Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Do the American thing: close Guantanamo Bay

149 men remain imprisoned, indefinitely, inside America's Guantanamo Bay "detention facility."  The oft-repeated lie is that these men are the "worst of the worst", that's why they can't be released  The truth is much different. The truth is that the vast majority of these men are completely innocent, and were simply swept up in a dragnet in Afghanistan, many turned over to the US for bounty payments or to enact revenge.  78 of the 149 have been deemed innocent and cleared for release in 2009. Only 6 of the 149 men have been formally charged with any crime. Five are being tried together as alleged co-conspirators of 9/11, and one stands accused of masterminding the USS Cole bombing. Yet the commissions' "tribunal" process is completely extra-judicial; corrupted by lies and government secrecy; it's a kangaroo court more suited to a third-world dictatorship than the United States.

By the very most basic tenet of American justice – never having been tried, never having been convicted, no evidence of their guilt in any crime ever presented before a court or judge – these are innocent men.  Guilty of no wrong-doing; their continued imprisonment is a violation of American principles.  It is a violation of my principles and, I hope, yours too.

No evidence of guilt?  What does that mean to Americans?  You are an American, right?  Tell me:  what does that mean to Americans?

Are those detainees guilty?  Then produce the evidence of that guilt and charge them formally.  No evidence of their guilt? Then do the American thing.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Senator Dianne Feinstein, wants to release the full "unredacted" version of its report on these tortures. The Obama Administration is blocking that action. Why?

According to some who have seen the report, it will demonstrate not only that the U.S. government tortured victims all over the world, but that its techniques were not those revealed and approved by congressional regulators, that the CIA repeatedly lied to its own congressional supporters and, most importantly, that the torture did not produce any material actionable intelligence, including the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden.

What happened to your backbone, America?

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