ones are awaiting trial (that will be the 12/14 I believe). They are free now, but were put in jail when the US sent them to France.

Leo Belldaere said...

Great post. I am there with you: the absurdity of what we are living through really does smack of Monty Python, and yet the tragedy of it is so devastating.

The Perfidious Monstrosity, that unholy amalgam of Junior's Junta and its entire attendant coterie of hackocrats, has a lot to answer for.

counter-coulter said...

Excellent points all. It will be interesting to see if England keeps its newly-found spine and forces the US to acquiesce to British law.

BTW, congrats on the C&L mention!

Elderta said...

Congrats on the C&L link, Britisher!

5th Estate said...

"...with not one “detainee” brought to trial in the US (or anywhere else for that matter)."

thanks for the correction, anonymous, I should have added "that I know of". But I didn't--sloppy of me.

For all the justification of the Gitmo incarcerations there has been so little result. The US has been happy enough to publicize other nation's counter-terrorism efforts, but we see and hear nothing substantive coming out from Gitmo.
I've read the Tribunal reports that were release a few months back and from those there seem to be only a couple of detainees that deserve to be under lock and key--but that being the case they should be tried in open court if the case is so strong. The rest are just pathetic