Thursday, March 19, 2009

The truth about Gitmo

"It did not matter if a detainee were innocent."

War crimes trials. Now. What are we waiting for?

***

If all we had done was arrested whole villages, questioned everybody, then released them, well, that's a breach of human rights, but it's not that severe, and I think in the circumstances it would be something we could forgive. But we are not talking about that. We are talking about abducting people we knew to be innocent, detaining them for many years (and we don't need to add "without charge", because we knew they were innocent and had done nothing we could charge them with) and torturing them. This is not a policy aimed at stopping dangerous men from hurting us, as is claimed, and it's a claim that has huge emotional appeal, so that however criminal our actions, there is a bedrock of expediency and somewhat justified fear that would underly the wrongdoing. This is something way beyond that.

Imagine. Someone comes and snatches you from your bed, takes you away from your family for years, tortures you, breaks your mind, does not inform your family or anyone you know of your whereabouts, refuses you the barest of human rights, and all because you live where you live.

We should be burning the place down to get to the men who did this. They need a long spell in jail to reflect on what they have done. We can never claim again to be ruled by law if we do not rectify this.