What moral universe do Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Ginsburg, Stephens, and Souter inhabit when they are willing to manufacture constitutional rights for unlawful enemy combatants who want to slit the throats and watch innocent Americans bleed and die while at the same time uphold manufactured constitutional rights that allow people to abort innocent unborn children? What the Court decided Thursday was an intellectual, jurisprudential, and moral disgrace...
McClatchy news service:
McClatchy interviewed 66 released detainees, more than a dozen local officials primarily in Afghanistan and U.S. officials with intimate knowledge of the detention program. The investigation also reviewed thousands of pages of U.S. military tribunal documents and other records. This unprecedented compilation shows that most of the 66 were low-level Taliban grunts, innocent Afghan villagers or ordinary criminals.
At least seven had been working for the U.S.-backed Afghan government and had no ties to militants, according to Afghan local officials. In effect, many of the detainees posed no danger to the United States or its allies. The investigation also found that despite the uncertainty about whom they were holding, U.S. soldiers beat and abused many prisoners. Prisoner mistreatment became a regular feature in cellblocks and interrogation rooms at Bagram and Kandahar air bases, the two main way stations in Afghanistan en route to Guantanamo.
Pete talks about a moral disgrace. You know what is a moral disgrace? Conflating innocent people with those who "want to slit the throats and watch innocent Americans bleed and die." Here's also what is a disgrace: that an American administration knowingly seized individuals who were innocent of any crime, tortured and abused hundreds of them, and lied about it. That Dick Cheney and George W. Bush decided in advance to bypass the Congress in setting clear, legal, constitutional rules for the handling of detainees in the war on terror and so ended up in the Gitmo mess. That, in a time of war and great peril, Bush and Cheney decided to go on an executive branch power-grab because they knew full well that what they intended to do - torture their way to "intelligence" - was illegal. That the Bush policy has neither brought anyone to justice nor provided a decent alternative to habeas rights and poisoned the reputation of American justice for a generation around the world. That the United States coopted former Soviet prison camps in Eastern Europe in order to perpetrate Gestapo methods of interrogation. That's a disgrace.
But Wehner and the neocon chorus reserve their howls of outrage for a defense of habeas corpus by the Supreme Court, after one of the most appalling records of random, brutal injustice ever perpetuated by a president of the United States. Give me a break.
Rich Lowry also preposterously writes the following:
Shouldn't McCain constantly be saying that Obama wants to retreat in Iraq and give al Qaeda more rights than Nazi POW's?
I'll leave the first asinine comment about "retreat" in Iraq alone - as if finally leaving a country we promised to liberate after five years of occupying it is some sort of surrender. But let me remind Lowry of this: we know for a fact that large numbers of people seized by this president and thrown into the Gitmo camp and in many other camps all around the theater of war were not members of al Qaeda at all. They were often seized far away from the battlefield, often for bounties, and many were the victims of bad luck. And they have been cast into a legal no-man's land from which there is no escape and not even assurance of basic Geneva protections.
More to the point: the United States never tortured and abused Nazi POWs the way we have tortured and abused and murdered many innocent detainees in American custody in this war. This is not slandering America, as this president would have it. It's the God-honest truth.
At what point in this debate will the defenders of the Bush administration recognize the reality of what they enabled and defended? At what point will they ever feel so much as a twinge of shame or regret?
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