Sunday, June 10

Powell: Close Gitmo Now!

This morning on Meet the Press former Secretary of State Colin Powell strongly denounced America's use of Guantanemo Bay to detain terrorist suspects as well as the Military Commission system which so far, has completely failed to implement justice for even a single detainee.

Watch it:

[It's] a major problem for America’s perception. Iif it was up to me, I would close Guantanamo — not tomorrow, this afternoon.
But it's not like he would simply let them go....
I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system.
Preempting the argument that this might give some of them "access to lawyers" and "habeas corpus".
So what? Let them. Isn’t that what our system’s all about? And oh, by the way, we have over 2 Million people in our jails who all had access to lawyers and habeas corpus - we know how to handle bad people in this country.
Then he truly hit the nail on the head when it comes to why some in our government continue to insist on the need for Gitmo.
[E]very morning I pick up a paper and some authoritarian figure, some person somewhere, is using Guantanamo to hide their own misdeeds,
That's right kiddies, we've been hiding these people in Gitmo not because of what they've done - but because of what we've done to them in our efforts to gain information using illegal methods. The entire Military Commissions Act was designed to protect and hide the use of coercive interrogation techniques, to allow for the use of that coereced evidence and even stripped away the 5th amendment protection against self-incrimination. As Jonathan Turley has pointed out...
It's only through Habeas, that you have access to all your other rights.
By striping Habeas from "alien unlawful enemy combatants" the MCA attempted to block access to all of their rights, because without that one - none of the others can even be addressed. This strategy was the perfect follow-on to the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 which claimed to prohibit torture, yet at the same time blocked the ability of detainees to bring mistreatment claims before a court in their own defense. So sure, "we don't torture" - but if we did, there's nothing anyone can do about it is there?

Exactly why some people seem enamoured with this Jack Bauer bullshit is beyond me. It doesn't even work in fantasyland. Last night I saw a 24 rerun, where they captured CTU techinician Gial after he had been helping the Salazar Cartel as Jack broke it's leader out of prison. Ryan Chappele ordered chemical torture techniques to be used on him and guess what... he didn't break. Not until Tony Almeada showed up and let them know he, Gial and Jack had been setting up and undercover sting operation on the Salazars.


And now we've taken this cowardly macho bullcrap and implemented it internationally. U.S. CIA operatives are being tried for kidnapping in Italy. Many of our own NATO allies are furious with us over our Secret Prisons.

We don't need to do this, we never did - just as Powell summarized.
[W]e have shaken the belief that the world had in America’s justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open… We don’t need it, and it’s causing us far more damage than any good we get for it.
Amen to that.

It's feuling the international Jihad, it's fueling the insurgency. It's part of the perpetual insurgency engine. It's long past time we switched that engine off.


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