Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Shame and Outrage

For the past 3+ years the American public has been confronted with a continuous and overwhelming amount of information on what the US government is doing in Guantanamo Bay, as well as other more clandestine prisons controlled by the US and its "allies" (read: "collaborators of convenience") around the world since late 2001. To summarize the information:
  1. The US government is keeping hundreds, perhaps thousands of prisoners (counting "shadow" prisoners, or those not declared to the ICRC) which have not formerly been charged with crimes, who have little or no evidence against them (in most cases), and who have no due process rights or access to counsel in offshore facilities. In other words, they are prisoners indefinitely with no legal options.
  2. They are keeping them in offshore facilities to explicitly avoid being subject to US law and due process.
  3. The ICRC estimates that as many as 75% of these prisoners may be innocent, either by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, being turned in by corrupt officials, or, at worst, being part of the Taliban and other "hostile" regimes but not taking part of hostile actions toward US forces.
  4. There is credible evidence that the US has exported prisoners to countries where torture is commonplace, such as Syria, for interrogation (a practice called "rendering").
Making this worse, many in the American controlled facilities are subject to harsh and abusive treatment, even to torture at times. Of course we can then rely on the mealy-spined mainstream media to dutifully follow White House orders by using the terms "detainees" and "abuse" rather than "prisoner" and "torture". But more on that at another time.

And the righties answer to fact number one above? No dispute , just spin:
  1. Bill Clinton lied (this works for all issues).
  2. The world changed on 911 (of course, the world did not change on 911, just the way Americans perceive it).
  3. These guys cut heads off, and are soul-less, barbaric terrorists (do I need to comment on this one?).
  4. I'd love to have a free stay on a sub-tropical isle (this is actually a paraphrase of Rummy).
  5. These are detainees, not subject to the Geneva conventions, US law, blah blah blah etc. etc. ...... The usual spin to put "journalists" to sleep.
What the some righties would like to say (but can't).
  1. They're olive people who aren't my friends or family, I don't care.
  2. If they weren't guilty the police wouldn't have picked them up.
  3. They're olive people who were in bad countries, and freedom's on the march.
  4. If we hadn't stood up unanimously and unquestioningly to the British in 1776 we'd all be speaking British right now.
  5. What does this have to do with American Idol?
  6. At least I took a firm stand on Elian Gonzalez and Terri Schiavo.
Seriously, the same people who pontificate about the totalitarian and fascist sins and human rights abuses of China, Cuba, the Soviet Union and all the other bogeymen remain supportive of the above atrocities. All Americans should be ashamed and outraged at the mockery of humanity being perpetrated in their name.

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