Too many articles to link to. I think I'll start with this one. It explains how a leader of the hunger strike at Gitmo last year has been treated since. Even if you don't buy all of the story, there has to be enough shreds of truth to scare you. Add to this, the guy hasn't been charged with anything, let alone been tried or convicted. The best we can say is that he's accused of having terrorist ties. Feel that moral high ground we've always attempted to retain as a country slipping?
Then, there's this story. A Canadian citizen is taken off a flight in the US, interrogated, flown to Jordan, driven to Syria, and held for 10 months while being beaten, put in a coffin sized compartment, sleep deprived, (basically, all the fun things said not to happen have been documented in this case). Absolutely ridiculous. This man was asked by the Canadian government to be put on a watchlist. A mistake to be sure, but what authorized his illegal arrest and detainment? What authorized his torture?
We have a law in the US. Simply put, if arrested, you are to be charged within a certain amount of time or released. This time is a matter of days - not weeks, months, years. We have another law here. It states a right to a speedy trial. These men, and many others, haven't received that. Granted, they aren't US citizens. Should that make a difference? To me, not one bit.
Take a good look at these stories. These men weren't treated humanely from what I understand. That fact then precipitates a break in the Geneva convention - something our President would like to have modified heavily. As with everything else to do with fighting terrorism, our government is acting, usually unlawfully, first and then trying to adjust the laws to their methods. Even were this not the case, it ruins our position as a global leader.
Our government, through several administrations - certainly longer than I've been alive, has taken upon itself to be the world's policeman. Like any policeman however, you must earn respect. You do that by standing up for the people and their rights. You do that by first living the rules you swear to enforce. You do that by fostering trust, not just with the good citizens, but also with the bad ones. You don't do it by ignoring everything and becoming basically the same as what you are fighting. I don't think we're quite to this last point, but I don't doubt we are on our way. Folks, there's a new sherrif in town. One that is at best, one step removed from the criminals.
Some of you may ask what's wrong with this. The majority of the people they have are terrorists and can probably be proven so. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few mistakes. Good arguments that can probably be supported well. All I ask is that you think about a scenario where you are in an innocent's position. Think about it if it was a wife, daughter, son, brother, mother, father in that same position. Wouldn't you want someone to at least stand up for what is supposed to happen? The way these things have been handled are wrong and it does nothing more than to solidify the position against us. It needs to stop and the people in charge need to be held accountable.
As of last week, habeas corpus is now dead :(
Bush has been able to do what no President has been able to do since the inception of our Constitution.
Hope all is well with you guys.
I just read this, and I could not agree with you more. What is good for our citizens, should be good for all people. What happened to "liberty and justice for all?" Clearly, Bush does not follow Martin Luther Kings policy of "injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere." It makes me sick. I am glad someone else could write about, because I can't do it.
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