Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Lip Service -or- Guilty Until Convicted

If the US and its allies claim to be the defenders of human and civil rights and that democracy must be spread in the Middle East, how can this
possibly be justified?

Either the men are Prisoners of War or they aren't - Condi Rice is saying they aren't ("Unlawful Combatants") and their situations should be resolved, one way or another, preferrably in an honest, open proceeding with evidence and rebuttal. To not do so belies deception and insecurity due to the knowledge that the US policy is to commit wrondoing.

"Because this is about even more than the fate of 460 people, it is about whether the US and its allies will lead the world by democratic example, or whether they will continue to give lip service to human rights and open societies, while denigrating those cherished notions with their actions."

The men at Guantanamo Bay are in a legal limbo - with no way out. To be clear - I am not sympathetic to people who commit acts of terrorism or espouse views that include the destruction of nations or cultures. I am just very aware of how the US court system is no longer about Justice, it is now about conviction and filling prisons. Innocence or guilt is no longer an issue. In fact, in Texas there is a saying, "You're guilty until convicted." That it is even a joke is telling, and it doesn't say anything good about our record of applying the values that we claim to be defending.

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