There’s no telling how accurate or inaccurate this report may be, but according to the AP, we may be a little closer to ending one of our nation’s darkest and most disgraceful chapters. Contrary to Mitt Romney and others’ desire to “Double Guantanamo”, the Bush Administration seems to be realizing that its unlawful detention of foreign nationals at the base in Guantanamo Bay is on very, very thin ice, legally, and is apparently taking measures to actually shut down America’s most famous concentration camp and transfer the inmates to American prisons, where they would face trial.
Well, goddamn, wouldn’t that be novel? Actual trials? On American soil? Shut. Up.
(P)ressure to close Guantanamo has been building since a Supreme Court decision last year that found illegal a previous system for prosecuting enemy combatants. Recent rulings by military judges threw out charges against two terrorism suspects under a new tribunal scheme.
Those decisions have dealt a blow to the administration’s efforts to begin prosecuting dozens of Guantanamo detainees regarded as the nation’s most dangerous terror suspects.
In his excellent essay, “Imperial Presidency Declared Null and Void”, the Great Sidney Blumenthal gets right to the heart of the matter:
On June 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, the most conservative in the country, issued a decision striking at the heart of Bush’s conception of the presidency. In al-Marri v. Wright, the court ruled that Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, a resident of Qatar, arrested as a student at Bradley University in the United States, accused of aiding al-Qaida, could not be held in indefinite detention as an “enemy combatant” and must be remanded to the civilian criminal court system. (Al-Marri, in an affidavit, claimed to have been tortured.) The decision acknowledged that al-Marri might have committed serious crimes. But the government’s assertion that the president has “inherent constitutional authority,” rooted in his “war-making powers,” is a “breathtaking claim” contrary to U.S. constitutional law and history.
“The President,” the court said, “claims power that far exceeds that granted him by the Constitution.”
Can I get an ‘Amen!’, somebody?
But really, if the reasons outlined above are not persuasive as to why Guantanamo Bay is a moral stain on our nation’s conscience, then consider this, via Sully. If we close Guantanamo, we won’t have to deal with this kind of sickening hatefulness and inhumanity:
Sully: Here’s a particularly knee-jerk sentiment, even from Michelle Malkin. She’s responding to the notion of a poetry anthology by Gitmo inmates. Her response:
How about a poetry anthology from the families of the victims of many of those Gitmo jihadists?
The trouble is, dear Michelle, we do not know how many of these detainees had any victims at all; many have been declared innocent of anything by even the Bush administration, and set free; less than 20 percent were originally detained by U.S. forces; the evidence convicting scores of others is either extremely weak, non-existent, or dependent on the testimony of the tortured. Yes, some are the worst of the worst. But, alas, we do not know exactly which. And the sheer assumption of guilt and indefinite detention are alien to every concept underpinning Western notions of justice and legal warfare. Aren’t those what we’re fighting for? Then there’s this piece of bile from Jules Crittenden. He penned his own poem for the Gitmo detainees, irrespective of the circumstances of their capture and imprisonment:
Rose are Red
Violets are Blue
In the Hated Crusader Gulag at Guantanamo
It must suck to be you
It takes a particularly depraved soul to observe captives sentenced to life imprisonment in solitary confinement without trial or hope – whatever their past – and laugh in their faces.
But what have we to distinguish the Right anymore other than their spectacular depravity, Andy? They have no political platform that isn’t based on some form of cruelty, whether it’s torture or deportation or their sneering disregard for the state of the environment, or their fetishization of forced birth and their Third Reich-like fantasies of racial and national superiority.
The only thing that really surprises about conservatives anymore is that anyone is surprised at how craven, amoral, and despicable they are. Movement Conservatism is a vulgar fraud, a system of racial, economic, and nationalist apartheid that has never held any interest in anything other than its own aggrandizement at the expense of the weak, whatever the costs. I’ve enjoyed about all of it that I can stand.
Goodbye, Guantanamo. May you, your architects, advocates, and enablers enjoy a long, miserable season in hell for what you have done.