In response to this McClatchy article about the Captain of the U.S.S. Cole saying "We shouldn't make policy decisions based on human rights and legal advocacy groups,'' a spirited debate sprung up on FARK.com regarding whether we should give suspected terrorists the benefit of Habeus Corpus or other rights.
I will confess that as I am not a Constitutional scholar, a lawyer or an expert in military law I am ill equipped to speak with any great authority. It is not any easy situation to rectify, made worse by the previous administration that simply had no strategy whatsoever and simply did "whatever was necessarily" to "keep us safe". But since we aren't operating in the shadows anymore we must take the bull by the horns.
There are criminals in Guantanamo. By various accounts 70 of the 270 are really bad guys. This is down from the over 600 who used to reside there. We let the rest of those people go because we really didn't have anything on them. With all the resources and the with the full and intimidating threats of the US of A pressed upon them we simply had nothing. I am sure they forgive us though.
Rumor, innuendo, suspicion. On that evidence we abducted people, held them in secret prisons, and tortured them.
On the flimsiest of connection to 9/11 and on dubious intel we waged a war on Iraq that has killed tens of thousands.
But we had to, you know, to keep us safe.
Look, thinking is hard. But maybe if we did it more we wouldn't be in this shit. I don't want to give any religious whack job with a desire to kill people a pass. But to ignore the law? To just go all Jack Bauer? Is that the answer? Will ignoring US law, international law and treaties work? Will that find and punish the guilty? George Bush thought so. He thought these men were evil.
But I would give the Devil himself the benefit of Law.
I offer this short clip from A man for All Seasons: