Thursday, June 14, 2007

White House: Indefinite Imprisonment = Democracy!

Tony Snow answers questions about the administration's detainee policies by doing what he does best... repeating the question back in his own words, as if to imply the very asking of the question itself was an absurd act-

Notice that Snow refers to the people held at Guantanamo and related prisons as having been "plucked off the battlefields". This is, of course, a lie. In many cases, in the late 2001/early 2002 period, people in Afghanistan settled debts by turning in enemies of theirs (whom they claimed were Taliban or al Qaeda) to the U.S. military, who in turn didn't ask too many questions because they were happy to have some early successes. Many others imprisoned were taken out of their homes (as was the case with Al-Marri whose court case prompted this questioning) or from airports and town streets, etc. Knowing all of this, we can see the Bush administration definition of "battlefield" pretty much constitutes the whole world. A scary thought.

As counterrorism policies go, this is not only Orwellian and unconstitutional, it's also ridiculously counterproductive. And its continuation not only stems from the administration's embrace of radical executive authority, but also their refusal to admit a mistake. They know, as Colin Powell said this past Sunday, that we need to close Guantanamo and restore habeas corpus rights for detainees. But doing so would be admitting that this was a bad policy. And they simply cannot do that.

As with Iraq, cleaning up this mess will have to wait for the sap who's our next President.


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