Monday, May 05, 2008

Banging That Same Drum

Street Justice for You and Me - Spencer Ackerman

It seems like every few months or so we get another reminder of the Kafka-like experience of Gitmo. But it's worth reminding people that such an institution still exists, along with the mindset that created it in the first place. Ackerman sums up the problem of Guantanamo Bay and why it still matters:
You would have to be a fool to give the Bush administration the benefit of the doubt. And you
shouldn’t have to. That’s the point of a justice system — to establish guilt and to vindicate
innocence. Instead we have Guantanamo justice, under which the basic facts of not a single
dispute can be demonstrated compellingly."
It's the issue of innocent until proved guilty that makes Gitmo such a blight on our world image. We have a judicial system, as imperfect as it is, that is intended to deal with these kinds of matters but the Bush administration refuses to use it for those detained at Guantanamo. If, instead, we put these detainees through the judicial system and see how it all shakes out then we can regain some of our moral standing in the world's eyes. And when you are fighting an enemy that can run to any country in the world you need that kind of moral standing to negotiate, pressure and even run military operations in nations that harbor terror suspects.
So until places like Guantanamo are closed and the attitude of indefintely holding suspects without charges is ended, it is worth it to sound like a broken record on the issue. The nation needs that constant reminder or else it disappears from the front pages and even from the news entirely.

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