Friday, March 11, 2011

The Guantanamo Bay Zoo

Obama Ratifies Bush Era Policies on Terror:

No one has done more to revive the reputation of Bush-era antiterror policies than the Obama Administration. In its latest policy reversal, yesterday Mr. Obama said the U.S. would resume the military tribunals for Guantanamo terrorists that he unilaterally suspended two years ago, and he may even begin referring new charges to military commissions within days or weeks.

The real news here is the final repudiation of Attorney General Eric Holder's attempt to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 plotters as criminal defendants on U.S. soil. The killers at Guantanamo will now be brought to justice via a process that the President once depicted as akin to the Ministry of Love in "1984."
Don't you love the WSJ's hyperbole? "The killers at Guantanamo," most of whom have never been charged with anything because there is no evidence.

Evidence...that pesky Constitutional requirement required for conviction. Evidence..."one of the many differences we have in this country between prisons and a zoos," as Jon Stewart memorably put it this week.

It's interesting how Big Media is portraying the "outrage" over this decision as being one "only from the left."

I didn't realize reading the Constitution beyond an 8th grade level of comprehension, and following the directives of the Supreme Court, made one a "leftist."

An unfortunate turn of events, to say the least. I think the president got it right two days after he was sworn in, when he announced the closure of GITMO "within the year," with the words "we no longer have to make the false choice between our safety and our ideals." So much for ideals.

The farcical Bush-era policy of detention, which was created almost a decade ago down there in Guantanamo, continues. And it wasn't just coincidence that Obama announced the policy's continuation at the same time we had another outbreak of "mindless hysteria" going on this week on Capitol Hill, regarding "radicalization" and "the Islamic threat."

I'll defer to one of my favorite sociologists, Christian Parenti, for summary:
The political class speaks the language of domestic war through the language of criminal justice crackdown because it mobilizes voters. The primary purpose of criminal justice and terror rhetoric, for politicians, is to sound tough. The policy that this campaigning produces is the means; the rhetoric and election victory are the ends. Instead of discussions of real problems facing the country, we get messages of xenophobia, racism, and a veneration of state repression. We get the war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on immigrants, and all the other endless wars.
What's left in GITMO is a literal zoo, a place to hold the "radical Islamist extremist" for future generations of politicians to gawk, have their pictures taken, and thump their chests about how tough they are.


Rachel said...
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Rachel said...