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The great escape


Three men have killed themselves in the off-shore gulag that the American government allows itself to have. The reason? Rear Adm. Harry Harris Jr says: "They are smart, they are creative, they are committed ... They have no regard for life, neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us." 'They' are prisoners held without charge, trial or opportunity for reprieve in an island torture-chamber. Yet, since 'they' have already been determined guilty, and given the series of imaginative associations immediately available upon remembering that the prisoners are Muslims, it must seem somehow okay to engage in this bizarre Orwellian reversal. What would one think if any other government offered this kind of ridiculous claim in a similar situation? Those whom 'we' have locked up in a repressive prison camp with no chance of justice are the aggressors - they make war against 'us'...


[23880]



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The great escape

Lenin's tomb

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June 10, 2006

Three men have killed themselves in the off-shore gulag that the American government allows itself to have. The reason? Rear Adm. Harry Harris Jr says:

"They are smart, they are creative, they are committed ... They have no regard for life, neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us."


'They' are prisoners held without charge, trial or opportunity for reprieve in an island torture-chamber. Yet, since 'they' have already been determined guilty, and given the series of imaginative associations immediately available upon remembering that the prisoners are Muslims, it must seem somehow okay to engage in this bizarre Orwellian reversal. What would one think if any other government offered this kind of ridiculous claim in a similar situation? Those whom 'we' have locked up in a repressive prison camp with no chance of justice are the aggressors - they make war against 'us'.

Bush has responded to criticisms by saying he'd like to close down his little torture playpen, but he's awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court - as if an administration that has appointed and promoted convicted felons and broken the law repeatedly is concerned with what the law says. Bush signed the Executive Order that allowed Rumsfeld to set these institutions up. Bush issued the directive designating alleged Al Qaeda or Taliban suspects as 'unlawful combatants' not 'prisoners of war', thus exempting the administration by diktat from national and international laws. It was the Bush administration that arrogated to itself 'war powers' that went beyond judicial review and meant it could detain prisoners indefinitely and without access to counsel or courts. And it was the administration that ignored the Supreme Court when it directed that Guantanamo inmates can challenge their captivity in federal courts, instead allowing the military to set up Combatant Status Review Tribunals from which lawyers were banned. These would charge the prisoners under rules written by the Defense Department. They have since faced repeated legal rulings to stop spying on those lawyers who do get to talk to inmates and to end the non-judicial Tribunals and allow for proper habeus corpus proceedings in federal courts. Eventually, detainees were allowed to write one-page letters to court via translators, which means they are considered to be representing themselves without attorney. Now, since the Republican senate in alliance with Democrat co-sponsor Carl Levin has already approved a motion stripping Guantanamo inmates of their right to file habeus corpus appeals, what the Supreme Court is looking at is whether it's okay to go ahead with a non-judicial Tribunal for Salim Hamdan, alleged to have been bin Laden's driver and accused of 'war crimes', or whether in fact this violates the US constitution and international law.

Any decision that doesn't go the administration's way will presumably be ignored, as it was the first time when the Supreme Court specifically ruled that there must be access to federal courts, not military tribunals. Since Bush believes his war powers extend beyond judicial review, he will say that no decision by the Supreme Court that interferes with his executive decision-making is binding. But at any rate, the new law approved by the Senate means that the Supreme Court may well simply say that because Hamdan's habeus corpus petition was submitted before the new law was introduced in November 2005, his case is excluded from it and he is entitled to continue with federal court proceedings.

So, to get to the point, Bush is transparently, blatantly lying when he claims that the only thing stopping him from closing Guantanamo is a pending verdict from the Supreme Court - as if the case the Supreme Court is considering wasn't called Hamdan v Rumsfeld. As if his administration was merely confused about whether to hold military tribunals, and as if he couldn't simply order that the court be closed and that all detainees either be released or charged if he wanted to. As if the entire episode did not simply illustrate the administration's radical hostility to the law, its absolutely instrumentalist approach to it.


:: Article nr. 23880 sent on 11-jun-2006 14:54 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=23880

Link: leninology.blogspot.com/2006/06/great-escape.html



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