Sunday, June 15, 2008

Songs of the Free

They have reservations in heaven
The weak are sent to the wall

Morality's used as a tool
All this talk of blood and iron  Is the cause of all my shaking

The Boumedine court restored the fundamental right of people kidnapped, imprisoned without charges, and tortured by the Bush administration to a proceeding before a neutral fact-finder that determines if there is any basis for them to be so held. This is what is known as a habeas corpus proceeding. The concept that no government has the right to imprison you without cause has been a fundamental part of Anglo-American jurisprudence for hundreds of years, until Bush and the Republican congress acting at his behest abolished it. The Boumedine court did not order the release of any detainees. It simply said that they have a process available to them to force Bush to demonstrate why it was OK for Bush to kidnap, imprison without charges for years at a time, and torture them. Republican polemicist and bedwetter Knee Know Scalia published a Kool-aid tinged dissent that is divorced from reality; and which naturally gained the immediate approval of the other Republican bedwetter justices Alito, Roberts and Thomas; and their ilk that infest this country like fleas. (A special "thank you" here to Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein, without whom Roberts and Alito would not be on the bench.) Nino points to 30 men released by the awesomely competent Bush administration (without the awful burden of a habeas process) who allegedly then became involved in the resistance against Bush's occupation of Iraq, including suicide bombing. Maybe this had something to do with it:

American troops had dragged Mohammed Ahktiar out of his Afghanistan home in 2003 and held him in Guantanamo for three years. The Islamic radicals in Guantanamo's Camp Four who hissed "infidel" and spat at Akhtiar, however, knew something his captors didn't: The U.S. government had the wrong guy: He was not an enemy of the Bush administration, he was their friend, according to a senior Afghan intelligence officer. Akhtiar was imprisoned at Guantanamo on the basis of false information that local anti-government insurgents fed to U.S. troops. An eight-month McClatchy investigation in 11 countries on three continents has found that Akhtiar was one of dozens of men — and, according to several officials, perhaps hundreds — whom the U.S. has wrongfully imprisoned in Afghanistan, Cuba and elsewhere on the basis of flimsy or fabricated evidence, old personal scores or bounty payments.

With "friends" like these, who needs enemies? If Ahktiar and others like him weren't America hating terrorists before, who could blame them for being one now?

The Gang of Four want to deny these people the right to any process that would justify their indefinite detention and torture. If the Bush administration wants you in jail, that's good enough for them.

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